I haven’t been writing for awhile, just because of life’s busyness. However, today I find myself snowbound because of a massive early spring snowstorm and am anxious to get to share with you again.
I have been praying Exodus 33:18 for a few years and more so in these last many tumultuous months in our world and nation. It is a prayer of Moses that simply says, “Please God show us your glory”!
What is the definition of glory? As a noun is defined as “a highly praiseworthy attribute”. For many months starting at the beginning of the pandemic and continuing until mid-summer, our pastor preached a series of messages on the names of Jesus. Each of those names were a highly praiseworthy attribute of God. Let me just mention a couple of them for you: Holy, Sovereign, Unchanging and Lord of Hosts. Think about it… the God of the universe and savior of your soul has GLORY streaming out of Him because EVERY attribute of God’s is highly praiseworthy.
To break down my prayer then, “Please God show us your glory”, is to petition God to be able to see each of His highly praiseworthy attributes every moment of every day.
About a month ago as I was walking east on my morning walk, I came to the crest of a hill just as the sun had poked up over the horizon. In that moment I found myself overwhelmed with joy. The sun scarcely visible became a word picture for the glory of God. It was the brightest thing before my eyes. Everything else seemed dark compared to its light. Still I could gaze at it because it was not yet too bright to hurt my eyes. Gaze means to fix ones eyes in a steady intent look – often with eagerness or studious attention. This takes time. Gazing isn’t something that can be done quickly. That is what we are to do spiritually… gaze at God’s glory by spending time thinking about Him and his attributes, pray about gaining more understanding of what His attributes mean for you and meditate on scripture to drive this knowledge down into our spirits.
I did gaze at the sun for a few minutes as I walked, prayed aloud and praised God for His highly praiseworthy attributes and for giving me such a vivid picture of His glory. That walk continued through many turns as I worked my way along my usual morning path and then as I again turned to the east another word picture was given to me.
By now, the sun was much higher and it was impossible for me to gaze at it, let alone glance at it directly. I realized that I was experiencing the physical effects for what spiritually happens when we “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”. This old hymn offers an incredible truth. Just as staring at the sun would have permanently damaged my eyesight, so in the spiritual sense, our earthly eyesight is damaged when we really see God’s glory. The words in the chorus read: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face… and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His GLORY and GRACE!” Yes, if we gaze at God and His glory our spiritual eyes will become dim and more dim to the things of this world because we will see God’s glory above all else.
If any of us intently desires to see God’s glory throughout the moments of every day, then we MUST make a practice of gazing at Him. The only way our earthly spiritual eyesight will grow dimmer is as our heavenly spiritual eyesight grows stronger.
Let me close with the lyrics to the first verse of this hymn. If these words describe where you are at in life, then I invite you to gaze upon God!
“Oh soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.” – Helen H Lemmel