What exactly does this mean to us as we follow Christ?
Is this a group of words that you have heard a few times and passed it off as something you will understand later? Or is it something that has even come off in a way as Christianese that someone made up? Have you heard it overused and/or abused? Or possibly underused to the point you barely recognize the words??
Is it even possible for us to comprehend what His Glory is to begin with…? What does it mean to you?
The word for Glory in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word כָּבֹוד "kabowd" which carries the idea of heaviness and weight. In the New Testament the Greek word is δόξα "doxa" which carries the idea of opinion, judgment, estimate, splendor, and brightness It is used to speak of great honor, praise, value, wonder, and splendor.
Who is Glory in reference to? It’s spoken of in reference to people such as in Proverbs 16:31 which says,
Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained in a righteous life.
And toward God in such as in Psalm 3:3
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
Who is Glory given by? Glory is given by God Psalm 84:11 reads,
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
Glory is also a manifestation of God's greatness and presence that is awesome to behold Exodus 40:34 reads,
“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
The phrase “Glory of the Lord” occurs 38 times in the NASB, 36 in the KJV. The phrase is used to describe the manifestation of God's greatness (Exodus 16:10) and is seen as a consuming fire (Exodus 24:17), a cloud (1 Kings 8:10-11), radiance (Ezekiel 1:26-28and brightness (Ezekiel 10:4). It fills the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34) and can be seen (Numbers 16:42) and can bring fear (Luke 2:9). Ezekiel 1:26-28 describes the Glory of the Lord this way,
“And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27 And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.”
So if this Glory of the Lord can BE so many things and DO so many things, how is it possible for us to behold such an idea, an incomprehensible presence? And yet he wants us to desire it and to crave it. He actually willingly offers us to be in this Glory if we have turned to His son Christ Jesus and accepted His death for the salvation of our sins. Until then, a veil lies over our hearts and we are not able to receive this Glory, or the freedom that comes with it. Let’s see what 2 Corinthians 3:14-18 says.
“But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 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.”
Let me share my testimony with you. I recently went to the God Encounter in Boston. I didn’t know if I should go. I finally chose to because I wasn’t feeling a definite NO from God. I went partially in support of and the others who were attending, not that they needed me, but also for a filling from God and to receive from Him something new and deep. So I went, and Friday night right after arriving, he showed me right away as I began to read the prophecy that was written for me by a total stranger, yet again how deeply He knows me and reminds me who I am, and what I need. We all had a different and meaningfully appropriate letters as the Lord led those who wrote them. Mine was addressed “My Companion”, As I read on he showed me what I needed to pray for regarding my expectations for the retreat. He showed me as I prayed with the first person, there are many times we pray there, that I had been stifling His Spirit from flowing out. I needed that to stop and be released from that. As we prayed he showed my prayer warrior some words that matched my Spirit. Then He gave me something huge, yet so basic. I heard the words “You Are Sealed”. I began to weep because apparently I still walked in a type of doubt. What it had been causing me to do is compare my Spirit with the Spirit of others. He said, “You’re past comparing yourself in the physical and fleshly realm, delivered.” Praise God. But now I’ve been saying my Spirit is not as good as theirs (ultimately) by referring people to others and lifting up others who have obvious strong giftings. SO….I continue in knowing I’m sealed in Him forever, knowing he has begun to overflow me because I was already full with the Spirit. At the very last session on Sunday morning, I was praying with the same Blessing of a woman, and as I began to pray she had me praying out loud as she listened. She began to fall over as she listened to me and giggled a little, but I plowed forward in my prayer seeking for God to know my heart. When I was done, she laughed and said, “I apologize for giggling but you have to know I almost fell over due to the fullness and overflowing of your Spirit while you prayed.” Now, did I feel that? No. But I knew God’s presence was with me. So He was giving me more confirmation as far as the fullness. She then prayed for me with her hands on my head, my arms instantly hung heavy and somewhat numb, my hands feeling sort of strong and hard. My head felt strange but good. Afterwards I felt light and with an overflow of peace. So all that to say, as we left there, and flew home, I was able to see why God led me there, even I didn’t “need” to go for a deep radical change. It was to bring me into the knowledge of going from “glory to glory”. As I asked the Lord what that experience was all about, I just kept hearing “from glory to glory” Glynda. “This is what it’s all about. Now go and do as I ask. Don’t miss Me, and come higher, keep coming higher. Don’t’ worry when this “feeling” goes away, you are still safe, and you are still SEALED. And your Spirit is still full and fully intact. But keep seeking me more ALWAYS.” By Wednesday, I knew my head had come out of the God cloud. I didn’t get upset or wish it hadn’t. I just had to remember his words. “Don’t lose me...come back up..don’t miss me...You’re fine...”
You may not “see” the Glory of the Lord being in you, but He does, and He knows it is there.
Do you believe that the Lord’s Glory resides in you? If not, why not?
And if you do, and you know that to believe and to walk in this Glory is what we SHOULD be doing, have you experienced a time in your life when you felt God bring you from one degree of glory to another? Usually after a time of turning TO him for the first time, turning to Him again after a time period of possibly neglecting to recognize Him in your life? Are doing anything that you are aware of to stunt or stifle the transforming growth that He so desires for you?
Or maybe you are seeking Him wholeheartedly, daily, and know His glorious presence well...either way, as it says we are constantly being transformed into the same image from one degree to another...or from “glory to glory”, which comes from the Spirit.