Yep, that’s a question mark up there.
I was worshiping in church on Sunday when the worship team started singing “Show Me Your Glory” by Jesus Culture. Here are some of the lyrics:
I see the cloud, I step in
I want to see Your glory as Moses did
Flashes of light and rolls of thunder…
I’m awed by Your beauty, lost in Your eyes
I long to walk in Your presence like Jesus did
Your glory surrounds me and I’m overwhelmed…
Show me Your glory, show me your glory, my God…
I hesitated to join in at first. I long to walk in Your presence like Jesus did… Last I checked, Jesus went to the cross. I want to see Your glory as Moses did… And afterwards, he had to put a veil over his face because it was too bright to look at (Exodus 34:29-35).
I wondered if anyone else in the congregation fully grasped what they were singing. Because God’s glory is a weighty thing. Very weighty. Terrifying, in fact. There’s this passage of scripture in 1 Kings 19 that describes the prophet Elijah’s encounter with God. Elijah is depressed and hiding in a cave on a mountain. God sends an earth-shattering wind, a strong earthquake and a raging fire upon the mountain, but He Himself isn’t in any of those things. Then He whispers to Elijah. And Elijah, who has just witnessed all of these hair-raising demonstrations with nary a shrug, hides his face in his cloak. At God’s whisper.
Remember, kids: God’s whisper inspires more awe than a wind that can blow mountain boulders apart. That’s the kind of glory we’re dealing with, here.
And here’s a fact about God’s glory: Its essence is pure humility. Pure peace. Pure love. Pure faithfulness. Pure wisdom. Pure joy. Absolute sinlessness. When He shows up and reveals Himself to us, all of our human weaknesses and spiritual shortcomings are exposed. In that moment, we must make a choice: embrace Him or reject Him.
That choice has its own catch-22. Strive to glimpse all of Him, and you could end up like Moses–with a barrier between you and the rest of humanity. Forced to change. Marked as different. Irrelevant to the status quo. Retreat to ‘safety,’ though, and your entire soul will cry out in anguish over the lost opportunity to experience the supreme life-giving presence of its Creator.
I’ve been on both sides of that fence. It’s hard to decide which is worse.
But on Sunday morning, I sang that dangerous prayer anyway. Because there comes a point where the status quo just won’t do anymore. When the spiritual hunger just won’t be quenched by singing another song or reading another verse. When you’ve gone as far as you can go on your own and need a fresh revelation of His nature to set you on the next path. Show me your glory? Yes. Just let me get my cloak ready.