Seeing JESUS–experiencing His presence, becomes very important during the Christmas Season–in our gift buying, house decorating. cookie making, house straightening, church activities, etc… But how about God’s GLORY, His manifested presence everyday? Do I really want a spiritual change, a GLORY ATTITUDE in all that I do?
The Attitude of Change During the Christmas Season–
BUT…we are not changed by what we do, but by what we see. Evidently not many of us have seen Him, because there’s something that certainly happens when you are changed from one degree of GLORY to another.
Something dramatic happens when we come in contact with the King of kings, Lord of lords, the real living JESUS. The word “CHANGE” lets me know there’s something better to be had or there’s no need for a change.
OUR “first birth”…
At Christmas, believers reflect on the birth of Jesus in the manger. But do we reflect on our “first birth?”
“Among these we as well as you [I’ll insert my own personal name–“MEL” for the word “you”] once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were the by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:3 AMP).
Wow, that really sounds harsh in the reading: “Totally depraved, dead in trespasses and sin.”
The NATURE we received at our natural birth, the NATURE of father Adam, is corrupt, unable to do a thing to please God. In order for this to CHANGE, there must be a NEW BIRTH–John 3:6-7:
“What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at My telling you, You must all be born anew (from above).”
THE “NEW BIRTH”…
The “NEW BIRTH” is not a “rebirth.” The TWO are totally distinct and separate and always will be.
It’s hard to understand the fact, even after we have been “BORN AGAIN”, there’s the deception of the FLESH remains in the believer. He doesn’t do away with the “old man” but now there are TWO NATURES within me.
The apostle Paul confirmed this in Romans 7:14-17:
 We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin.
 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].
 Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and I take sides with it.
 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.
WE ARE NO MORE OF THIS WORLD WHEN….
When… we RECEIVE Christ Jesus. But the FLESH is still with us and must be dealt with.
In my own life, there has not been one single spiritual experience; but a series of burials and succession of funerals. About the time I think I have the OLD MAN buried, he seems to have the ability to RESURRECT! – “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.”
GOD CALLED MOSES – Exodus 24:12-18:
In EXODUS 24 is where an invitation is given to Moses; calling him up into the mountain (Mt. Sinai) for orientation to teach the LAW.
“There they saw the God of Israel. Under His feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself” – Exodus 24:10 (NLT).
“And the GLORY of the Lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from inside the cloud. To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the GLORY of the LORD appeared at the summit like a consuming fire” – Exodus 24:16, 17 (NLT).
MOSES is taken closer while others remain at a distance. MOSES is instructed on Sinai for 40 days and nights.
Preparation Before Entering God’s Presence…
MOSES prepared himself carefully…before he left the people, he repeated God’s instructions to the people who were all too ready to agree and obey.
But WE are NOT sustained, held up by PROMISES of obedience we make but by His grace. That at first glance may seem to be hard to grasp.
MOSES MADE SACRIFICES…
In a different light from the OT, Hebrews 13 in the NT, refers to a SACRIFICE the believers are to offer constantly and at all times:
“Through Him (Jesus), therefore let us
constantly and at all times offer up
to God a SACRIFICE of praise,
which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and
confess and glorify His name.”
(Hebrews 13:15 AMP)
MOSES made sacrifices because…you and I should make sacrifices because… you don’t approach a holy God without acknowledging His holiness and our sinfulness–FLESH.
Exodus 24:4-8: The 12 Pillars and the Sprinkled Blood
 Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. He rose up early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve pillars representing Israel’s twelve tribes.
 And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.
Our PRAYER should begin before every Sunday AM, “Lord, on this Sunday’s worship and praise, bring to my mind anything that stands between me and You so that I can confess it with my lips to You–acknowledge the forgiveness You have given me through the blood sacrifice of the Cross.”
And YES, there is still plenty of time for fellowship AFTER…the morning services.
APPROACHING CLOSER TO GOD ON THE MOUNTAIN–
As the people approached closer, they see Him without being zapped out of existence.
- The people remained at a distance.
- Moses, Joshua, Nadab, Abihu, Aaron and 70 elders (Exodus 24:9-10) went further up the mountain.
- The Moses and Joshua went up even further!
- Then only Moses went into the cloud of God’s presence!!
GOD invites us to draw near to Him right now! As close as you choose to go.
God won’t direct your steps, your path to glory, unless you get up and start moving.
“Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery]. [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins]. Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant]” (James 4:8-10 AMP).
The Time is Now to Change If We Are to See His Glory…
“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.” ~ Bob Proctor
“Show me Your Glory” (Exodus 33:18).
We’ve all witnessed someone going forward in church, kneeling and praying for a CHANGE of direction; really feeling like ones had touched God in a moment of praise. Only to get up and go right back into the same sinful lifestyle they had been praying about. They had not been CHANGED.
When Moses was granted his request to see GOD’S GLORY and the change that took place, God shielded him from the strongest part–HIS GLORY, HIS MANIFEST PRESENCE:
“And while My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away My hand and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen” (Exodus 33:22-23).
By putting His hand in front of the place Moses stood, all he saw was the afterglow of His glory and change took place.
GOD tells His church the same as He spoke to Moses: “You shall stand upon the rock” (33:21).
“…and the Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4 (b).)
MOSES was so changed to the point that his face had such a GLOW he had to wear a Veil (Ex. 34:29).
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him as He is” (1 John 3:2 NIV).
The AMPLIFIED BIBLE says it this way: “when He comes and is manifested…” We will see His GLORY!
So How Close to God Would You Like to Get?
If we are wanting the CHANGE to take place in our lives, we’re going to have to go beyond just being in His presence.
“THE MOUNT OF TRANSFIGURATION” – (Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2):
We’ve found in looking at the OT, a CLOUD that was the visible token of God’s presence; He came down upon Mt. Sinai in a thick cloud; But we are now come, not to the MOUNT covered with thick blackness and darkness, but to the MOUNT covered with a bright cloud (Matthew 17:5).
Both the OT and the NT had tokens of God’s presence; but that was a DISPENSATION of darkness, and terror, and bondage of the Old Testament. This CLOUD was intended to break the force of that great light (GLORY) that would have overcome the disciples, and have been intolerable; It was like the VEIL which Moses put upon his face when it shone
There came a VOICE out of the cloud…
This was the VOICE of God, who now, as of old, spake in the cloudy pillar (Psalm 99:7; Matthew 17:5).
There was no thunder, or lightning, or voice of a trumpet, as there was when the Law was given to Moses, but only a VOICE–a still small voice.
Not ushered in with a strong wind, or an earthquake, or fire, as when God spake to Elijah. Moses then and Elijah were witnesses that in these LAST DAYS…God will speak to us by His Son in a different way. This VOICE came from the SPLENDID, EXCELLENT, MAJESTIC GLORY:
“For when He (Jesus) was invested with honor and glory from God the Father and a voice was borne to Him by the [splendid] Majestic Glory [in the bright cloud that overshadowed Him, saying], This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased and delight” (2 Peter 1:17 AMP).
Although Jehovah showed Himself to Moses in some peculiar form of manifestation, He never appeared in His own essential GLORY, but only in such a form human weakness could stand (2 Corinthians 3:16).
Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the VEIL is taken away:
“And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the GORY of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for the comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP). *[Note: I capitalized the word GLORY for emphasis.]
So if you are wanting a change to take place in your life–a real presence of Christ and not a pretend presence, it’s evident that you (we) are going to have to go beyond just being in His presence at the foot of the mountain.
A DESIRE that Begins at the Foot of the Mountain–
With a desire to prepare, and to know, when you ask to enter God’s GLORY, you will reflect on Moses’ experience on top of the mountain:
“And when the LORD saw that he (Moses) turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses! And he said, Here am I” (Exodus 3:4).
Is this your answer on during the Christmas Season and beyond? “Here am I.”
AND God said,
“Do not come near; put your shoes off your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground” (verse 5).
ASKING YOURSELF THE QUESTIONS: “Here I am Lord. What’s Next?”
“Am I tired of stale bread crumbs on the church floor as I enter into worship and praise on Sunday mornings?”
“Am I content, comfortable, satisfied at the base of the mountain, or do I want to prepare myself for the climb to the top?”
Bible Translations: New Living Translation (NLT); The AMPLIFIED Bible (AMP).
Photos: Photo Pin