God’s plan for each one of us is about a great future and He has given us the ability to achieve what has already been ordained for us. In continuation to that Lord Jesus has given His glory and peace to us to enable us to receive back all that the devil has taken, all that is rightfully ours. But invariably most believers presume glory to be related to worship and prayer. Living in God given glory is to be totally overwhelmed by the cloud, surrendering completely. It is about taking the storms and the stars in the stride for when He holds the hand everything becomes a cause for rejoicing.
Why do we fail to realize our full potential? – God created the earth and it was ‘tohu va bohu’ translated as ‘without form and void’. As per Jewish sages, however, the words mean ‘a contingent and potential existence’ and ‘darkness was on the face of the earth’ thus hiding the true potential of the created earth. This potential was revealed when the ‘void and formless earth’ produced all plants, animals and beasts and provided material for creation of man. The potential was there but it was only spiritually discernible and the Holy Spirit at God’s commands allowed all that to become visible. This hidden potential is the glory of the earth, the waters and the matter therein. In like manner, man was endowed with glory in the Garden of Eden, where Eden means pleasure, and he was to rejoice till eternity in the presence of God. All was ‘good’ till sin entered and that glory and potential was lost to the devil and this was finally restored to us when Lord Jesus endowed us with His glory.
How can Lord Jesus being God give His glory to us? – Lord Jesus in His prayer to God the Heavenly Father declared, ‘And the glory which You gave Me I have given them’ but before that He prayed, ‘And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory that I had with You before the world was’ (John 17:22 & 5). Lord Jesus is fully Divine and fully human, He was, is and will remain so till eternity. Before taking on the form of a human being, ‘He emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men’ and the New Living Translation clarifies further, ‘instead, He gave up His Divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form’ (Philippians 2:7).
Lord Jesus is the Son of God but in fulfillment of the Divine plan of redemption declared earlier (Genesis 3:15) He became the ‘seed of woman’ to redeem His created beings. In His human form, He did not stop being God but He entered into human form in the glory of man in which Adam was created, totally sinless and in tune with the will of God’. Lord Jesus in the glory of Second Adam assumed authority and control over everything on the earth and being born sinless, like Adam in the Garden of Eden, had authority over all demonic forces (Genesis 1:28). This is the authority and glory that we receive from Him as believers.
But what is glory? – Hebrew word ‘kabod/kavod’ and Greek word ‘doxa’ are translated as ‘glory, honor, an especially Divine quality or unspoken manifestation of God’s splendor’. It implies ‘inherent, intrinsic value/weight or worth’ and the ‘weight of glory’ referred to by Apostle Paul means the enhancement of that worth (2 Corinthians 4:17). When referred to God it is about His beauty and radiance. Referring to man Job refers to this as a bow that is perennially new and its effect on others was awe inspiring (Job 29:20-25). And glory is like a weapon that is heavy. ‘Kavod’ is also used to represent wealth (Genesis 31:1) and it also implies quantity or splendor (Genesis 45:13). All these words complement the root meaning ‘glory’ or dignity. God’s glory gets actualized at the human birth of Lord Jesus and He as Son of God manifested God’s glory through His life as man on earth (Luke 2:9).
God’s glory is manifest in various other ways also in the world. His glory is seen in the plagues and other miracles (Numbers 14:22); in the pillar of cloud (Exodus 16:10); in the Tabernacle (Exodus 29:43); in the fire initiating the sacrificial system (Leviticus 9:23-24); in the Temple (Isaiah 6:1-5). Finally God’s glory will be revealed and rest in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:11 & 23).When we recognize God’s glory or read of giving glory to God or glorifying Him, we do not add to His Divine glory and it does not in any way depend on our recognition. The seraphim cried out, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory’ (Isaiah 6:3). They only declared a statement of fact and ‘kavod’ in itself is a confession of His Divine Majesty and through this we get to experience the glory given to us by God.
Meaning of God’s glory to me and you – It defines my position in the created world where I am not on top but I live to serve One who is greater than me. Those coming into Jerusalem, while singing praises to the LORD God are questioned by those inside, ‘Who is this King of glory?’ (Psalm 24:8). This King of glory, ‘Melek hakkavod’ is worthy and is the remedy for my pride in self. Second, my confession of God’s glory realigns my thoughts and actions toward dependence on God. Not only do I serve Him but I am dependent on Him and the ‘King of glory’ decides my place in my life and I must be content with His decisions. Third, the revealed glory of God teaches me to revere and fear Him for He is not my friend and getting into His presence must be with ‘fear and trembling’. Finally, His glory fills us with awe and amazement. I could never ever attain to His level but He comes down to my level in His grace and this grace is surrounded by His Divine glory that lights up the darkest places. Heavens and the earth testify to the Creator’s glory and knowledge about Him can be discerned through His creation (Psalm 19:1-10).
How do we receive glory from the Savior Lord? – James, and the other brothers of Lord Jesus ‘did not believe in Him’ (John 7:5) but after meeting the Risen Lord, James declared that He gives us birth through the ‘word of truth’ (James 1:18). Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to Lord Jesus and praised Him as a Rabbi, teacher from God, recognized God’s presence with the Lord and His great deeds. Reading his mind, He was told by the Lord to be born again ‘of water and the Spirit’. This is interpreted as baptism and thereafter our receiving of the Holy Spirit. But that is not what the Word says. James’ version of new birth seems to be different from the Redeemer’s word, but it is not so. The Samaritan woman on the well was told of this ‘water’ that once it is given by the Lord, it ‘will become in her a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life’ (John 4:14).
Lord Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, is the Word, He became flesh and in Him is life (John 1:1-4 & 14). The Word must first receive me unto Himself like He received the Samaritan woman for only then can I receive from Him, the water that gives life. As per Scripture, ‘He needed to go through Samaria’ to bless the woman and her village (John 4:4). God’s grace is manifest through the Holy Spirit who leads me unto the Living Word to enable me to reach my God given potential. Faith itself is a gift from the Holy Spirit and without His guidance one can read the Scripture, remember and recite it without believing the truth therein (1 Corinthians 11:9).
Once I am led by the Holy Spirit to Lord Jesus and I believe and accept Him as my Savior, the Word of Truth takes residence in me to give me new birth. It is only then do I declare to myself and to others about the Word and changes in my life. The ritual of baptism is my declaration about my relationship with Lord Jesus and this in no way affects the Lord who has already taken me into Himself and then come into me. His coming into me is what gives me new birth and the ‘fountain of water’ springs up. This fountain then overflows from within me to others, like the Samaritan woman crying out to others, ‘He told me all that I ever did’ and many believed in Him on the basis of her testimony alone (John 4:39). The fountain equipped the woman to lead others to the source and not to self and then ‘many more believed because of His own word’ (John 4:40-42).
On the Day of Pentecost the Word, who had received the disciples to Himself, transferred into them and Apostle Peter boldly preached the Word and the ‘fountain of water’ flowed out. The gifts of the Holy Spirit were further revealed to the people, the priests, captain of the Temple and the Sadducees who marveled at the boldness of Apostles Peter and John, who were ‘uneducated and untrained’ and ‘they realized that they had been with Jesus’ (Acts 4:13). The fountain flowed out of Nicodemus to challenge the Jewish leaders’ decision to arrest Lord Jesus, to say, ‘Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?’ (John 7:50-51). He finally overcame his fear of being ostracized by the Jews and joined Joseph of Arimathea by bringing, about 100 pounds of ‘myrrh and aloe’ for burial of His Lord (John 19:39).
We receive new birth and the glory of the Second Adam, not by baptism but by being taken in by the Word and then His coming into us as ‘water of life’. Without the Word, the Holy Spirit would keep on hovering over the darkness within us and ‘light’ will only shine with the Word of God. The criminal on the cross heard His prayer of forgiveness for the Jewish leaders, believed and received Him and condemned the other criminal. The Word received him and heard his earnest prayer, ‘Lord, remember me’ to bless him with the assurance, ‘Today you will be with Me in paradise’ (Luke 23:34 & 43).
Finally, Lord Jesus’ Divine glory will be revealed to us and we will stand in His Godly light (Romans 8:17-18 & Revelation 21:23). The Risen Lord breathed on the disciples ‘and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:22) and with this they received new life as Adam had received the breath of life and the pile of dust ‘became a living being’ (Genesis 2:7). It was only then that the hidden potential of the ‘uneducated and untrained’ disciples was revealed and the Jewish leaders were amazed and then ‘realized that they had been with Jesus’. His glory and new birth was given, with the Holy Spirit, who then led the disciples to ‘shake the earth’.
Effects on our life of glory of Lord Jesus – The Greek word ‘didomi’ meaning give is not about one time giving completed action but a continuous giving work. Secondly, though Lord Jesus speaks of a future event as if it has already happened but He does not say this for the people He is praying for. He does not say that they are already glorified for He clarifies that they are still in this world. He desires, though, that they be ‘with Me where I am’ ((John 17:11; 22 & 24). Third, the glory He gives is for causing effect in this world, ‘that they may be one as We are one’ and this will be fully affected in future when the Church, His body, in its glorified state will be seen in perfect unity. Fourth, This glory that Lord Jesus has given is not about the final glory of vr 24 but is for our union with one another and with the Father and the Son ((John 17:22).This glory that He has given us is about our joining with Him in a common spiritual life, through the indwelling Holy Spirit. This oneness is for further revealing His glory in our deeds to overcome the temptations of the devil ‘that they may be made perfect in one’.
God promised that, ‘it shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil’ (Isaiah 10:27). Lord Jesus gives the glory as an anointing which in Old Testament was only for the king, priest and the prophet. This is in fulfillment of the prophesy about the Holy Spirit being poured out on all flesh and not some select few (Joel 2:28). Prophet Elisha saw his mentor, Prophet Elijah being taken up into heaven by a chariot of fire with horses of fire, tore his own clothes in two, took up the mantle of Prophet Elijah and hit and parted the waters of river Jordan and crossed over (2 Kings 2:11-14). The hidden potential was already placed in him by the LORD and it got activated by the Holy Spirit. The more I use this gift, the more I receive, for without use I bear no fruit and it is like burying the ‘talent’ in the dust for safe keeping and losing it.
Our full capacity is only realized in and through our union with Lord Jesus and not otherwise. ‘God worked unusual miracles by the hands of (Apostle) Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them’ (Acts 19:11-12). Glory given through the anointing by the Holy Spirit leads us to do such miraculous deeds. Prophet Elisha died and was buried and out of fear of the Moabite raiders, people who were burying another dead person pushed the dead body into Elisha’s tomb. As the dead body touched Elisha’s bones, ‘he revived and stood on his feet’ (2 Kings 13:20-21).
‘A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength’. Lack of knowledge will cause weakness and this is clarified that ‘If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small’ (Proverbs 24:5 & 10). If I am not fully aware of what I have received from the Savior Lord, then I will remain weak and will be easily overpowered by the devil, despite the fact he is placed under my power in Lord Jesus name. There is no way that one can then achieve all, that he is destined to achieve in his life. We join the Savior Lord in His mission for we are sent by Him in the same manner as God the Father had sent Him (John 17:18). The glory of Adam is given back and the task remains the same, ‘dominate the earth and subdue it’ by making disciples of all nations (Genesis 1:28). God the Father has ‘blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Lord Jesus’ and in this way we are fully empowered to do His will.
His glory, His power, life given by Him, sustained and strengthened by Him and we have to just obey Him and remain in the victory that He has achieved for us. Letters to each of the seven churches, end with an expected reward to ‘the one who overcomes’. God recognizes that hidden potential is there in each one of us to overcome the devil’s temptations and fulfill our destiny. Our life appears to be ‘tohu va bohu’ to others but to God it is the hidden inherent potential in us to achieve great heights. My responsibility is to seek and follow the guidance and empowerment of God through new life in the Son of God. What an awesome blessing!!