Chasing the Glory of God
by Sue Mead
Once we have tasted, seen, or been in the midst of the Glory of God, nothing else satisfies what our souls are hungry for. The Glory is tangible. The Glory can be felt. People are made for God's glory. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were covered and filled with God's glory. Everything is good in the Glory.
The Hebrew word that is translated as "glory" is "kabowd". It means: weight, splendor, copiousness, according to Strong's. What does the weight of God's glory mean?
Once years ago, I was bringing a carload of youth home from retreat. We were following another car full of teens, coming from the same retreat. It was before cell towers were everywhere and we were traveling through a very rural place. The other driver flashed the lights of her car, our signal to pull over so we could communicate. We were almost home, in fact going down the exit ramp from the highway. I was thinking, "We are almost home. Couldn't what she needed to tell me wait for another 10 minutes?" When she pulled her car along side of mine, the car doors were flung open, and two teen-age boys, usually quiet and gentle mannered, jumped out of the car and pointed up to the sky. They were almost out of control, yelling, Do you see them? Do you see the angels?" "No," I thought. As I yelled over to the pastor, "Wish I did." I looked up to see one of the boys kneel down, with his head to the pavement, worshipping God. I also saw the headlights of an oncoming car. The last thing I remember thinking was, "I need to get him up out of the road before that car gets any closer. At that very moment, something hit my shoulder (Maybe one of those angels.) and I flew backward about five feet and landed in a ditch. I couldn't move or talk. I heard the car stop, and a voice yelled out of the opened window."What's going on here?" The teen answered, "It's God. There are angels everywhere!" She replied to him, "And what about that woman in the ditch??" He laughed, "God is all over her." She rolled up her window, hit the gas, and left. My friends ran over to me and tried to pick me up out of that ditch. Now, I know I'm a little overweight, but the weight of glory on me was heavy. It took a bunch of those high school students, to lift me up and stuff me in the van. I was stiff as a board and couldn't bend. And I was heavy, very heavy. They took me home and we prayed until daybreak: For our city, for our region, for our state, and for our country. That was my introduction to the weightiness of God's glory. So heavy that it took a team to lift me, so light I felt like I could fly away. So heavy that I couldn't function physically, so bright I could see dimensions away. So full of splendor, I never wanted that night to end. So forceful, it caused most of those teens never to get far from God. The glory of God that night changed all of our lives forever. These are wonderful memories. A memorial stone in my mind to go back to and every time I think or talk about that day, I burn with the fire of God inside. And the presence of God always fills the atmosphere wherever I am.
Ex. 14:19-20 reads, "And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night."
Guiding the Israelites
The Glory of God was in the cloud that guided the Israelites from the land of Egypt. The glory is protection for us, just as it was for the Israelites. The cloud protected and provided a shade from the harsh sun in the daytime for the Israelites as they journeyed through the wilderness. The Glory protects us today from the harshness of the elements around us. The cloud hid the Israelites from their enemy and kept them from being destroyed. The enemy often lies to us and tries to convince us that the darkness will overtake us. That he will win. In this place of contrast, the darkness can be very dark, while the light is very light. It is a place of great spiritual conflict. The Glory protects us from our enemies and hides us in the shadow of His wings. The cloud was light that pointed out the way of escape and made possible a crossing over for the escaping Israelites. The Glory lights our way and shows us the path ahead. "This is the way, walk in it". (Is. 30:21) We need the Glory of God to protect us and show us the way.
Ex. 19:16 "Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled."
Sound comes from the glory of God. Musical instruments prophesy. The Spirit of God sings through their music. As we worship, the sound plays across the strings of our hearts, causing our worship to our Creator to intensify. Our hearts awaken to Him. We are taken up in the realms of His presence, where nothing else matters except being with Him. In the Glory, there is the maturing of our spiritual senses. The illumination from the Glory of God reveals things to us in dimensions that were previously hidden from us. We become totally and completely sold out, surrendered, and absorbed by Him. Praise erupts and shouts of joy cannot be stopped. Prayer is like a breath, and revelation flows easily. The noise of our songs rises like a weapon of warfare. The fear of the Lord increases as He reveals what is really inside of us. Ps 110:10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom". Prov. 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge." So with the increase of the fear of the Lord is the increase of wisdom and knowledge. Intimacy with the Lord grows in the Glory. He is the Glory. We are in Him and He is in us, in a tangible way. We need the Glory of the Lord to bind us together in unity.
Atmosphere of the Glory of God
The Lord once gave me a vision of a flower opening up in a greenhouse, where the atmosphere is conducive to rapid growth. He showed me that our hearts are like that flower, closed up until the sun gives warmth and encouragement to open up. When we are in the atmosphere of the Glory of God, our spirits are opened up as we enter into the joy of the Lord. Revelation can be deposited in the very inner core of our being. Then, as the flower closes up at nightfall, the seed of the Word can be insulated in order to germinate. When we receive direct revelation from the Lord Himself, we can always go back to that place in our inner man as a memorial stone, to encourage us to chase the Glory. When we seek Him, we are promised that we will find Him.
1 Kings 8:10-11, "And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD."
When the Glory fills the house of the Lord, it overwhelms us. Our plans go out the window. All that is important is Him. Silence can be deafening. Supernatural stillness invades the atmosphere. You can hear a pin drop. Sometimes so intense, not even babies cry out. The air becomes electrified with the Glory. Senses are heightened, spiritual eyes are opened, spiritual ears are unblocked, the perfume of heaven takes over our nostrils. Fatigue is exchanged for abundant energy. When our homes are filled with the Glory of the Lord, our children are in peace. When we, as individuals are filled with the Glory, we can have peace in the midst of turbulence. God stretches us out, like a tent. He fills us up with light. We live in perilous times. God knew what He was doing when He placed us in this generation. But if we don't keep our lives filled with the Glory, our lights grow dim and we can't find our way, let alone light the way for others who are lost. We need the Glory for holiness to the Lord. "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:" (Heb. 12:14)
Transformed in the Glory
In the Glory, we are transformed. Hearts are healed. Bodies become whole. Minds are stabilized. Addictions are broken. Demons flee. The impossible is now logical. Dreams are resurrected from the ashes of disappointment. The breath of God brings new life to destiny. The plans of the enemy are torn down and new plans of success are drawn up. In the Glory, we are given strength to go on to victory. We can never leave the place of His Glory the same way that we came in.
"And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle." (Ex. 33:8-11)
May God give us the grace to chase the Glory until we are in the thick of His Cloud. May we be like Joshua, found in the midst of His presence, in the midst of His Glory, as we are being conformed to His image, from the inside out. Glory to God in the Highest!