Moses was one such a passionate person who chased after the Glory of God. He prayed, "Please show me Your Glory" (Exodus 33:18). The fact that God answered his prayer is proof that God is willing to hear and answer our cries for His Glory. The backdrop to Moses' prayer is strategically important. A number of significant events preceded this prayer which deserve our attention. Few men in the Bible had encounters with God's Glory like Moses did. It all began the day that Moses saw a bush that was burning in the wilderness but wasn't comsumed.
Let's review his encouters with God's Glory and power:
- At the burning bush encounter, he heard God's audible voice ordering him to take his shoes off because he was standing on holy ground. God proceeded to call him verbally to lead His people from Egypt to the promised land. (Exodus 3)
- He threw his rod down, and it became a serpent; then he picked the serpent up by the tail, and it was a rod again. (Exodus 4:1-5)
- He put his hand into his bosom, pulled it out, and it was leprous; he returned his hand into his bosom, and when he withdrew it again, it was healthy. (Exodus 4:6-7)
- He watched ten fearful plagues invaded Egypt: blood, frogs, lice, flies, pestilence, boils, hails, locusts, darkness and death. (Exodus 7 to 11)
- A protective misty cloud clung breathlessly to the ground between Israel and Egypt's army while a fierce gale blew over the adjacent sea, dividing the waters. (Exodus 14:19-21)
- They walked through the sea, on dry ground, with a wall of water on this side and that. (Exodus 14:22)
- On the opposite shore they watched as the sea returned upon itself, killing Pharoah's entire army. (Exodus 14:26-28)
- The bitter waters of Marah were made potable by casting a piece of wood into the waters. (Exodus15:25)
- Manna from heaven appeared on the ground, and water poured forth from a rock when Moses struck it. (Exodus 16 to 17:7)
- Then, they came to the mountain where God Himself descended in fire and a thick cloud. Huge plumes of smoke billowed into the sky, there was lightning and thunder, the entire mountain shook ... and they heard the voice of God Himself. Then, He said to Moses, "Come on up!" Moses climbed the mountain at God's command and lived for two sets of forty days in the fire of God's Glory upon the mountain. (Exodus 19)
Then Moses asked to be shown God's Glory, and God showed him His back. (Exodus 33:12-23)
The above chronology is the general increase of intensity in Moses' encounters with God's Glory. The progression launches with his seeing a burning bush and culminates in his seeing God's back. There are varying degrees of intensity of Presence, and there are varying degrees of intensity of Glory. For example, when we praise Him together, the Lord sits enthroned among His people. This dimension of His presence is so palpable that we can often sense His presence with us as we worship Him together. And then we enter that sphere where we move from the Presence Realm to the Glory Realm. (The Glory Realm or The Glory Zone were discussed in the last 2 posts)
What Exactly Is The Glory Realm? When we ask to be shown His Glory (personal or corporate), what are we asking for? In Moses' encounters we see two-fold description:
The first aspect of Glory - is found in His words "I will make all My goodness pass before you" (Exodus 33:19); where it is perceived by one or more of the five senses. It is an encounter where you literally see, hear, smell, taste, or actually feel spiritual realities. (We have discussed these tangible manifestations in the last 3 posts on The Shekinah Glory of God)
The second aspect of Glory - is described in the Lord's next phrase of verse 19, "And I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you." God was saying, "Moses, I am going to proclaim My name before you in such a way that it goes beyond a physical hearing and becomes a true spiritual hearing. It's not just a sensory experience, but it's also an experience whereby the Holy Spirit supernaturally enables us to comprehend spiritual truth in our inner man so that we might know Him a greater and deeper dimension. Wow!
The two-fold definition of Glory is consistent with the apostle John's experience (as well as many others in the Bible). As per his account in Revelation 1, John literally saw the risen Christ with his natural eyes, but the experience didn't stop there. Jesus then proclaimed His name to John: "I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." (Revelation 1:8, 18). John's heart must have nearly exploded with the revelation insight of Christ's words as He spoke these awesome truths straight into John's spirit. John not only saw and heard, he also understood. This Is Glory - the invasion of God's reality into the human sphere!
(An extract from GLORY - When Heaven Invades Earth by Bob Sorge)
As a worshiper, you will always be grateful for His Presence, but you'll never be satisfied until you touch His Glory. The church was birthed in Glory! Right from the beginning at Acts 2, God breathed Glory into the DNA of what our coporate identity is all about. We were created for Glory (Isaiah 43:7). You've been promised Presence, but Glory is in your genetics.
Blessings - TPWC