Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Glory Series : What is the Glory?

About a year and a half after I got saved, I experienced God's Glory for the first time in a tangible way. I remember worshiping the Lord in a prison cell, just loving on Him, when suddenly my hands started tingling all over in an awesome way. As I continued to worship Him, the tingling sensation increased more and more, moved up my arms and intensified greatly. Waves of what can only be described as incredible peace began to wash over me. Wave after wave. This experience lasted for about half an hour and has been followed by dozens upon dozens of similar experiences, some longer, some not so long. Sometimes His Glory has been more intense and other times not so intense. Each time I've encounter His presence, I've received a greater desire to want to know Him more. His presence is incredible, amazing and beautiful and better than any high that this world has to offer.

What is the Glory and it's purpose? Can we as believers, experience God's glory and learn to walk in it? First, let's find out what the Glory is, through the Word of God. One of the original herbrew words used to describe "Glory", is "Shekinah". The definition of the Shekinah Glory is God's heavy, weighty presence. God's glory, is His presence and whenever we read of God's presence within the pages of the bible, we're reading of God's Glory. His Glory is heavy and weighty and can be experienced and felt, by our five physical senses in a tangible way, Just as I did and continue to do, to this day.

Another time, I was worshiping the Lord in prison, with a couple of my fellow Christian friends. As we worshiped God, His presence just seemed to manifest in a very tangible way. The very atmosphere was thick with His presence. Suddenly the cell door opened and a prison officer came in asking after me. As he entered the cell, it was like he walked into a wall of God's thick weighty Glory. He was experiencing God's Glory, but didn't know what to make of it. He shook his head with a very confused look on his face, sort of stammered something and walked out of the cell. Glory to God!! When we get consumed with His presence it saturates us and overflows and even affects the unsaved around us.

When I experienced His Glory, I also experienced His peace, which is part of His Character. In the book of Exodus (33:18), Moses asks the Lord to see His Glory and in return, God let's all His goodness pass before Him. God's goodness, is related to His character and nature and encompassed within God's Glory is the very essence of who He is. What is God's nature? His nature is love, peace (I experienced His peace within His Glory), joy, compassion, mercy, grace and all the qualities that are found in His character. God's Glory is God Himself and when we experience His Glory, we're encountering the very God of the universe who created us and loves us.

So, God's glory, is His very presence, which is tangible and also His character and nature, which is who He is. The Glory of God is also described as a cloud and also as a fire. 1 kings (8:11) tells us "the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud, for the Glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah" The ark of the covenant contained God's glory, His presence. The ark of the covenant was kept inside the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. When the israelites moved the tent of meeting in the day, the cloud of God's Glory would cover it. When they moved it in the night, it would be covered by the fire of God's glory. The fire and the cloud spoken of in the bible are also representative of God's awesome Glory. To recap, the Glory is God's presence, His character and nature and also described as a cloud and a fire.

God's Glory is real, because God is real and desires us to experience Him in a deeper way, through being saturated and consumed by His Glory. Praise God for His Glory!

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Sunday, 10 April 2011

Relationship with God series : Part Six

Jesus, was our great example of the importance of developing a deep, personal relationship with the Lord. Jesus, was a man of prayer and the Word and while He ministered here on this earth, His life was marked by the number one priority of fellowshipping with the Father. Jesus was connected to God through prayer and the Word, through spending time with Him, at every available opportunity.

Jesus was a very busy man and spent His time, here in this world, ministering to thousands upon thousands of people. He healed the sick, cast out demons and discipled the twelve apostles, but He always made sure, that even though He was always ministering to the needs of others, He would take the time to separate Himself, so that He could communicate and chill with His heavenly Father. Jesus wanted to be with the Father and the Father wanted to be with Him.

He would spend time studying the Word and finding out about Himself, through the reading of the scriptures. Jesus was a man of the word and would often teach the masses in synagogues and also in the open. Jesus breathed a very life of communion to the Lord.

Throughout the business of life, lets put our relationship with the Lord first place and set apart quality time, so that we can hang out with the Father. We all lead busy lives, but leading a busy life, is not an excuse to neglect our relationship with the Lord. Jesus led a busy life, so did the early Church, but they put God first and drew their strength from the presence and glory of God and manifested the life and love of God, to all those they came into contact with. Out of our relationship with the Lord, we're able to release the love and Glory of God to a lost and unsaved world.

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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Relationship with God Series : Part Five

In my last post, I shared about the importance of getting to know God's character and nature, through spending time with Him by studying and reading the word of God. One of the other primary ways of knowing God in an intimate way, is through prayer. The Word of God is important, but prayer is as equally important. We need both in our lives, if we're to begin to grow deeper and more in love with our amazing Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Prayer is a beautiful and awesome privilege. We, as believers, can freely come into the throne room, with boldness to communicate and chill out with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That's what prayer is, simply communicating and spending time with the Lord most High. We can have access to our heavenly father, because of Jesus. Jesus made a way for us to come into relationship with the Lord, through His death and resurrection. He removed the barrier of sin between man and God, He shed His blood and tore the veil and now we, as Christians, can experience His Glory and presence in a profound way.

Prayer is not a work of the law or flesh. We don't pray because we're trying to make God move in our lives and prayer doesn't change God's view of of us, make Him love us more or impress Him in any way whatsoever. We pray, because through prayer, we become changed from glory to glory and become more like Jesus. Our motive for prayer should be one in which we're so in love with the Lord, that we want and desire to be with Him, not out of duty, but because we're madly and wildly in love with Him. Our hearts desire should be one filled with a overwhelming longing to be with God, at every available opportunity that we get.

Ours hearts should should be ablaze with fire and love for our saviour and like an amazing man of God once said "we set ourselves on fire for God (in a spiritual sense) and the world comes and watches us burn for Jesus!!" Praise God!! Let's be a burning flame of love for Jesus!

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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Relationship with God Series : Part Four

There are two primary ways that we can develop and grow stronger in our relationship with the Lord. The first one is through spending time with Him in the word of God and the second way is through living a lifestyle of prayer.

Let's begin by focusing on the word of God. Through the word, we gain revelation and understanding, of who God is. As we study and dwell upon the scriptures, God's character, nature and ways are revealed to us so that we get a glimpse of who He is.  

Psalm 106:1 "Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever."

Psalm (106:1) says that God's mercy endures for ever.

1 John 4:8 "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love"

1 John (4:88) says that God is love.

God is mercy, love and the bible also tells us that He is full of compassion and in the book of beginning's (the book of Genesis), moses ask to see God's face, so He passes before him and shows him all of His goodness. There are so many different characteristics of God's nature, that discovering them through God's word is an awesome experience, that enables us to know Him more intimately than we've ever known Him before.

God can speak to us through an audible voice, through our brother's and sister's in Christ, through the prophetic and even through life's circumstances, but God chooses most of the time to speak to us through His word. As we begin to study the Word of God, He speaks life, hope and faith into whatever situations we may find ourselves in. He speaks into our lives and gives us the answers that we need to life's questions. He reveals more and more of His Glory to us and reveals Himself in many ways. As we read the word, we see God as He was meant to be seen and not as the world and media portrays Him. We see Him as a God who cares and desires to become intimate with us in our lives. He's our father and very best friend.

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Monday, 4 April 2011

Relationship with God Series : Part Three

Nearly fouteen years ago I gave my life to Jesus while serving a prison sentence and one of the first things that God gave me a revelation of, was the importance of spending time with Him. It was a foundational understanding that helped me use the time that I had, to get to know Him in an personal, intimate way. I distinctly remember at various times, throughout my walk with God, even up until this day thanking, praising and worshiping Him and then being consumed by His presence, His glory, in a tangible way. I would experience waves of His love and peace, that totally wrecked me for Jesus in a positive way. Those times with the Lord gave me a burning desire within me to want to know Him more.

God is calling His Church, the body of Christ, to a place of intimate fellowship with Him, not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but because we're head over heels in love with Him and because we love to just be with Him. As we spend time with the Lord, like the apostles, the people around us will know that we've been with Jesus. His very character and nature will be reflected in us and manifested in our lives. Choose today to sit at the feet of Jesus. He wants to be with you, He wants you to experience His love and presence. Allow His presence to wreck you, so that you'll never be the same again. Glory to God!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Relationship with God Series : Part Two

As I shared in the previous post, spending time with God, is one of the most important things we should do as a believer. Relationship with God is what we were created for. It's our destiny in this world and our reason for living. Within our very D.N.A, is a burning desire to want to know God, personally for ourselves.

John (15:4-5) "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing."

Abiding in God, carries with it the idea of being in fellowship and continually connected with the father, through prayer and also the word. Abiding with God means that His life, His love, the fruit of the spirit is flowing freely through us and manifesting in our lives. The character and nature of Jesus is reflected in us as we yield to His life-giving presence. Spending time with God (because we love Him and want to), is abiding in Him and will produce fruit in our lives

The fruit of the spirit and the power of God is a by-product of hanging out with the Lord almighty. It's natural for a fruit tree to produce fruit, it doesn't struggle or strive and as children of God, neither should we. When we choose to chill with God, we naturally become more like Him in every way. Our very being begins to become saturated and soaked with His presence, we begin to carry around with us the very fragrance of Christ.

Choose today to spend quality time with God. He wants to be with you. He loves you so much.

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Sunday, 27 March 2011

Relationship with God Series : Part one

At the heart of Christianity is a deep personal, intimate, relationship with God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Relationship with God, it's our purpose in life, our destiny and the very reason that we were created for. God could have had fellowship with the angels, but He didn't. He could of had fellowship with the animals, but He didn't. He choose us, the pinnacle of His creation, because His desire is for us. The Lord almighty, who created the heavens and the earth, wants to spend time with us. He wants us to experience His presence and love and wants us to know Him more intimately than we've ever known Him before. That's amazing, that's awesome. Praise God! He wants to chill with mankind!

The bible says in Daniel (11:32) "that those that know their God, shall be strong and do exploits". Throughout the bible and history, we see men and women who knew God and consequently saw the power and love of God manifested in their lives. We see enoch Genesis (5:22-24), who walked with God so closely, that it says God took him and he was nowhere to be found. We see Abraham who had such a close relationship with Him, that God called Him a friend of God, James (2:23). Jesus, our saviour, as we all know was and is (God manifest in the flesh), called the Son of God (the four gospels). Last century, there was a man by the name of Smith wigglesworth, who felt undressed if He didn't have His bible on him and felt like he was backsliding, if he wasn't moving forward in his relationship with the Lord. This man saw amazing miracles in His life and ministry. He saw blind eyes open, the deaf hear, tumours fall of bodies, the paralysed and crippled walk by the power of God. He spent hours with God on a daily basis and was a man who knew God.

Do we know God? Do we want to know Him, not out of duty or obligation, but because we love Him and love being with Him? We can know all about Him for the rest of our lives, but until we actually meet Him, through Jesus, and spend time with Him, through His word and prayer, we'll never actually know Him, personally for ourselves. Choose to spend time with Him today. Not tomorrow, but today. He loves you and wants to spend time with you.

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