In our congregation we have an elderly woman who has been adopted as our spiritual grandmother. At one-hundred years old, she stands approximately four feet tall, but in the spirit, Elena is taller and mightier than Goliath.
Spanish is her native tongue and English her adopted one. But prayer is Elena's mother tongue. When you are near her, her gentle spirit and frail body seem to shine with the power of God. Literally. For some time now, if you sit beside her, you will see softly glinting on her skin and in her clothes tiny, bright, silver flecks; sometimes brighter, sometimes more faint.
What is it? Where does it come from? Why is it there? We don't know. The presence of the Lord is so tangible when you are with her that it seems natural to see the shining glory of God as radiant and abundant in her physical body as it is in her inner being.
The appearance of the glory of God in the Gospels is described as bright illumination, such as in the physical appearance of angels and of Christ in His transfiguration and after His resurrection. We cannot speak of the glory of God without thinking of bright light—and without personalizing it.
Jesus prophesied through David, "I will tell of Your name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You" (Ps. 22:22 NASB; also Heb. 2:12). The Hebrew word for praise is halal, and means "to shine, to flash forth light," or to glorify. When He comes home to His Temple, His glory illuminates His surroundings. The glory appeared as angels sang to announce the Savior's birth. The Word incarnate revealed His glory when He took on human flesh and walked on Earth as an ordinary person among ordinary people. His glory is "full of grace and truth" (Jhn. 1:14).
In the Gospels, satan tests Jesus by showing Him the glory of the world's kingdoms. Satan offers their power and wealth to Christ. He refuses. The New Testament centers the manifestation of God's glory in persons' lives...first, in the Son of God through His character and example of obedience and devotion to His Father in Heaven; and then through those who put their trust in Him and in His Blood for their salvation. Jesus is coming in the glory of His Father (see Lk. 9:26). It will be a day of great power experienced by the whole world and by all who have ever lived. The Gospels call it the Day of the Lord (see Mrk. 13:26).
The first time I saw the flecks of shining golden stuff that has come to be associated with "the glory" was fourteen years prior to this writing.
Mahesh and I were at a small gathering to honor an elderly minister. I noticed from across the room that Mahesh had something glinting on his cheek just below his left eye. The thing became a distraction to me, so I moved across the room and plucked it off. A few moments later, I noticed the glint again and removed what I thought must be another piece of glitter. It happened again and I plucked it off and examined it more closely. It was thin and fine and bright, and the look of it gave me a feeling inside like a happy sigh. I had not seen or heard of anything like this before, but it seemed that whatever it was, it had emerged from within, exuding from some essence internal to Mahesh's body.
We began to experience this more and more. One of the most memorable times occurred as we sat at our family dinner table with Sister Ruth Heflin. She said, "You know, I feel we should just sing." She took the hands of two of our children and began to worship the Lord in her inimitable way. The nearness of Jesus was intimate and powerful. At the end of the song, Ruth was covered with a film of glistening, golden something. It had come from within as we had worshiped together.
For us, these appearances have never been something that take our focus away from God; rather, they intensify our focus upon the immediate presence of the Lord and what He desires to communicate in that moment. They are a tiny glimpse of the immediacy of His Person with us and His unfathomable riches and treasures.
Look for the Glory
About thirty years ago, a few days after we had our first child, the doctors found that he had terminal kidney disease. Ben was already dying, and there was nothing anybody could do. There we were, serving the Lord, our lives totally devoted to pouring ourselves out to God and His people, and our first child was dying. I had read about people's hair turning white overnight from stress, but I didn't really believe it—until I was in such extreme distress myself. I went to take a morning shower, and I saw that the hair on my chest had turned gray overnight. The intensity of the distress had affected me chemically.
But the Lord was setting us up for perhaps one of the most outstanding miracles in our lives. As our newborn son Ben lay in the ICU, screaming in excruciating pain after multiple surgeries and still no breakthrough in sight, Bonnie and I prayed in the waiting area, "Oh Lord, let the power of Your Blood speak for Ben."
Shortly after that prayer, the nurse came running out to us, urging us to come see our son right away. I thought, "This is it. Our son has gone home to be with the Lord." Instead, she said, "I don't know what is happening." Tears were streaming down her face as she led us to his room. The glory was there surrounding our son's broken body as a cloud of golden light. Ben had his arm extended and a look of total peace on his tiny face. The Blood shed at Calvary created a song, a presence of the Lord around our son, and in a mystery connected Ben to the Cross outside the city of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. The words of Isaiah spoken generations before the events of Calvary came to pass in Ben's body in front of our eyes: "He has carried our sorrows, He has taken our pains" (see Isa. 53:4). (Photo via Pixabay)
Ben was sleeping peacefully. The monitor still indicated his body was in crisis and spasms of pain, but in a mystery of the glory, because of the Blood, Ben had entered into the song of the Lord, his body had picked up the vibration of God, and all the pain fled in the presence of the voice of glory. That was the beginning of the miracle of Ben's total healing, and his testimony continues to bring God glory.
The Lord is with you. But you've got to commune with Him. How can you do that? Ever since the Blood of Jesus was shed, you have been made one with Him. You can come and have access. But often we maintain a kind of religious separation—God is there, I am here. Yet the Lord wants us to commune and have communion. Through the Blood, God draws us to enter into this amazing communion of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is an intense, awesome union with Him that is experienced while not fully comprehended. God is allowing us to enter into intimate communion and eternal partnership with the Three in One.
"Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed from glory to glory" (see 2 Cor. 3:18). There is a "secret place" where His glory is. No plague shall come near your dwelling when you are in the secret place of the Most High (see Ps. 91:10). When times of challenge come, times of distress, let them push you more into God! Let yourself be drawn into the secret place of His glorious presence revealed.
Secret Place of Glory
A while ago, we got a call from a pastor friend in another state. He was crying on the phone, and in the intensive care unit with one of the families from his church. Their teenage daughter was dying because her liver was failing. Although there was remote hope for a liver transplant in another state, everyone was in total distress. She had taken too many pills, and they were toxic.
When we got off the phone, we went straight to prayer. It was as if we entered a bubble of His glory, and while we were there, it was as if the Lord took us with Him into the very cells of the girl's liver. That sounds weird, but it was something like that. And we did not come out until the liver was healthy and clean, which was about twenty-six hours later. For twenty-six hours, we carried the situation into the presence of the Lord, and His glory surrounded it.
We did not lock ourselves into an empty room for that whole time. We were at home, going about our normal activities, including sleeping, while we carried the situation in intercession. Then the Lord said, "It is done. Phone her mother and her pastor." When we called, the doctors were just coming in to talk to the family, saying, "We had nothing to do with this. We don't know why, but the liver is better than normal." It was totally healed.
In the secret place of the Most High, you can breathe in the atmosphere of miracles. In that place, the Lord wants to strengthen us and heal our children. Times of intensity and challenge and distress push us right into His glory. From that time on, it is not you by yourself, but it is you plus the Lord. All of us may be in an ash heap from time to time, but the Lord wants to bring us into enlargement.
One of our Zion College students came up with an interesting statement. He said, "Glory and gold are measured in weight, and the Bible calls the afflictions of this present age featherweight."
That makes you think. The Bible says, "...The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18). This statement was made by a man who was beaten, stoned, imprisoned, persecuted, and eventually beheaded for the glory of the Gospel.
God has made a vacancy that only you can fill. He has appointed you to become a point of contact between His glory and the world around you. Nobody can do it for you.
"...The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him..." (2 Chron. 16:9 KJV)
He is looking for a faith-response on your part. He is looking for supernatural people in natural bodies who live in a natural world. He's longing for a people who can pick up His vibration and transmit His presence wherever they are. The victory is already here. It's our job to make it practical, bringing order out of chaos and releasing Heaven on Earth. That's Kingdom glory.
The Spirit of the Living God within each one of us makes Jesus available every way, every day. With the apostle Paul, we can say:
"I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His Body, which is the Church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:24-27) (Photo via Unsplash)
When Jesus spoke of the glory of God, He was speaking of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This revelation is personal. He referred to the glory as being directly related to the immediate, intimate activity of God Himself. The glory is the effulgence of the Lord as He is present, active, and making Himself known.
In the 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary the word that may best define glory as it is used in the Bible is emanant. It means issuing or flowing forth; passing forth into an act, or making itself apparent by an effect as in an improvised, often spontaneous spectacle or performance, especially one involving audience participation. This is the perfect word to describe the manifestation of the brightness of glory that emanates from Jesus.
Jesus Christ is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15). He is "the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person" (Heb. 1:3). When we experience His glory, whether as a fiery cloud or through acts of intervention in the natural realm in miracles, signs, and wonders, we don't worship the miracle, we worship the One from whom it comes. We celebrate the demonstration of His presence.
Jesus referred to "seeing" the glory of God in terms of miracles and the work of redemption through His Cross and resurrection. He spoke of the glory of God in terms of His return to Earth and the end of the age when He will mete out justice to His enemies and reward His friends. He used the glory to describe acts and ideas that confounded His detractors. He said He had the glory in Himself in order to reveal it to the world. You will see His glory as you see Him more clearly.
The glory of God is like that. His glory emanates from His person. The glory is as uncontainable as God Himself. The biblical writers all claimed that His glory fills and ultimately fulfills all of creation. The Seraphim who dwell in God's presence are constantly shouting, "The whole earth is full of His glory!" (Isa. 6:3). The psalmist David wrote, "The heavens declare the glory of God" (Ps.19:1). The prophet Habakkuk said, "...The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Hab.2:14). God transcends time and material. His glory infuses physical space, and rearranges the order of natural creation, to bring forth miracles in supernatural demonstration of His presence.
The spectacle of Golgotha stands center stage for men and angels, demons, principalities and powers in all ages. What happened outside the gate of Jerusalem two thousand years ago is still unfolding. The Cross is a spiritual mission in natural history, creating a human spectacle of supernatural achievement. The absolute completeness of Jesus' atoning work was done according to non-negotiable conditions of righteousness that issues a personal invitation to each of us and has a totally practical application!
We all need to get to know the power and the glory of the Blood that has redeemed us. We see through a glass dimly now, but the spirit world knows exactly what has happened. It has been subjected to the King of Glory and those who bear His name in the shadow of the Cross. From Adam's day until now, the Blood is a voice that silences every argument and vanquishes every opposing force. The Cross is the victory won. The resurrection endorses, proclaims, and demonstrates that victory. So we see the immutable bond between the Cross and the glory.
"Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men; so shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider." (Isaiah 52:13-15)
Through His suffering as a seeming victim, Christ becomes the Victor. That explains human suffering as far as it can be explained. It's the great mystery of the Cross. The Cross challenges our view of life and our fear of death. It demands a review of how we approach life in this world and anticipate life in the world to come. This is the glory of the Cross. We will still be discovering its glory for all eternity.
Radiant From Within
On the day of Christ's appearing, we will be fully united with Him in glory. Actually, we will all be exactly like Him in every single way. The ecstasy we will experience will leave every earthly shadow lying forgotten behind us like disappearing dust.
The Cross is our access to the glory. The power is present and is working in our lives hour by hour. Its Blood provides fellowship and continually draws us into personal intimacy with God. The Blood speaks with a voice of authority. It is the Blood of the Glorious One. It shouts down all other voices. Christ gives His glory to those who are washed in His Blood. This glory is costly. It was paid for at Calvary.
A thousand suns of love, hope, and healing broke through every wound Christ bore in His body, and He invites us into that fellowship to partake of His suffering until the glory of His resurrection is seen rising upon us. From inside out He is revealing His glory, and we find ourselves singing, "Holy, holy, holy!"
Let us draw Him more fully into our hearts and into our everyday lives until we become a temple so filled with His presence that He radiates out through us in love.
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(Used by permission via¬†Destiny Image. To purchase Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda's book, "The Glory of the Cross: Experience the Victory of Jesus in Every Area of Your Life,"¬†click here.)
Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda
Chavda Ministries International
Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda¬†lead Chavda Ministries International, a worldwide apostolic ministry with over three miracle-packed decades of experience. The vision of CMI is to proclaim Christ's Kingdom with power, equip Believers for ministry and usher in revival, preparing for the return of the Lord. They are bestselling authors and, together, pastor All Nations Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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