The Glory of His Presence
We need not wait until heaven to taste of the glory of God.
When we trace the word "glory" throughout the Gospel
of John, we make some interesting observations.
The first time the word glory is found in John's Gospel is
in Chapter 1, verse 14. "And the Word became flesh, and
dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only
begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth" (NASB).
The Bible dictionary offers many descriptive words to define
this word "Glory." Among these are: wide, brightness,
light, rare, beauty, desirable, power. These are human definitions,
but when applied to the word "glory" as presented
in this verse, we realize that this glory is a characteristic
which transcends above and beyond our human reasonings or
For who can adequately describe the vastness, the brightness
of His Light, or the rarity the beauty, the desirability and
power of the Lord? The prophet Isaiah said, "For my thoughts
are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways, declares
the Lord" Isaiah 55:8.
The "Word" which became flesh was none other than
Jesus, the Son of God, who was born of a virgin. In John 1:1
we are told, "In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God." As we traverse
through this first chapter of John, we witness that Divine
Light which penetrated the darkness and shines into the hearts
of mankind, enlightening those who receive Him, the God-Man,
Hundreds of years before Christ was born, Isaiah prophesied
of the glory which would appear to us. "Arise shine;
for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen
upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep
darkness the peoples: But the Lord will rise upon you, And
His glory will appear upon you" Isa 60:1-2.
It may help us to understand this term by examining one of
the most profound prayers found in the Old Testament. The
prayer is short, but potent, and is a prayer that ought to
fall from our lips daily. The events preceding this prayer
are found in Exodus, chapter 19, in a description of a visitation
of the Lord to Mount Sinai. We read that the Lord called to
Moses from the mountain, and Moses went up to commune with
God. After Moses came down from the mountain, on the third
morning, it thundered and lightning flashed and a thick cloud
covered Sinai; and a very loud trumpet sound caused the people
to tremble. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to
meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. "And
the Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mount;
and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mount, and Moses
went up" Exodus 19:20.
We learn from Exodus 33 that Moses continued to have regular
meeting times with God. Moses would go to a tent outside the
camp, and whenever he entered the tent, the pillar of cloud
would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the
Lord would speak with Moses. Thus the Lord spoke to him face
to face, just as a man speaks to his friend" (Exodus
Now for his prayer: "If I have found favor in thy sight,
let me know Thy ways, that I may know Thee, so that I may
find favor in thy sight. Consider too, that this nation is
Thy people" Exodus 33:13.
Notice the Lord's response to Moses in Exodus 33:14: "My
presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest."
And Moses responded, "If Thy presence go with us, do
not lead us up from here." And the Lord said, "I
am going to do what you have asked, Moses, because I have
known you by name."
Here is the heart of Moses's prayer as found in Exodus 33:18.
"Then Moses said, I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!"
Show me Thy glory! With all that Moses had witnessed at Sinai,
yet he prayed, "Show me Thy Glory." And the Lord
said to Moses, stand besides me on the rock, and "while
my glory is passing by, I will put you in the cleft of the
rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by."
He said, Moses, I will let you see my back, but you could
not stand the glory of my unveiled presence.
Now consider the magnitude of John's testimony as we find
it within his gospel: "We beheld His glory." This
is a privilege which was not afforded Moses, but was given
to John and to all those who believe on His Name. The Apostle
Paul elaborates on this truth in 2 Cor chapter 3. He speaks
of the glory of the Lord which was reflected on the face of
Moses, who put a veil over his face that the sons of Israel
might not look upon it, and goes on to say that this same
veil is taken away.
"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.
Moses enjoyed communion with the Lord, heard the thunderings
of His voice and saw the flashes of His appearance; but with
all that, he did not have the privilege that we may have today.
Jesus, the Son of God, manifested in the flesh, continues
to reveal Himself to us that we may share in His glory.
No, I need not wait until I walk on streets of gold to taste
of the glory of the Lord. His glory, the glory of His Presence,
is shared with me as I come to Him, commune with Him, and
linger in His Presence.
He longs to share Himself, His glory. He desires to meet
with us regularly, and to have special times of speaking directly
to our hearts. He will commune with us as with a friend. He
has provided a way of access to Him through His Blood.
But, does He have access to us? The Holy Spirit will help
us to shut out all the noises of the activities of our day
as we open ourselves to Him and draw aside to meet with Him.
Then we will find the gateway to growth and to glory that
leads into the Light of His glorious Presence.