Give Me a “J” Chapter-5

Chapter 5

The Glory
of the
Lord in You

The LORD said: … “Truly, as I live, all the
earth shall be filled with the glory of the
—Numbers 14:20-21

In 1979 I was in Iquitos, Peru, with my daughter Gina and my friend Mike Ooten, preparing to take the cross down the Amazon River by boat. One night, as usual, I was reading the Scriptures before going to bed, when suddenly I was filled with a desire for God to reveal His thoughts to me. I prayed, “Lord, if there is anything You’d like to say tonight, You can speak whatever is in Your heart and in Your mind, and I will do it for Your glory.”

Then, about two o’clock in the morning, I fell asleep. An hour later I woke up and began to see a vision that was like nothing else I’ve ever seen, either before or since. It was as if a window opened up and I could see far beyond the room I was lying in, beyond the earth, and even beyond outer space. Past all the galaxies, I could see a tiny glowing speck in the far distance. Moment by moment, the speck was growing in size as it came closer to the earth. Soon I could see that it looked like a fiery stream made up of rolling, swirling light in bright colors—red, gold, and orange. Strangely, the swirling was not moving from top to bottom, like ocean waves curling over, but instead was moving from the bottom to the top. I tried to cry out, but I was speechless. I could not move. The mighty wind of the golden glow was sweeping toward the earth, and all I could do was to try to take it in. As it drew closer, I could see that there were a host of people and angels just beyond the golden swirl. The brightness behind the fire was blinding—silver and ultra-white. Then words appeared before my eyes: “Arthur, proclaim that the glory of the coming of the Lord is at hand.” Those words stayed before my eyes for the entire rest of the vision. I knew now what I was seeing: it was a vision of the coming of the glory of the Lord.

As I watched, the divine glory swept over the earth, leaving it white and sparkling clean. Then it came into my room and swept over me, enveloping me in its glow. Again and again, it would recede and return. From the bottom of my feet to the top of my head, the glory swept over me like waves.

In the midst of all this, I evidently groaned out loud, because I woke up Gina and Mike, who were sleeping nearby. Gina—fifteen years old at the time—said, “Daddy’s having a stroke.” I could not speak for a while, but then I managed to say, “Can’t you see the glory of the Lord? Look! Look!” But they could not see what I was seeing. Mike reassured Gina: “Arthur is with the Lord.” I sat on the floor and prayed, “Lord, I don’t need a vision. I love You. I will follow You. I don’t want to get off preaching Jesus into something else.” I was concerned because it sounded to me as if God was calling me to a ministry of prophecy instead of to evangelism.

But the Lord interrupted me and said, “Fear not. Receive what I am giving you. Release yourself to Me.”

All strength left my body and I lay on the floor as one dead for four hours, until eight o’clock in the morning. I cannot tell all I saw, but I continued to see and experience the glory of the coming of the Lord. Oh, how indescribably wonderful it was!

At one point the Lord let me experience the horror—the awful horror—of the first moment when an unsaved person dies and realizes he has missed the glory of the coming of the Lord, with everything lost for all eternity. Oh, what pain in my mind, body, and soul! I burst into tears. Agony gripped me. Then the beauty and the glory of the coming of the Lord appeared before me again, and I thrilled in every part of my being.

Finally the Lord spoke again: “I have chosen you, Arthur, to proclaim that the glory of the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

Mike and Gina had sat for hours watching over me.

Now, as the vision receded, I motioned for a glass of water, and after drinking it, I could speak. Briefly, I explained to the two what I had been through. My body was exhausted as I fell back into bed and slipped into a deep sleep, resting in the glory of the Lord.

From Glory to Glory
You may never experience a vision anything like the one I had in Peru. And that’s just fine; God has other things for you. But trust me when I say this: any faithful follower of Jesus can experience the glory of the Lord. Moses, the great leader of the Hebrews, ascended Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. There the Lord met him in a cloud with lightning forking from it. Afterward, “his face shone while he talked with Him” (Exodus 34:29). The radiance so disturbed others that Moses temporarily had to wear a veil over his face.

But Moses wasn’t the only one to see the glory of the Lord in that day. The entire nation of Israel saw God’s glory hovering over the tabernacle (their worship tent). By day, this glory appeared in the form of a pillar of cloud, while at night it appeared as a pillar of fire. When the cloud moved, the nation would advance; when the cloud stayed put, the people would travel nowhere. Today the tabernacle—or temple—of God is the believer (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). By His Spirit, He dwells within those who are followers of His Son. And thus, in our own way, we are to live under the cloud of glory and in the fire of the Holy Spirit.

How do we get this glory inside us? It’s a gift from Jesus. He gives us His glory.

One day, like a latter-day Moses, Jesus took some of His disciples up a mountain. There Jesus “was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2). This was Jesus’ true nature of glory shining forth. Peter’s offer to build a “tabernacle,” or booth, for Jesus to stay in made no sense, because Jesus Himself was a tabernacle containing the glory of God.

How do we get this glory inside us? It’s a gift
from Jesus. He gives us His glory.

Later, shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed to the Father in the presence of His disciples, “The glory which You gave Me I have given them” (John 17:22). In other words, the glory of God is within us because Jesus has put it there. We have Jesus’ glory, not because we are deserving of it, but because God is merciful and gracious to pour out His Spirit.

This glory builds up in us as we live for Jesus. The apostle Paul declared, “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Paul was saying that, as we focus on God, it is like looking in a mirror and seeing, not an image of ourselves, but the image of God. And the more we look at it, the more we become like the image we see. The Spirit of God changes us and fills us with the presence of God until we start looking like Jesus. Isn’t that marvelous?

One time, when I was carrying the cross in Switzerland, a man rushed up to me and said in broken English, “You look like that cross.” Bemused, I replied, “Well, thank you so much, friend.” As I traveled down the road, I thought, Man that was weird. He thought I looked like the cross. I leaned the cross against a post and stared at it. I had been using that cross for years, and it was beat up and battered. I didn’t know that I looked that rough. All of a sudden it came to me. Yes! I want to look like the cross. I want to look like my Lord. I pray that my mannerisms, my thoughts, my actions—everything about me—will remind people of Jesus.

After all, where is the glory of God? It is “in the face of Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:6). So if we want to see the glory of God, we must get to know Jesus. As we let Him fill our lives, we are filled with the glory of the Lord.

Glory in Our Sharing
Now, what does all this have to do with sharing Jesus? I’ll tell you. As we share Jesus, we can know that the glory of God is within us and we can spread it to others so that they are drawn by it to God. This is an insight that can revolutionize our sharing.

Since the Lord Jesus has saved us, He lives in us. And now, as we speak His name, as we proclaim His presence, the glory of God is there. People know it. They sense it. They see it in our eyes and in our countenance. And this makes it much easier for people to come to Jesus.

Imagine you are talking with a teenage boy and he introduces you to five girls, one of whom is his sweetheart. You can tell which one is his girl, can’t you? He says, “Here are Martha and Amy and Sue and Alice and Jane.” When he refers to Jane, he lights up. You can tell he’s in love with her.

Everywhere you proclaim Jesus, that’s
where the glory of God is.

In the same way, people can tell when someone is sharing Jesus in the glory of the Holy Spirit. When we mention the name of Jesus, others can tell we are in love with Him. We don’t say “Jesus” in the same way we say “Hector” or some other name. Our love for Him comes through. That’s the glory of God in our conversation, our life, and our witness.

Everywhere you proclaim Jesus, that’s where the glory of God is. Indeed, it is not just when we proclaim Jesus that we can know the glory; the glory can and should be a part of everything we do. “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Even the simplest thing may be anointed by God, and then everything becomes a blessing and a joy.

As a follower of Jesus, you already have the glory of God inside you. Just let it come out. Live in the awareness of God’s glory. Cultivate that glory in you by obeying and worshiping and speaking with Jesus. And then let it shine forth from you like light through a sparkling-clear window. People will see it, and they will feel that they have to have what you have inside yourself: the glory of the Lord.

Back in Peru, when I was receiving the vision of God’s glory, I was mistaken about one thing. I was worried that God was calling me to a different ministry, leading me away from evangelism and into prophecy. And honestly, I have never really been sure about a lot of the prophetic interpretations of the Bible. I’ve always been a simple sharer of Jesus.

In fact, I told the Lord that day in Peru, “I’m not able. I’m just a road man, with dirty blue jeans and a cross. You have big TV preachers, big crusade evangelists, large organizations.” I thought He should tap someone else to deliver His prophetic message. But God wasn’t calling me to a different ministry, leading me away from evangelism and into prophecy.

Now, I think He wanted me to be more intentional about preaching the coming of the glory of the Lord to people. But primarily, He wanted me to start consciously doing my sharing in the glory of the Lord. It was a qualitative difference in what I was already about. That’s a qualitative difference you can have, too, as you share Jesus with those who need to know Him.

In All the Earth
Come to think of it, maybe I will get prophetic for a minute. I want to remind you of something God promised: “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD” (Numbers 14:21).

Many of us think this is referring to some dramatic time in history that is still to come, some end-times occurrence. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s happening right now. The whole earth is even now being filled with the glory of the Lord. As we proclaim Jesus in all the earth, the glory of God is covering every square mile.
That’s a marvelous fulfillment of prophecy that each of us has a part in.

Every time we proclaim Jesus in our neighborhood or wherever else we are, we are spreading the glory of the Lord there. That’s why it’s so important that every follower of Jesus respond to His call to go into the world with His message— so that, by all of us working together, we can spread God’s glory everywhere. He deserves to be glorified in every creature He has made.

Worried that you cannot contribute to such a lofty goal? Remember this, my fellow servant of Jesus. God has not sent you out empty-handed. God’s Spirit and His glory are with you. And as you are faithful to Him, He will manifest His glory within you. So the next time you’re waiting at the bus stop or in line at your bank, don’t think it is just a ho-hum situation with no particular meaning. Think Jesus is here at this bus stop with me, here at this bank with me. The glory of God is here. May it fill me to the brim and overflow so that these people next to me can sense it. Then speak.

I’ll say it one more time. Let the glory that Jesus has given you be manifest in your life and your witness. Don’t quench the glory of God—oh, no! Instead, let it flow like a mighty stream of flame throughout all the world!

Questions to Consider
• What evidence do you have that the glory of
God is inside you?
• How can you let the glory of God shine forth
from your countenance more plainly?