Intimacy, Love and the Glory of God

bride-for-christ-revelation-21-2

Only God’s Light knows us, even in the hidden corners of our hearts. He loves us anyway because He knows our end from the beginning and the power of the cross of Christ to get us there. He loves us unconditionally and once in a while we run into a dear saint in whom this unselfish love abides. What a joy it is to have His fellowship while walking in the Light with another human, yet so rare indeed. God must do a deep killing work in the self, that old nature of Adam in us, for two people to walk in the LIGHT of Christ in His unity and love together.

Just before going to the cross Jesus prayed:

And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. And I have declared unto them your name, and will declare it: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:22-26, KJ2000)

Here He ties together unity, Godly perfection, love, and the glory that He has invited us to share with the Father and the Son. When we are in unity, the glory of God is in us. God is love, and when His love shines out from our hearts, His glory is there as well. This is the unconditional love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,” for one another. It is also the witness to the world that Christ is in us and that we are IN HIM. His glory radiates from those who walk in His perfect love. T. Austin-Sparks wrote,

You have only to look at a concordance and you will find that you have on hand hundreds, more than four hundred occasions in the Bible for the use of this word ‘glory’. And yet, there is a definition that will fit in to every instance. What I mean is this: when glory is mentioned, you ask the question: ‘Well, what does that mean? What does glory mean?’ Then if you define glory, you will see how the definition or the word truly understood just fits into every situation. The definition which we have given before, according (I think) to what the Scripture makes perfectly clear, is that glory is God’s nature… Glory, therefore, is the Divine nature in expression. If you have Divine love in perfection, you have glory. If there is a state of love, Divine love, among the Lord’s people, then it’s glory. Not necessarily something like a blaze of light which you see, but which you sense. You sense it. (1)

Many people have more Bible knowledge than “heart knowledge,” that is, the truth that they have read in the Bible has not yet done its work in their hearts and become intimate in a life-changing way. This head knowledge is all the Pharisees had, so they had no love, only cold legalism in their hearts. They walked in spiritual darkness. When Jesus healed a man who was blind from birth, they could only judge Jesus as a wrong doer and argue with the man about his healing. To these blind guides Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” (John 9:39, ESV2011)

Head knowledge without an accompanying heart change blinds us and makes us think that we have already arrived when we have not yet set out on our heavenly journey! God has to bring a huge crisis into the lives of these people to destroy the fortress of knowledge they have erected around their hearts so that they finally can repent and receive spiritual sight. Imagine what a crisis it was for the Jews after they killed their Messiah. God let the Roman army come in and destroy their precious Temple, kill the priests and scatter their Old Covenant nation! Jesus had warned them that it would happen.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Luke 13:34-35, ESV2011)

And the blind guides insist on calling this “The Holy City of God”?

Christian Suffering and Glory

At the last supper, immediately after Judas went out to betray Jesus to the religious leaders of the Jews, Jesus said:

“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ (John 13:31-33, ESV2011)

There is a direct connection between suffering in the will of our Father and our glorification. The trial of our faith in Christ is precious in the eyes of God. Peter wrote,

[You] Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In which you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold trials: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1Pet 1:4-7, KJ2000)

God uses our temptations and trials to purge us of the fleshly grip our souls have on our lives so that His Spirit may lead us. When it comes to suffering, many Christians have been told that if they give their lives to Jesus and tithe regularly, He will make them happy, successful in this world and prosperous the rest of their lives. This is lie from hell and a false gospel that is designed to keep us spiritually stinted and immature.  Jesus said:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” (Matt 10:34-36, ESV2011)

“For where your wealth is, there will your heart be. The light of the body is the eye; if then your eye is true, all your body will be full of light. But if your eye is evil, all your body will be dark. If then the light which is in you is dark, how dark it will be! No man is able to be a servant to two masters: for he will have hate for the one and love for the other, or he will keep to one and have no respect for the other. You may not be servants of God and of wealth.” (Matt 6:21-24, BBE)

When we come to Christ the two edged sword (see Hebrews 4:12-13), THE Word of God, sets out to divide our soul from our spirit. This allows the Spirit of God in our spirits to have the preeminence over our souls (our intellects, wills and emotions) that have always ruled in our lives. Sorry, but this does not happen “insto-chango,” just because we have said “a sinner’s prayer.” Jesus learned obedience to the Father through the things that He suffered, and so must we. God does not do a Tinkerbell thing with His magic wand and all of a sudden we are super Christians and ready to rock the spirit world. No! He also has to separate bone from marrow in us. Our bones are our support system and the marrow in those bones is where the blood is made and “the life is in the blood.” Our natural support system and our natural life source (our blood) is not compatible for living in the Kingdom of God. Jesus has to wield a spiritual sword in us to bring an end to our natural strength and life. We need His strength in our weakness and His life’s blood flowing in us. Consider His words:

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. (John 6:53-57, ESV2011)

After Jesus said this, the crowd that wanted to make Him king because He fed them a few minutes earlier, all turned away from Him. It was a hard saying that they could not receive and only the twelve remained. Jesus asked them if they would leave also. To this, Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69, ESV2011). It is the business of God to separate the “loaves and fishes Christians” from the true followers of Christ by suffering, rejection and persecution.

The Holy Spirit must speak into our hearts the very words of Jesus. THIS is our life source. Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.‘” In Hebrews we read a warning about this very thing, “Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts…” Do we get our daily bread and spiritual life from listening to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God? The lack of this intimate relationship with our Father and the Spirit is why so many Christians are spiritually emaciated today.

All these verses I have been sharing speak of God’s desire to have an intimate relationship with us that is not entangled by the things of this world. We must live by the Living Word of God in us. The life of the old Adam (the flesh) in us is in agreement with Satan and it competes with the Life of Christ, the Father’s ever present Word. We must take up our flesh-killing crosses daily and follow the voice of the Spirit if we are to be Jesus’ disciples.

I have been writing about the separation of soul and spirit so that the Spirit of God may be preeminent within us. We are made of three parts; spirit, soul and body. The body is made subject to the will of our souls. If our souls are subject to the will of the Spirit in our spirits, they will do the will of God and our bodies will also be holy in the eyes of God.

Paul wrote:

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1Thess 5:23-24, ESV2011).

We need to understand that our bodies are supposed to be the temple of God (see 2 Cor. 6:16-18) and they are not evil in themselves. They are only evil when Satan uses them for his purposes. God wants to sanctify us completely that our whole spirit, soul and body may be pure and belong to Jesus as His bride. Eventually “this corruption (our natural bodies) will put on incorruption (our heavenly bodies), but in the mean time God wants us to be like His Son, spiritual beings motivated by the Holy Spirit in all things.

There is a mystery in these words, “Behold, I stand at the door (Greek, thura – portal or opening), and knock: if any man [any person] hears my voice, and opens the door (thura), I will come in to him, and will eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20, KJ2000). This is so much more than a verse to be used for an “altar call.” To sup with Jesus, we must eat His flesh, drink His blood and He must come into us. All these things speak of a wonderful intimacy that Jesus and the Father want to have with us as the very bride of Christ. Paul wrote about this mystery in intimate terms.

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Eph 5:30-32, KJ2000)

True Christianity is not a religion; it is an intimate Husband (Jesus Christ) and wife (the bride of Christ) relationship that is constantly motivated to draw ever closer in His unity and love to the Father and the Son and one another.

(1) http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/004310.html

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8 comments on “Intimacy, Love and the Glory of God

  1. Michael, that was a long needed treatise (I hope this word has no negative connotation for you) on God’s glory that begins to manifest itself when we come to know His body-soul-and-spirit-love (aka agape). Also, it is so important to know about the direct connection between suffering and glorification. Down in the valley of another trial (or even many) we always suffer. But as soon as we come out of the valley, we may share more of God’s glory and agape love than before, for it is written,

    The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Rom 8:16-18 ESV)

    It is only in hindsight when we see how great God’s glory really is that we can say our trials were ‘nothing’ in comparison to the glory. Yet as long as we suffer, we won’t say such a thing, as we both know.

    Thank you for elaborating on these precious truths so beautifully, my dear brother! 🙂

    Your sister and friend,
    Susanne 🐱

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, “negative connotation”? Hmmmm Not that I can see. God always makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are walking in the calling He has purposed for them. Yes, at times things can be painful, but as we have seen by these verses and our experiences, they are more for our purification that we might be conformed to the image of Christ and grounded in His love for here is the glory of God manifest.
      Your are welcome for what I shared here, and I want you to know that God has used you over and over to inspire much of what I write.
      Your brother and friend forever,
      Michael 🐻

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you for the blog. I’m grateful for the encouragement and fellowship that it is to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ken Dawson says:

    I really liked that one phrase you used–Spiritual beings motivated by the Holy Spirit in all things–That is something I have been seeking–particularly the ALL THINGS part.Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      You are welcome, Ken.

      Yes, “ALL THINGS.” Such a powerful phrase in the scriptures.

      And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:28, KJ2000)

      What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us ALL THINGS? (Rom 8:31-32, KJ2000)

      Therefore from now on know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet from now on know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS are become new. (2Cor 5:16-17, KJ2000)

      But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches ALL THINGS, yea, the deep things of God. (1Cor 2:9-10, KJ2000)

      Therefore let no man glory in men. For ALL THINGS are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. (1Cor 3:21-23, KJ2000)

      These are just a few of the “all things” verses I found in the New Testament. Our Father has made every provision we need to insure that He ends up with many sons and daughters walking IN Christ that He might be glorified.

      Good to hear from you again, my brother. ⭐
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  4. “A View of God’s Glory”
    by Russ Cantrell

    I looked across the valley at a giant mountain and declared, “I see the glory of that mountain.” I could see the radiance of the sun shining on its many ridges and slopes that have withstood through the millennials of time. The snow on its peak tells of the winters before man was present to see. Trees have covered its surfaces where warmth and water have allowed and yet high above the rocks of old, they still appear as the day they were lifted high into the sky. But then I realized that there is so much more. I can go upon that great mountain and sit by its streams, walk through its forests and meadows. I can fill my senses with its glory and view a thousand areas where flowers bloom and animals find their provision.

    But wait, I know someone that has glory. I look and see the wonder of His creation. It is so much more than the mountain. Such detail and purpose. Nothing has been left to chance. I see the image He saw before creating the giraffe and hippo. The colors and textures he proposed while making the flowers. Oh, but there is so much more. I can go upon this mountain of his glory and fill my senses with the intimacy of His glory. But when I arrive it is not like the mountain. Instead of the life of a tree, I see the whole story of a man’s life. He started out fresh enough but soon he discovered perversion in his being. He thought it normal but kept it kind of hidden. As he grew the perversion grew as well and seemed to be his fun. He kept it hidden from folks that wouldn’t approve but found friends that enjoyed the same. Before long they were stealing and taking advantage of everyone they could. “Besides,” he said, “this is a lousy place and it doesn’t really matter.”

    As time went by he continued to drift. It was only when he was hurt from others doing the same, that he thought it did matter. From the pain, he wept and cried for the meaning of this life. In misery, he walked about with wife whoring around and child left to grow up the same way. This should all end, he thought to himself, but there is no God to make it change. I am so ugly. I must be damned and rightfully so if it would end the pain.

    First God let him see that there is one who knows it all. A month later God let the man see that he has been telling him since he was a little boy to do what is right because he didn’t want the man to suffer. Finally, the man understood that God cared for him. Weeks went by and finally, God showed the man that he knew all about the misery sin and was going to end it as he should — that because of his love he made His son take the punishment that I so rightly deserve, so that I could love him and understand the glory in his name.

    You see it didn’t end there, although he was changed within he thought that he could grow now. With pride he understood, but all around things grew rotten and he was sure he wasn’t loved. But Jesus said, you’re ready now to let it die and fall. The only good you will ever find is growing within me. Finally, above all else was the glory of his Lord and he within was smiling because he needed nothing else.

    The millions of glories of the Lord are brilliant on this mountain of the Lord. They are real things he has done for real people because of the real love he has for them.

    Don’t give up… he won’t… keep moving to him and you will see. The glory for you to enjoy is in him and not in you.

    { “Many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no deliverance for him in God.’ Selah. ​But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. ​I was crying to the LORD with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah.” (Ps 3:2-4, NASB) Thanks for sharing your journey with us in such a poetic form, dear brother. I can see that those beautiful mountains in Colorado He used to speak to you. Michael }

    Liked by 2 people

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