2 Corinthians 4:5-9 (NIV)
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
A few years back, our daughter wanted a mini Vespa electric scooter for Christmas. Costly little vehicle, she loved that thing riding it back and forth through the neighborhood and around the cul-de-sac. I wish it came with an odometer just to see how many miles have been charted on it. She and her sister have each attempted a suicide mission by wrecking it – thank God for His Angels as nothing was broken, maybe a few scars with just a scratch on the scooter. Our daughter is almost a teenager and even through it will still carry her from point A to point B, she has lost interest so it sits in the garage. When I asked her if she was ready to part with it, she instantly agreed because unbeknownst to me – it had a flat tire. It didn’t look flat until someone sat on it then it was clear there was a problem. Had I known it, I would have fixed it sooner so she could enjoy it some more. Hence began the ordeal. The tire was pumped up and by morning it would be flat again. We took it apart. No one could find the slow leak. I ordered a tube. Replaced the tube, blew it up. Next morning, flat again. Over and over until finally, with a firm palm thrust to the head, I took it to the bike shop and a nice bald man with one-inch gauges in his ears covered in tattoos leaving a lasting impression fixed it for less than $20.
I share this dilemma now small victory today in light of His Glory. Huh? Maybe I should explain further the need for understanding in my head compounded by the pursuit of my heart. I want the Glory of God in my life. Not sometimes but all the time. I don’t want to be flat. I don’t want to slowly lose interest or decide I don’t want the purpose and promises of God because the process is too overwhelming. During praise and worship last Wednesday night, we sang the song, “We Wait for You” also called “Shekinah Glory”. It goes something like this:
We wait for You
We wait for You
We wait for You
To walk in the room
Here we are standing in Your presence
Here we are standing in Your presence
Shekinah glory come down
Shekinah glory come down
The sweet song leader began to speak and it was if she was reading the very thoughts in my head. What if Jesus responded and filled the room with His Glory. What would we do? How would we respond? Do we really want the Glory of God? Are we truly waiting on it? We wait for You. Do you mean it? Have you abandoned the leaky ship for a secure sailing vessel? Do you really want it enough to take the time to fix what’s wrong? Or are looking for just enough Jesus to sell and enough blessing to make this life a little better. If we truly want the Glory of God, it is a lifelong process of engaging, experiencing and encounter God until there is so much He escapes us and shines His Light in the world. The closer we move into the Presence of God the less in control we feel. The more we depend on Him it is without regard for our natural condition. To totally trust and live enshrouded in the Presence of God is not for the fearful and timid but boldly courageous who are willing to give up this life to have forever.
What is leaking out of our life today? Opinionated Christianity is nothing more than a convoluted lie. We speak Jesus. His Word is true and relevant today and the only interpretation we really need is Jesus Christ. The gathering our hearts and minds called church is to build each other up and equip us for good works. Not a gathering place for gripers and complainers and naysayers, no thanks the world is enough adversity for us all. If we think our breath is bad, we breathe into our hand trying to see if it is offensive. Oh Jesus, when I speak do you come out?
What about the cracks of our broken heart? Is it oozing faith and hope? Or negativity and nastiness from the stagnancy that persists? When we are pressed, crushed, persecuted or abandoned, what is our response? Do we see the Light at the end of the tunnel? Do we know that His Love has overcome? We need His Glory. We live naturally moment by moment. We live physically breath by breath. We live spiritually from Glory to Glory.
2 Corinthians 4:13-18 (NIV)
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
I want attitudes and actions to express Jesus Christ. I want my thoughts and understanding to be inundated with His Word. I want my words to enunciate His Love. I want to live for the Glory of God today but I cannot do that until I believe otherwise I am speaking out of turn. Without faith, salvation is a fairytale. How many girls hope for a young to sweep them off their feet but wind up broken and distraught? Fairytales are not real. Jesus is. We lose heart. As “self” wastes away and people move away, we have to make a choice. Deeper into the Presence of God with a few people or to bask in the glory of man. God knows. He has experienced it time and time again. People making bad choices cost the Lord everything. We have the potential to be renewed day by day – do we take it. All these troubles around us are light and momentary – have we blown them out of proportion compared to the size of our God. How big is your God today? How powerful is Your Jesus? We must fix our eyes on Jesus and decide that we want to live in His Presence and experience His Glory with full faith and confident hope believing it is not just possible but an inevitable promise for those who desire it and seek it above all things.
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (NIV)
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Let’s talk about the Glory of God that Moses experienced for a brief moment – I have included the scriptures so you can look it up for yourself in more detail. Moses went up on Mount Sinai into the Presence of God because the rest of the Israelites were too scared to go. Once he got up there he was there quite a while as God gave him the commandments carefully inscribing them on two stones. (Exodus 31:18) God inscribed them with His Finger. It was the Law. This was how a man could be right with God. While Moses was in the Presence of God, the people decided in their infinite wisdom that he was gone too long and decided to construct a golden calf to worship. The Lord sent Moses back to the people. When Moses got there, he dropped the stones shattering them. This is our life of sin. It breaks the covenant that we have with God. (Exodus 32:19) Moses goes before the Lord again. This is when he asks who go with him to lead these rebellious people. God promises Moses that His Presence will be with Him. (Exodus 33:14) Just a side note: The same rest that God promised Moses is possible in the Presence of God. Moses asks God to show Him His Glory. (Exodus33:18) What does the Lord ask of Moses? To write a new covenant. (Exodus 34:1-4) Sound familiar. Moses does it. Before God’s Glory will ever be fully released in our life – we must learn to live faithfully obedient to the Lord. The Lord God shows his faithful and devoted follower His Glory and says, “And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7) The only problem was that sin was still a problem. Jesus came to finalize our covenant with God and cover our debt. Jesus allows us to experience the Glory of God by completing our Covenant with God fulfilling all terms and conditions. (John 17:1-5) Now overflowing and reciprocating glory is available to those vessels broken and held together by the Lord’s Salvation, bound by faith, and intent on hope that will keep stepping into His Presence day after day to experience His Compassionate Grace and Love allowing it to flow out into the world around them. This is the Glory of God. It is not about what we can get from Him but becoming a conduit of His Light, His Love and His Word. When we truly decide we want the Glory of God, we will fill the holes in our life were sin seeps in. We will patch the places where compromise sneaks in. We will stop substituting religion for a relationship with the One True God. When Jesus died on the Cross, He released His Glory. (Matthew 27:51) If we cannot contain it, we may have a slow leak.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (NIV)
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
How do I go on with my day in the Light of such Great Love? I just want to stay right here in this place today. God gave us a seal. His Name is Jesus to place over our heart and every opening bent on sucking us dry, stealing our joy and quenching our love for Him today. We just have to use it. We just have to be aware that there is a problem to fix it. His Love for us was certainly as strong as death as Jesus longed to be intimate with us. He wants a relationship not casual entertainment. Who am I that He would love me so much? But He does. Nothing can separate me from God’s Love. Nothing. What is separating me from feeling the same way and acting upon it? I want to be ready when His Glory washes over me again to contain it and share it with the world. It’s funny because when a tire has a leak the best diagnostic is to fill it with air and then let water run over it until you see bubbles. Well, doesn’t washing our heart and mind in God’s Word do the same thing? I don’t know about you but I am waiting for His Glory. I want Jesus to release the FULLNESS of His Spirit in my life today and every day!
Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV)
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.