For The Glory

 "As the priests came out of the inner sanctuary, a cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. The priests could not continue their work because the glory of the Lord filled the Temple." I Kings 8:10-11...."We pray for Him to come in His glory, but we need for His glory to come upon the Church." James Robison

 

Two questions arise in my heart as I ponder the words of I Kings 8. First, what would be the response of the 21st century western Church to such a happening as recorded here? Second, do we who are a part of that Church have an expectation of such a thing happening among us at all? 

Robison's words hit far closer to home than any of us would like. As the surrounding culture darkens and the Light that is the Church in many ways grows dimmer, what is it we truly long for? A Christ who comes back in His glory to take us all out of this mess? Or, a Jesus Christ that comes upon His Church with glory and power, bestowing upon it a witness of fire that the world cannot deny....or escape? Which is it that you and I most desire? Which is it that we look for?
Do we look for anything at all?

If we say that it's the latter, His glory coming upon His Church that we most want, what is there about our lives and the life of the Church we're part of that gives it proof? I saw somewhere that it is those who are prepared to worship His glory that will actually behold it. When we gather together, how prepared are we? To what extent have we soaked in His Presence in our day to day living? What degree of intimacy has there been? If such is lacking, I think we can expect little more than bread crumbs in our organized gatherings. We become a people hoping that something will fall off His table for our starving souls. Then, still starving, we walk out, unchanged, unsatisfied, unknowing.

 

Then there comes the question for those of us who are tasked with being leaders of what we call worship. Whatever the priests of the Lord had planned for that day didn't happen. The Lord took over completely. How many preachers and worship leaders would welcome that? How much would our stubborn determination to say what we thought we had to say take precedence over what He would say? How many worship leaders would allow anyone, let alone His Holy Spirit, interrupt the song list so carefully put together? T. Austin-Sparks once said that the modern church doesn't understand anything that isn't fully organized by men, no matter how well meaning. Where does our meticulously crafted organization keep Him from entering in?

Then there's the matter of those who come to our gatherings. There are lots of expectations. How many of them involve a falling of His glory upon the fellowship? Most of what we call worship is so finely tuned that most everyone knows exactly what to expect. Different messages and songs perhaps, but we're locked in a comfortable sameness that is easy on the flesh, but so hard on the spirit. We love to have an emotional lift in these times, but they must only go on for a pre-determined time. After all, we've got other affairs to attend to.

 

Lots of questions here. I make no pretense of having the answers. His glory cannot be manufactured. But it must come. It has to come. We are desperate for His glory to fall upon us whether we know it or not. I believe in these days that it will....for those who are prepared. Will you be among them? Will the fellowship of which you're part? I believe His glory is always falling upon the prepared. Are you, we, prepared?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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