“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Praying for God’s Glory, by Randall D. Kittle

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We often hear the children of God crying out in prayer: “Lord, send Your glory to this temple.” There is an earnest desire in the hearts of many believers to have the glory of God fill our services and flood our lives. Yet, do we have any idea what we are really asking for? I remember talking with Francis Frangipane a number of years back and he asked me an interesting question. “Randy, what is it you really want the most?” I replied, “I want to look upon the glorious, unveiled face of God.” With a chuckle Francis responded, “You would be toast!” To which I remarked, “Yes, but what a way to go.”

You see, the glory of God is a serious thing. Most of us are either naive, presumptuous, or dangerously deceived when it comes to understanding God’s glory. If God granted our desires and poured out His glory in our midst, would we recognize it? Would we truly be excited about it? Would we even still be alive?

What Is The Glory Of God?
Perhaps we need to pause and try to understand, at least in some measure, what it is we have been crying out to receive. What does it really mean to get the glory of God? God’s glory is not some holy tickle. It is far more than Holy Ghost goose bumps, or that warm fuzzy peace-of-God feeling you get in your heart when you feel the embrace of God. These are good, but they are not God’s glory!

How can we define the glory of God? According to the
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia there are two different Hebrew words commonly translated “glory.” One of these is “hadhar,” which has the root‑meaning “brightness or light.” This usage is demonstrated in what we commonly call the “shekinah” glory of God. The Bible tells us that the Holy of Holies needs no light, for the glory of God enlightens it. Another scriptural example of this shining glory of God was when Moses came out from meeting with God and his face was all aglow. “And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord” (Exodus 34:34–35). The glory glow on Moses’ face was so brilliant he wore a veil to conceal its brightness.

The other word commonly used for “glory” in the Old Testament is “kabhodh.” The fundamental idea of this word is “weight or heaviness.” This understanding of glory is also found in the New Testament in 2 Corinthians 4:17 which says,
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

I experienced this weighty aspect of God’s glory personally a number of years ago at a MorningStar conference in South Carolina. Thousands of people came to the conference to worship God and hear His heart. As often happens at conferences (when excited and hungry worshipers gather together), worship was very rich and the presence of God was strong. I was laying prostrate on the floor and began to feel the weight of God’s glory filling the room. All of the sudden I felt a weight upon the entire backside of my body as I was pressed down into the floor. Worship continued and so did the increasing heaviness of this weight until it felt like an elephant was standing on my back. Though the presence of God put me at peace, this “weight” increased until I realized I could no longer breathe — I had no ability to draw air into my lungs. Just when I felt like I was about to become one, not with God, but with the carpeting, the glory suddenly lifted and I was able to breathe and get up.

God’s Definition
While it is useful to know how the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia defines glory, wouldn’t it be nice if God just told us what it means? The good news is God did tell us what His glory is. In Exodus 33:18 Moses said to God, “Now show me Your glory.” Exodus 34:5–7 shows us God’s response. “Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His name, the Lord. 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 fathers to the third and fourth generation.’” God answered Moses’ desire to see His glory by declaring His attributes, saying “I am the Lord, and I am compassionate, I am gracious, I am patient, I am overflowing with love, I am faithful, I am forgiving, and I am just.” That is what glory is all about. It is God’s attributes, His very nature and character being revealed. When we ask God to fill this temple with His glory, we are saying, “bring your very character and fill this place.”

Ready … Or Not?
The early Church had the glory of God in their midst, and at the end of the age the Church will again be filled with God’s glory. While God’s holy attributes being displayed on the earth is a good thing, the Church is not yet ready for it. This is a big part of what God is doing on the earth in our day. He is moving through the Church with wave after wave of repentance because He is helping prepare us to behold and reflect His glory.

The first reason we are not yet ready to display God’s glory, is that we really do not know Him. The fact that many of us think we do shows how naive we are. Of all the apostles, the one who probably knew Jesus the best was John. He was one of three disciples who were Jesus’ closest companions. He was the one who laid his head on Jesus’ chest during the last supper. Yet, in the book of Revelation it tells us that when Jesus revealed Himself to John on the Isle of Patmos he
“… fell at His feet as though dead” (Revelation 1:17).

This is probably what would happen to us if Jesus gave us even a glimpse of His glory. The glorified and returning Jesus is so awesome that even those who know Him best will be overwhelmed and filled with awe.

Every angel in heaven, every seraphim and cherubim, declares the glory of God. They continually bestow majesty upon God beyond what we can even imagine. Charles Spurgeon said that Jesus is not only grand and glorious, He is completely beyond our wildest imagination. He put it this way, “As victor Jesus wears the illustrious crown.… He wears the glory of an Intercessor who can never fail, of a Prince who can never be defeated, of a Conqueror who has vanquished every foe, of a Lord who has the heart’s allegiance of every subject. Jesus wears all the glory which the pomp of heaven can bestow upon Him, which ten thousand times ten thousand angels can minister to Him. You cannot with your utmost stretch of imagination conceive His exceeding greatness; yet there will be a further revelation of it when He shall descend from heaven in great power, with all the holy angels. Then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. Oh, the splendor of that glory! It will ravish people’s hearts.”

Unable To Minister
We are just starting to see what the cost of having God’s glory is. When the glory of God comes, it is strong and powerful and overwhelming. When God’s glory is in our midst, no man will be able to minister. That is exactly what happened to Moses when he set up the Tabernacle as God directed. A cloud of God’s presence covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of God filled the Tabernacle. The Scriptures tell us that “Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:35). Moses could not go into the Tent of Meeting because it was so filled with the glory of God. When God shows up, the things of man — even the ministry — stop!

The same thing happened when the Temple was dedicated. This story can be found in 1 Kings, chapter 8. After all the preparation, the priest took the ark of the covenant into the Holy of Holies. Then the Bible tells us
“When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled His temple” (1 Kings 8:10–11). When the glory of the Lord comes in a strong measure, we will be unable to minister — only God will minister.

Unable To Stand
Not only will we be unable to minister when the glory of God comes, we will be unable to stand. Those who think they are prepared for an outpouring of God’s glory upon the Church are presumptive — and wrong! Following their release from Egypt, God displayed His glorious presence to Israel upon Mount Sinai. The priests and elders of Israel were unprepared and undone by the awesome glory of God. “When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die’” (Exodus 20:18–19). One powerful display of God’s glorious presence changed Israel from “send us Your glory, Lord” to “send us away from Your glory, Lord.”

Even Moses, the one who had seen so much of God’s glory, could not stand in the presence of God’s manifest glory. God had to hide him in a rock, and cover him with His hand. And what happens in the book of Revelation to the twenty-four elders when the heavenly creatures start giving glory and honor to God?
“… the twenty‑four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne” (Revelation 4:10). There is an inability to stand before the Lord when His glory is being revealed.

Unable To Stand Ourselves
Not only will we not be able to physically stand in God’s glory, we will also be unable to stand ourselves. As the character of the holy God is displayed, His glory will reveal our sins. In the light of His pure light our every flaw will appear as a black-hole of unworthiness.

What was Peter’s reaction when He realized that Jesus was the Lord in Luke 5?
“Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). Isaiah had the same reaction when he was brought into the throne room of God and saw His glory. He responded, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).

When we start to see God’s pure holiness displayed by His glory, our first response is not worship, but to see our sinfulness. This is why God in His mercy has been bringing waves of repentance to the Church, to purify and prepare our hearts. This is the season of repentance. This is the time to prepare your heart for the coming glory.

Unable To Live?
Unless we deal with our iniquity and impurity we will not only not be able to stand ourselves, we will not be able to live! The Bible is replete with those who sinned against God during times when His glory was strongly with His people. The result was often the same — death.

We see this in God’s dealing with Achan when Israel was moving into the promised land. He kept some of the spoils from Jericho the result being that he, his family, and all their livestock were destroyed. The glory of God was in their camp, and sin was not tolerated. When David brought back the ark of the covenant Uzzah touched it to help steady it so it wouldn’t fall off the ox cart — he was struck dead. When Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit and the Church about the gift they were giving, they fell dead.

There is a high standard we need to walk in if we want to live with the glory of God in our midst. We need to both remove known sin and make certain we are doing the right thing in the right way — the way God has prescribed in His Word.

Preparation — The Fear Of The Lord
When Solomon prepared the Temple for the presence of the Lord, the Bible tells us they were “… sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted” (1 Kings 8:5). They were purifying themselves and the Temple to prepare for the glorious presence of God.

We are now the temple of God, and it is the same for our lives. We must be purified. There is an old Fram
® oil filter commercial where the man says, “You can pay me now (holding up a new oil filter), or pay me later (showing a cars engine being replaced). We can either fear God now (honoring Him by embracing every wave of repentance) or we will fear Him later (afraid of the presence of our awesome God). Let us embrace God’s repentance and anticipate His glorious presence. “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart. Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:3–4).


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