It is not enough to know God exists. If we will live in the awareness of the heavenly, we must be freed from the boundaries of the earthly. To awaken faith, the Holy Spirit will take us through times when the presence of God cannot be clearly discerned. The Lord's goal during these times is to bring to maturity our spiritual senses.
Therefore, do not accept that God has permanently hidden Himself from you, though during trials it may seem so. He is teaching us to see in the dark and to hear in the silence. He is making Himself known to our inner man so that, regardless of outer circumstances, we can continually be led by His Spirit.
To see God, beloved, it is imperative that our vision become spiritual and not just sensory. To hear God, we must learn to tune out the clamor of our fears and earthly desires. The outcome of this inner spiritual working is an increasing perception that nothing is impossible for God. The time of darkness, though it comes as an enemy, actually compels us to seek God more earnestly; we learn to even more revere God's light. Never mistake temporary darkness for permanent blindness, for today's training is the very process that opens us to see God's glory. Ultimately, we will discover the truth of what Isaiah wrote, that "the whole earth is full of [God's] glory" (Isa. 6:3).
Lord, Open Our Eyes!
Did not Moses endure "as seeing him who is invisible" (Heb. 11:27 KJV)? Indeed, the Bible was written by individuals who actually beheld the glory of God. To see the glory of God is our call as well. Our spiritual vision is not an imaginary device of the mind, but that which comes from the living union of the Holy Spirit with our hearts. Did not our Lord promise that the "pure in heart . . . shall see God" (Matt. 5:8)? And is it not reasonable to expect that, if Christ truly dwells within us, we ought to perceive life with unveiled minds? Just as it is written,
"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:18).
Yes, if we remove the veils of sin, shame and self-absorption, if we persist in seeking God, staying focused upon His Spirit and Word, we should expect to see the glory of the Lord. Such open perception is biblical and should be pursued! Yet there are those who say access to greater spiritual realities is a false hope and a heresy. I say, beware of the leaven of the unbelieving Christian. For such people would have you accept religion without vision as though to see God's glory was sin.
Consider how many in the Bible actually saw the glory of the Lord: Abraham saw the Christ's glory while he was in Mesopotamia. Isaiah beheld Him in the year King Uzziah died. Ezekiel fell before the Living One by the river Chebar. David, Habakkuk, Solomon, and Zechariah all saw the glory of the Lord (Acts 7:2; Isa. 6:1; Ezek. 3:23; 2 Sam. 6:2; Hab. 3:3; 2 Chron. 7:1; Zech. 1:8). Moses beheld Him, then Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy Hebrew elders as well. Exodus tells us these men actually "saw the God of Israel." The Bible describes this incredible scene, saying that "under [God's] feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself " (Exod. 24:10). The concluding thought is staggering; it reads, "And they saw God, and they ate and drank" (Exod. 24:11).
Think of it: They beheld God! Could anything be more wonderful? Is there not a jealousy within you for that experience --- to actually gaze upon the God of Israel?
Be assured, to behold the Lord's glory is not only scriptural but typical, especially during the pivotal decades between ages (which is where we are today). The fact is, over six million Israelites saw God's glory on Mount Sinai. Young men, old women, and little children --- people of every age and physical condition --- all saw "the glory of the Lord [as it] rested on Mount Sinai." These same people actually "heard the voice of God" speaking to them (Deut. 4:33)!
Yet, that unveiling of glory did not stop at Sinai. The entire Hebrew nation followed a cloud of glory by day and was illuminated by a blazing pillar of fire-like glory at night. This happened not just once or twice but every day for forty years! How much more shall the Lord of glory manifest Himself to us at the end of the age?
If you are a God-seeker, except for times of darkness when the Spirit refines your spiritual senses, you should expect to see the glory of God! There should be an anticipation that, any day now --- as you enter your prayer room or go for a walk, or in a dream --- the Spirit of God is going to appear to you in some marvelous and life-changing way.
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The preceding message is adapted from a chapter in Francis' book, And I Will Be Found By You. For ordering information, please visit the Arrow Bookstore at www.arrowbookstore.com.
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