You CRAVE the Glory of God

How do I know you crave the glory of God? Because it was God’s good intention from the beginning to fellowship with you. It is within the human soul to long for God, for both the saved and unsaved. For though humanity was created “in sin” and disconnected from God, it is within the soul of a man and woman to return “home.” Do we not know that God desires all people to return, and has offered the gift of salvation to all for the taking? Sadly, some have, and will continue to, reject the voice of the Father urging them to come home. And those who choose to not come still have the craving to go but do not know it. They fill it with every earthly desire possible in order to silence the ache within their soul. In fact, we all experience this before conversion. And so, humanity “craves” the glory of God but refuses to come. Why? Because it comes with “conditions attached.” This brings me to the story of what happened when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai after meeting with the LORD and sees all the camp of Israel engaged in idol worship. Please read this with me: “And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to the derision of their enemies), then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the LORD’S side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’” And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell. And Moses said, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day.” (Ex 32:25-29). So, we see that these Levites first made a “decision” and second, obeyed a “command.” They made the decision to stand with the LORD (which represents who they followed). And they followed through on their “confession” that the LORD is our Lord with the difficult and costly task of putting the sword to the sin and immorality within the camp.” I am trusting you read that last line carefully since we know “… the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Heb 4:12-13). Now, how were the Levites rewarded? Well, this was the tribe out of the twelve tribes that God assigned the task of taking care of the Tabernacle and later the Temple. It was the Levitical priests ALONE who were “chosen” to enter the Most Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies, and who were able to enter into the presence of God. In other words, these priests were the only ones who could behold the “GLORY OF GOD.” So, these Levites were assigned the task of “ministering” to the LORD, and as they ministered to the LORD, they encountered His glory.

Now, I know we no longer live under the Sinai covenant, praise God! But I also believe this scene is communicating something important to us who live under the blood of Christ. But first, we must recognize that the “glory of God” was originally intended to be what humanity experienced continually. This glory was in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. And humanity was never meant to live outside of it. For if humanity was meant to be satisfied apart from God’s presence, then we all would be content. But clearly, we are not. Therefore, what the Levites alone could encounter was in reality only a “shadow” of what God had in store for all who “confess Him as LORD” and who “follow through in obedience to His commands.” Now you might say “what commands”! Or “we are not under the Law.” And I hear you! The only “law” we are under is the law of Christ. And this law is love. It is to love the Lord our God with our “entire being” and to love one another (brothers and sisters in Christ) as Christ has loved us, then also, to love our neighbor as ourselves. And here we see there are “conditions” attached to entering the Glory of God. Just as the Levites met the condition to “minister” to the LORD by committing themselves wholly to Him and obeying the very difficult command to slaughter their own family members and friends. You see, they were willing to “cut” the sin out of the camp in their devotion, or love, to the LORD.

So then, since we all CRAVE the glory of God, meaning His presence, and are only satisfied in His glory, then we would certainly continually enter into what satisfies, right? And since it is now true that the veil in the temple has been torn because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice and we are free to enter, as these verses make clear: “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:16-18). And as this has made clear, we all now are able to approach the throne of grace with both boldness and confidence through faith in Christ. Plus, we no longer have to go to “a Temple” because “we are the Temple” of God, where His GLORY dwells. So then, we should all be content and satisfied, right?? Wrong! For though we are free to enter the presence of the LORD, and though we now bear His glory in these Temples, we are not content and satisfied. And I am CONVINCED the problem lies in some steps we may have missed. Remember the priests? First, they committed themselves to the LORD and then they did something else. They “cut” the sin and immorality out of the camp. And you might say “Christ has dealt with my sin.” And I would agree. But have you dealt with your sin? Though this is difficult for some to grasp, we “cooperate” with Christ in the sanctifying process which makes us Holy. There are two “wills” involved here. There is God’s will and there is our will. And God’s desire is that our will be in union with His will. For though we have His Holy Spirit, we also have our own will (or soul, flesh). And God’s will is that we work “with Him” in laying aside our sin, pride, selfishness, stubbornness, and everything which hinders His glory and our good, in our lives, until we are formed into the image of Christ. And here are two verses to support that: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,…” (Heb 12:1-2a). And “I appeal to you therefore, brothers (and sisters), by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice (this is an act of the will), holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:1-2). And so it appears there are “steps” we take and “decisions” we make in this life as we pursue the “glory of God.” And as noted above, it does appear we are “increasingly” changed more into the image of God, meaning “reflecting” His glory, as we “behold” or encounter His glory as in a mirror.” Regarding this, I posted this just today on Facebook: The Lord’s PLEASURE is and always has been to honor His children who seek His face. And while they gaze into heaven, He MIRRORS back to them their IDENTITY in Christ! And as they behold their true selves while beholding His glory, they EXPERIENCE the love of the Father for themselves. They then recognize His goodness and pleasure in them as they HUMBLY acknowledge He is Lord of all! And this is what He wills and longs to impart to you, His sons, and daughters.” I wrote that earlier today in response to what I see God doing in the hearts of those at Asbury University as they “seek the Lord.” And I think what they are experiencing is God’s glory “because” they are laying aside every hindrance and distraction that is keeping them from pursuing His glory (and pleasure). And with that, I must ask you to carefully study these verses below because they speak volumes in communicating God’s intention for His children if we are to walk in His pleasure and experience His glory. Here they are: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” [Now really notice this statement] Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God” (2 Cor 6:14 – 7:1). Did you notice that? “Let us” (being an act of the will) “cut-off” from ourselves every sin and hindrance that stands in the way of our “complete” Holiness. This is and always has been a part of the “gospel message” though many have failed to preach it. This happens as we encounter the glory of God. We are changed as we “minister” to Christ through worship and praise, through serving others in love, through meditating on His Word, through our obedience to His commands, through pursuing unity in the Body-of-Christ, through confession and repentance, through our humility, and ultimately through throwing everything off in pursuit of His pleasure.

And in this way, we will find contentment and satisfaction in the glory of God

Categories HOPE!, Last Days, Truth and ErrorTags ,

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