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Please, Show Me Your Glory

In Ephesians 3 we find a beautiful and deep prayer by Paul. We will dive into its depths at another time, but I wanted to focus on one aspect of it.

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” (Eph 3:16)

Paul was asking that the believers of Ephesus would be strengthened in the inner man by the person of the Holy Spirit. Take note of something of crucial importance: the strengthening was “according to the riches of His glory.” Why is this important? What is the glory of God anyway? Let’s take a look at it in the Greek to get a better understanding.

doxa = “opinion, judgment, splendour, brightness.” As we can see the word has a variety of meanings. But I suppose we can say it can mean the “weight” of God Himself. It is the unveiling of the very essence of the living God to us mortals.

One of the first people in the Bible to experience God’s glory was Moses. In fact, his life was marked by the glory. When God first called to Moses it was through a burning bush.

Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. (Exodus 3:1-3)

Moses would see God’s glory on the mountain when he received the ten commandments. Lastly, God’s glory (presence) was promised to Moses as he would lead the Israelites into the promised land.

There is an interesting exchange between God and Moses in Exodus 33. Again, this is right before Moses would have brought the Israelites into the promised land.

Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

And He said, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’

Then he said to Him, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

So the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.’

And he said, ‘Please, show me Your glory.’

Then He said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’ But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.’” (Exodus 33:12-23)

The first thing Moses said (even declared!) “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” Moses recognized that he needed God’s glory to be with him and strengthen him. After God assured Moses that His presence would indeed go with him, Moses pressed further “Please, show me Your glory.” Now get this: Moses knew that he needed a personal experience with God’s glory to sustain him.

The same is true with us. Each of us desperately needs a personal encounter with God’s glory. We need our own personal burning bush and each of us needs the mountain top experience. And this is the true essence of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3. Ask God to show you His glory. Be as bold as Moses. No, be even bolder! If we are to go forward we need to see His glory in a unique, personal way. Not sure about you but I am not satisfied with merely reading about others experiencing God’s glory. I know it is for me – and you!

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