Show Me Your Glory?

Image: providencecpc.org

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 checkedJesus 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.

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8 responses to “Show Me Your Glory?

  1. I’m awed by Your beauty, lost in Your eyes

    Good gravy! Am I the only one who thought of that episode of South Park where Cartman decided to write a bunch of sappy love songs, substitute the word Jesus in them liberally, and turn it into a Christian music sensation?

    Your essay also reminds me of this:

    • I’m sure you’re not the first to think that. I’ve thought it about several other songs. Loved the video, that was hilarious. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: What does the Holy Spirit feel like? | Revolutionary Faith

  3. True this: “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.”
    Thanks for the reminder of why it’s hard to fit in sometimes. I’ve been on both sides, too. I hate “safety.” It’s the most agonizing way to live. I don’t want to be there anymore.

    \o/
    Praise Jesus!

  4. one time when we were singing “let your fire Fall”, I heard an inner chuckle. Then the Lored said, “You do not have a clue what you are saying ( more laughter) but I am going to take you at your word!”

    That was 25 years ago and the fire is still falling healing but also destroyng all that is not of HIM

  5. The lesson that Isaiah learned right……standing in the tabernacle confronted with the glory of god, he utters, “woe is me, i am ruined for I am a man of unclean lips” ……there is a danger of turning very powerful things into trite nursery rhymes…..