The awesome glory of God!
“…the Tabernacle was filled with the awesome glory of the LORD.“ – Exodus 40:35 NLT
We have reached the end of the book of Exodus, and what better way to conclude this amazing story than with a picture of the glory of God? As Moses completes the erection of the Tabernacle, an amazing thing happens – the glory of God filled it. Up until that moment it was just another tent – a beautiful and elaborate one – but it was still just a tent. But when the glory of the Lord filled it, it became something new and significant. The cloud that had been leading them all the days since they had left Egypt, now hovered over the Tabernacle, and whenever it moved, it was a clear sign that it was time for the people to move. But as long as it stayed above the Tabernacle, God’s glory was filling the Tabernacle and the people stayed put. Moses writes, “The cloud of the LORD rested on the Tabernacle during the day, and at night there was fire in the cloud so all the people of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys” (Exodus 40:38 NLT). God’s presence was visible and real. And His presence had transformed what was once ordinary into something extraordinary – the Tabernacle.
And that is exactly what God has done for those of us who are in Christ. He has placed His Spirit within us and transformed what was once ordinary into something extraordinary. In speaking of the Light of Christ that now lives in us, Paul said, “But this precious treasure––this light and power that now shine within us––is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT). These tents, our bodies, are nothing special. They are simply flesh and blood. They are not significant in and of themselves. And there is nothing special that makes them appropriate dwelling places for the Spirit of God. But God has set us apart and chosen to fill us with His Spirit. In doing so, we become the very temple of God – His dwelling place. Again, Paul asks us, “Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT). The very glory of God fills those of us who are believers in Christ. We are filled with the Light of Life. His presence lives within us. We take Him with us wherever we go. He wants to lead and direct us. He wants to transform us. He wants to empower us. But we must honor His presence. We must acknowledge that He is there. We cannot live our lives the way we want to live. We cannot treat as ordinary what He has made extraordinary. That is what it means to desecrate something. It is what it means to profane something. When we live our lives according to our will and in our own way, we profane the dwelling place of God. We treat as unholy what God has made holy by His presence. Our eyes, feet, hands, voices, and minds all belong to Him. They are part of the tabernacle or temple of our body. He indwells it all. Each of the parts of our earthly body are to be used for His glory. They belong to Him. May we learn to live with that reality in mind. May we learn to desire more and more that our bodies are His dwelling place today, and live like it.
Father, it amazes me that Your Spirit lives within me. I don’t always feel like it. I don’t always act like it. But it is a promise You have made to me and I believe it. Now I want to live like it it is true. Show me how to live in such a way that my life, and my body, bring glory and honor to You. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men