Show me your glory!
Show me your glory!
IHOP-KC is currently on a corporate 40-day fast crying out for God’s glory in our midst. I’ve been asking myself the question “what does that practically look like for me?” and figured I’d share my heart on it.
I had to ask the basic question - what is the glory of God, and why do I want it? When we think of glory, do we think of a bright and shining sparkly cloud that comes into a room? Do we think His glory comes to give us a good meeting where a bunch of people fall on the floor? When we are asking for glory, what are we asking for?
In Exodus 33, Moses asked God to show him His glory. He was asking for more than a glimpse of God’s frame in sparkling light on a mountaintop experience. Moses was boldly saying “God, tell me who you are and what you’re like!”
We know the story – God came down in the cloud on the mountain, stood with Moses, and proclaimed His name – “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children and to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6)
We have so many biblical examples of God showing forth His power. While I greatly desire a tangible expression of God's power, that alone is not a significant part of what I’m asking the Lord for on this fast. While I want to see angels, feel the weight of God’s glory in a meeting, or see signs of God’s power, I want something that lasts beyond a single meeting or even a few years of revival. The children of Israel saw countless signs and still turned from God. I want something more than a sign.
I want to know God.
I want to know His name and His nature.
I want to know what He is really like.
The good news is that we are not left to wishful hoping that we will one day have a lifechanging encounter like Moses did where God’s glory is revealed to us. Scripture boldly declares that He has made Himself known fully in a human being, a Man named Jesus Christ. We have 89 chapters in the gospels that tell us exactly what God is like. His name, His nature, and His glory is perfectly declared in those pages sitting on our desk, our lap, our our bookshelf.
So this fast for me is all about Jesus. What Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:6 has provoked me deeply. He tells us that God has already shone His light in our hearts to give us the knowledge of the glory of God. We don’t have to live a life of dull and dry prayer hoping to someday have it answered and to finally see what God is like. We see His glory by looking at the face of Jesus. Christ is God’s perfect disclosure of Himself.
“God … has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person …”
(Hebrews 1:2-3 NKJV)
This fast for me is also all about the person of the Holy Spirit. I certainly wouldn’t mind an encounter like Moses had in Exodus. But In 2 Corinthians 3:10 Paul says something so profound. In referencing Moses’ experience with God and the declaration of His name on the mountain, he says:
“For even what was made glorious [Moses’ encounter and God’s declaration of His name to him] had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.”
(2 Corinthians 3:10 NKJV)
In other words, what was glorious back then has no glory in comparison with the surpassing glory of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, living in us and declaring the name of God to us by revealing the person of Jesus.
This is the glory of the new covenant – the Spirit, who is God Himself, lives in us to declare to us the name of the Lord. This is the encounter we’re looking for day after day. God no longer is limited to coming down on a mountain. He lives in us. The glory is in the ministry of the Spirit breathing on Scripture as we read it, pray it, sing it, and meditate on it. The glory of God is seen in everyday circumstances when we feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit on our heart. We have such a limited experience with this, probably because we take it for granted and because we have not begun to understand the ridiculousness of what we’ve been given.
So on this fast, I’m reading and listening to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in a very focused way. The gospel displays the glory of Christ, who is the exact image of God. The gospel and the revelation of Jesus in the gospel is the glory I am asking for.
I’m looking for an experience of His glory. I won’t find any more glory than what is seen in Jesus. He is the full expression of the Father, the full expression of glory. There is nothing higher, nothing greater, nothing more than what is seen in Him. If I experience the Son, I’ve known God’s glory. I’ve tasted and seen. There is nothing of heaven or in Him that is not seen in His Son.
There is truly nothing higher and nothing greater!