Light Shines in the Darkness
It is not enough to know God exists. If we will live in the awareness of the heavenly, we must be freed from the boundaries of the earthly. To awaken faith, the Holy Spirit will take us through times when the presence of God cannot be clearly discerned. The Lord’s goal during these times is to bring to maturity our spiritual senses.
Therefore, do not accept that God has permanently hidden Himself from you, though during trials it may seem so. He is teaching us to see in the dark and to hear in the silence. He is making Himself known to our inner man so that, regardless of outer circumstances, we can continually be led by His Spirit.
To see God, beloved, it is imperative that our vision become spiritual and not just sensory. To hear God, we must learn to tune out the clamor of our fears and earthly desires. The outcome of this inner spiritual working is an increasing perception that nothing is impossible for God. The time of darkness, though it comes as an enemy, actually compels us to seek God more earnestly; we learn to even more revere God’s light. Never mistake temporary darkness for permanent blindness, for today’s training is the very process that opens us to see God’s glory. Ultimately, we will discover the truth of what Isaiah wrote, that “the whole earth is full of [God’s] glory” (Isaiah 6:3).
Lord, Open Our Eyes!
Did not Moses endure “as seeing him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27 KJV)? Indeed, the Bible was written by individuals who actually beheld the glory of God. To see the glory of God is our call as well. Our spiritual vision is not an imaginary device of the mind, but that which comes from the living union of the Holy Spirit with our hearts. Did not our Lord promise that the “pure in heart . . . shall see God” (Matthew 5:8)? And is it not reasonable to expect that, if Christ truly dwells within us, we ought to perceive life with unveiled minds? Just as it is written,
“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 Corinthians 3:18).
Yes, if we remove the veils of sin, shame and self-absorption, if we persist in seeking God, staying focused upon His Spirit and Word, we should expect to see the glory of the Lord. Such open perception is biblical and should be pursued! Yet there are those who say access to greater spiritual realities is a false hope and a heresy. I say, beware of the leaven of the unbelieving Christian. For such people would have you accept religion without vision as though to see God’s glory was sin.
Consider how many in the Bible actually saw the glory of the Lord: Abraham saw the Christ’s glory while he was in Mesopotamia. Isaiah beheld Him in the year King Uzziah died. Ezekiel fell before the Living One by the river Chebar. David, Habakkuk, Solomon, and Zechariah all saw the glory of the Lord (Acts 7:2; Isaiah. 6:1; Ezekiel 3:23; 2 Samuel 6:2; Habakkuk 3:3; 2 Chronicles 7:1; Zechariah 1:8). Moses beheld Him, then Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy Hebrew elders as well. Exodus tells us these men actually “saw the God of Israel.” The Bible describes this incredible scene, saying that “under [God’s] feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself ” (Exodus 24:10). The concluding thought is staggering; it reads, “And they saw God, and they ate and drank” (Exodus 24:11).
Think of it: They beheld God! Could anything be more wonderful? Is there not a jealousy within you for that experience — to actually gaze upon the God of Israel?
Be assured, to behold the Lord’s glory is not only scriptural but typical, especially during the pivotal decades between ages (which is where we are today). The fact is, over six million Israelites saw God’s glory on Mount Sinai. Young men, old women, and little children — people of every age and physical condition — all saw “the glory of the Lord [as it] rested on Mount Sinai.” These same people actually “heard the voice of God” speaking to them (Deuteronomy. 4:33)!
Yet, that unveiling of glory did not stop at Sinai. The entire Hebrew nation followed a cloud of glory by day and was illuminated by a blazing pillar of fire-like glory at night. This happened not just once or twice but every day for forty years! How much more shall the Lord of glory manifest Himself to us at the end of the age?
If you are a God-seeker, except for times of darkness when the Spirit refines your spiritual senses, you should expect to see the glory of God! There should be an anticipation that any day now — as you enter your prayer room or go for a walk, or in a dream — the Spirit of God is going to appear to you in some marvelous and life-changing way.
“I have become like broken pottery.” Psalm 31:12
The past fifteen months, a huge hammer has repeatedly smashed my world. I once carried my life in a beautiful bowl. A sudden job loss, poor health, and other issues have left what once felt solid in scattered, tiny shards. I didn’t know how to pick up the pieces.
Have you been there? Do I see you nodding?
Contemplating my situation, especially over the past year , I noticed a cross I have hanging next to my fireplace. I bought it years ago at a church festival…long before I turned my widowhood apartment into shades of turquoise. Most of its life it hung outside on a patio. But it matched my sofa now, so…
Who knew God would use it to show me He loves me?
It is a mosaic, made of three or four different china or pottery items that have been smashed into pieces. The artist gathered them together, placed them carefully in the cross mold, and then poured in the plaster of Paris to adhere them into a beautiful design.
What someone else might have swept up and dumped as useless trash, she saw as beauty. She could envision the end product. She arranged the pieces just so, and created something new, and stronger, and with new purpose.
I know I am not the first person to make this analogy. But it reminds me of what Jesus said to his disciples after everyone on the mount had been fed with the fishes and loaves.
“Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted” (John 6:12).
With Christ as my mold, the pieces of my life have been transformed into something new. He knew they’d come together in a wonderful way. But first, they had to be broken to be repurposed. His Spirit has plastered these experiences together and made me stronger than before.
Thank you, Lord that You see the potential in each experience and that You will use it to Your glory and my benefit. Nothing is wasted. As You gathered the pieces of what I once had and began to mold them into my future, I have drawn nearer to you, wrestled with my pride, and learned to lean on the generosity of others. Most of all, I know anew that You are always with me. Amen.