Proverbs 25:2: It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. (ESV)
The glory of God is about his prestige, his power, his ability, how incomparable he is. The glory manifested in the realm of the physical as light and fire. Glory is the extraordinary expression of God, as perceived by men. There is light-glory and the fire-glory.
Paul was struck down by a light when he was on a persecution spree of Christians to Damascus (Acts 9:1-15). He was bowled by his achievement in Jerusalem. But God stopped him in his tracks.
He heard the voice of Jesus after seeing the mighty light from heaven which knocked him to the ground, knocked his sight out of him and knocked spiritual sense into him as he thereafter stopped his madness of violence against the church. He needed the light because his heart was darkened against the truth of Jesus Christ. The glory of God interrupted his life, and he was committed, from that time on, to its propagation, to spread the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 2:14). Light-glory is manifested in knowledge. Paul said that God caused the light of the knowledge of God to shine in his heart (2Corinthians 4:6).
Jesus bears the glory of God. In him was life and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-7). When angels said that all the earth is full of God’s glory, it means that they manifest his light and life, being revelations of who he is.
Paul wrote to the Romans that though God is invisible, he is clearly understood by the things that are made, which reveals his eternal power and Godhead (Romans 1:20).
To not have light is to be in darkness. The light-glory, does not just show who God is, it also shows us direction. The children of Israel benefitted from the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire, charting for a them a path of freedom as they journeyed from the bondage of Egypt to freedom in the land of Canaan (Numbers 14:14).
David prayed: Lord, send forth your light, let it guide me to your tabernacle, O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles (Psalm 43:3).
The sense of direction that we gain from the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of light-glory. As many as are led by the Holy Spirit are sons of God (Romans 8:14). The Holy Spirit spoke in Acts 13, saying that it was time for the duo of Paul and Barnabas to embark on a major gospel thrust. They received the light of “direction” to release the same to the people they will meet.
Elisha experienced extraordinary light and gave the same to others (2Kings 6:8-18), telling them things he knows supernaturally. He was able to tell the king of Israel exactly what his archenemy was planning against him. What he did in secret was as plain as daylight to him. Operating in that extraordinary light, he does not get confused or get affected by what affects others because he has higher sight. When a batch of the enemy came after him, he was unfazed while his servant could not stop shouting in panic. The light-glory made the difference.
Isaiah experienced the purifying fire of the glory of God. An angel took the coal of fire from the altar before God and puts it in his mouth, to clean his mouth, and so that his words will carry fire.
That is also the glory type that John the Baptist said Jesus was going to manifest as fire to purge us, baptising us with the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 3:16). In the book of Malachi, Jesus was called the refiner’s fire and the fowler’s soup (Malachi 3:1-3).
Moses encountered the fire-glory in the wilderness and there he connected with the divine mandate for his life. It shifted him from being a shepherd to a leader of men, a prophet of God. It was a radical transformation to achieve the divine mandate.
Therefore the fire-glory is not just to purify, it is also to generate energy to push forward the agenda of God through you on this earth.
Moses saw a bush on fire without being burned, and in the second chapter of the book of Acts we saw another fire, which transformed ordinary men to powerful witnesses to Jesus (Accts 1:8). It is the fire of God manifesting in humans, the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus had told the disciples that they should wait for him in Jerusalem for some time to be endowed with power from on high so that they might be his witnesses to the ends of the earth, so they can represent him. Similarly, Moses was to represent God in the land of Egypt and that was activated in his fire experience of God.
Fire powers us as we embark on the divine purpose, just as the burning fire drives the rocket more and more upwards. It also serves to burn up the opposition in your way up to fulfilling the purpose of God.
The fire-glory manifests against the enemy of God or the disobedient. When two sons of Aaron offered strange fire, which they were not authorised to offer before God, fire came before the presence of God and killed them (Luke 10:1-2).
We need to be on the right side of the fire of God, we need the fire that purifies, the fire that sets us apart, the fire that drives us on in the will of God.
That fire is the positive passion, the active love of God. Note that Jesus said that in the last days the love of many shall wax cold, lacking in fire (Matthew 24:12) and John warned against our loving the world which will work to reduce the love of God (John 2:15-17).
The lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life, all connive to put down the positive fire of passion for God, which the Holy Spirit shed in our heart.
Paul wrote that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us. God does not trust us to love him on our own initiative, sin had damaged us to that extent, and through the Holy Spirit, we have the love of God established in us, we have God working in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
We are called to be glory bearers. The more we are emptied of ourselves the more we will bear the glory, Jesus was emptied of himself and bore the glory of God on the earth (Philippians 2:5-11), we are to empty ourselves to bear God’s glory.
- Methodological Challenges (arpaget.typepad.com)
- Letting the Holy Spirit Lead (dailybibleplan.com)
- Alone… but Not Alone (histruthwillsetyoufree.wordpress.com)
- He saved us (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)