Summary: This sermon will help you understand what the glory of God is and how to experience it in your life. Christ in you means from one level of glory to another level of glory. It means experiencing His glory here on earth, to experiencing the greatest dimension of His glory in eternity.
There is a difference between knowledge and experience. You may know about the fastest car in the world, that doesn’t mean you have experienced what it is like to be driven in the fastest car in the world. You may know about the tallest building in the world, but you haven’t experienced what it feels like to be in the tallest building in the world. Knowledge is different from experience.
In 1 John 1:1, John helps us understand the difference between knowledge and experience. Talking about his personal experience with Jesus, John says ‘That which was from the beginning, which we have HEARD, which we have SEEN with our eyes, which we have LOOKED upon, and our HANDS HAVE HANDLED concerning the word of life.’ You could have heard about something or someone on the pulpit or on the news, you could have seen and looked at pictures of someone or something in books, on the news and on the internet, all that is in the realm of knowledge; you are simply acquiring knowledge about that person or thing. It is when your hands have handled that person or thing that you have entered into the realm of experience; you know what it is to be around that person, you know what it feels like to use that thing. Real Christianity is about practical experience with a Living God.
When God says this year is the year of God’s glory, God doesn’t want us to just hear about the glory of God on the pulpit or through the internet, He doesn’t want us to have a mere theoretical knowledge of the glory of God. Like John said in 1 John 1:1, God wants us to be able to say ‘our hands have handled’; we have actually experienced the glory of God.
When God says this is the year of His glory, what God is saying is that we will experience:
• MIGHTY MANIFESTATIONS OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD: In 2 Chronicles 5:1-14, when Solomon finished building the temple of the Lord, the priests brought the ark of the covenant into the temple, the trumpeters and singers praised the Lord, and the temple was filled with the glory of God such that the priests couldn’t even enter the temple to minister. What they experienced was a mighty manifestation of the presence of God. My prayer for us this year is that in our homes and whenever we gather together, may we experience mighty manifestations of the presence of God.
• SPECIAL DIVINE PROTECTION: In Zechariah 2:5, the Lord says He will be a wall of fire all around Jerusalem and He will be the glory in her midst. Isaiah 58:8 tells us of the glory of God being our rear guard. God protects us from behind with His glory. We can’t see our back, when God says His glory shall be our rear guard, it is His way of telling us that He protects us from unseen dangers; from so many things we can’t see and aren’t aware of. It’s much easier to look forward than to look backwards. It’s uncomfortable to always have to keep looking back to see what’s behind. When God says His glory shall be our rear guard, God is saying don’t bother yourself about who’s talking about you behind your back, which evil arrow is coming at you from behind. The glory of God is protecting you from behind and His glory will deal with whatever danger is at your back.
When Moses prayed to God ‘please show me your glory’ let me know what your glory is all about, let me experience your glory, God said while my glory passes by, I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by (Exodus 33:18-22). In this dangerous times that we live in, where there are all manner of sickness, diseases and viruses out there, may God hide us in the cleft of the Rock of Ages and cover us with His hand.
David was a man that escaped many arrows, traps and enemy attack. In Psalm 3:1-3, he said those who trouble him have increased, his enemies are so many, but the Lord is a shield for him, His Glory, the One who lifts up his head. David experienced divine protection through the glory of God. I don’t know how many people, how many enemies, demons and forces of darkness are troubling you. May the glory of God be a shield around you and a defence from anything they plan to do to harm you.
• THE POWER OF GOD TO TURN THINGS AROUND – In John 11:39-40, when they were at the tomb of Lazarus and Jesus said take the stone away. Martha interrupted him by saying ‘Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days’. Martha was saying you don’t seem to understand the situation on ground. My brother has been dead for four days. What could possibly happen now? It’s too late for anything to be done. Jesus answered her by saying ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’ Jesus’ response to her was that if you believe, even if he has been dead four days; even if it is a hopeless situation, the power of God can turn that situation around. May the glory of God turn things around for us. When the glory of God manifests, the power of God brings dead things back to life. May the glory of God manifest in our lives and cause every ‘Lazarus’ in our lives, every hopeless situation, everything that is dead in our lives, family, church and nation to come back to life in Jesus mighty name. Amen!