God has Shown Us His Glory

 

by Mike Ratliff

And you said, ‘Behold, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire. This day we have seen God speak with man, and man still live. (Deuteronomy 5:24 ESV)

The Christian whose ‘heart’ is aware of God’s voice revealing the truth to it in the midst of circumstances that are trying or difficult or even disturbing should be grateful for that. This ‘awareness’ is a gift from God and we dare not squander it. When we question why our circumstances seem to  ‘against us’ in every way possible then we become aware that we are being tried and these ‘things’ are being used by God to accomplish His will in us, then we have a choice. Some may refuse to go further in their sanctification and will not ‘tolerate’ any more cutting, chisling, or shaping by the hand of God. However, the Christians who submit with a grateful heart are the ones who are working with God to conquer their pride and flesh.

We all have a value system. We all have a ‘grid system’ that we use to ‘judge’ or ‘discern’ how to react to our circumstances. God is working in all who belong to Him to conform their value system unto His. When we are self-focused and react selfishly to our circumstances then we are doing so by our own fleshly values. However, any reaction that is patient and submissive and gracious is the product of God working through us and the value system He is building in us. This value system is geared towards God and His glory rather than our own exaltation. 

God’s great design in all His works is the manifestation of His own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of Himself. But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man’s eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why He bringeth His people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when He comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the God of tempests; but they who “do business in great waters,” these see His “wonders in the deep.” 

Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man. Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God’s greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as He did His servant Moses, that you might behold His glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of His glory in His wonderful dealings with you. – Charles Spurgeon from C.H. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional for  Saturday July 19, 2008

My brethren, I pray that you will look at your circumstances with a deliberate intent to not allow your own honor to enter in to how you respond. To be able to do so requires our focus to be on Christ instead of self. Those who are able to do this have learned to not be concerned for self-exaltation and actually prefer to serve God with no one observing. They never talk to others about their service because that is dangerous. The danger is that our pride may come out of its vile hole and seek glory. As long as what we do is between God and us then we are content. But we are even more so if we view even our good works as simply acts of obedience that are required by our master of all of his bond-servants. 

We must learn to view ourselves as slaves to our Lord. Slaves receive no glory. They serve their masters for His glory alone. If we attempt to serve Him for any other motive then we will find ourselves ‘competing’ with other servants and that is not good. The greatest joy for our Lord’s servants must be to be content in serving Him even if no one knows about it except Him and us. Those of us whose ministries are somewhat public must learn to minister in such a way that perceived success or failure are viewed that same way, as God working through us for His glory alone. What I mean is that some may see success or failure in our ministries, but we must view all that happens through us as God’s will and in that we must be content. 

If we mature into this value system then we will be content no matter what our circumstances are because we know that God is sovereign. We must remain obedient and serve Him as we are called, but we must never use the world’s value system to measure the success or failure of our ministries. 

Soli Deo Gloria

10 thoughts on “God has Shown Us His Glory

  1. “However, any reaction that is patient and submissive and gracious is the product of God working through us and the value system He is building in us. This value system is geared towards God and His glory rather than our own exaltation. ”

    Mike … Amen!!!!!!!

    The idea of the grid brings to mind the verse to take all thoughts captive to Christ.

    JS

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  2. “This day we have seen God speak with man, and man still live.”

    Not only are we to be all and only about God’s glory, but look here at His mercy towards us. That we can see and hear him, and still live. Not to mention the cost to Him to make that possible.

    Also reminds me of a Keith Green song, ‘Make my life a prayer to You’ “Oh, it’s so hard to see, when my eyes are on me,”

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  3. If you read the Book of acts then you did notice that the emphasis on the Holy Spirit, and distributing money, food to the local poor people was part of the reason the churches next were so popular and growing. While in contrast today many Chruches. pastors, members, adherents, are selfish cheapskates.

    Secondly all pastors, elders, ministers should be called specifically for their Ministry directly by God. Most of them today have not been called for the ministry, for they are hirelings.

    True pastors, elders, ministers would firstly daily read their Bible for one hour and pray daily for others.

    http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/

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  4. “We must learn to view ourselves as slaves to our Lord. Slaves receive no glory. They serve their masters for His glory alone. If we attempt to serve Him for any other motive then we will find ourselves ‘competing’ with other servants and that is not good.”

    That single statement is enough food for thought and reflection for every Christian!

    Shalom!

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  5. before I decided to, became a pastor, even of my own church, I had personally interviewed about 45 evangelical pastors, and none of them read the Bible daily, or prayed for one hour daily, or had sued the Bible in their counseling of others.. kind of of explained why they were not successful.. many stole their sermons from others, books too..

    One evangelical pastor even came to my home cause he had specially heard that I had been claiming that God can talk to me. He was disturbed because he was a pastor and he knew God did not talk to him. I did not want fight, argue with him, so I had prayed and asked God to reveal 3 of his sins, and that would close the matter. I told the pastor that he did not read the Bible one hour a day, that he did not pray for others one hour a day, and that he had made a forbidden alliance with another church.. he confessed it, repented and he next had asked me to pray for him

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  6. Mike,

    Isaiah’s quote in the above response to your blog is a reminder that of what Jesus said. ” He who is first will be last, and he who is last will be first.” (I hope that I quoted that correctly)

    Human wisdom pushes a worldly standard of Godliness. Because of that misconception, the standard for Godliness is not about holiness or humility, but about status, wealth, and social position. Too often when God exposes his own to the fires of tribulation, the visible church will shun those who pass through the fire. The shunners typically respond in the same manner as Job’s friends or even worse. Or either they will label you as unregenerate and ‘not having it all together.’ Your appearance, lack of abundant material wealth, or misfortunes will somehow be viewed as God’s punishment instead of God’s merciful molding.

    Whenever the Lord brings us low or into the wilderness, it is evident that he is working on our countenance. Man’s countenance can fall (which does not always reflect disobedience) because the war with our flesh is ongoing. The dry places which the Lord leads us into are not the mountaintop that we often expect as new babes in Christ. We are most effective instead, when Christ has broken us, removed our pride, and exposed us to his severity, and removed the worldiness which so infected us when we belonged to the world.

    It is greater gain to be broken, seperated, and called out of the world, than to remain in the dying empty world full of greed and vain glory. We are not worthy to be Christ’s slaves.

    In Christ,

    Josh

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  7. Adding to my last blog…

    If any of us are truly contending in the faith, we will still experience grief and sorrow. Having the Holy Spirit in our hearts reveals what pleases the Lord, so as we learn about God’s character, he will begin to mold us to his image. As the revealed nature of God is made manifest, our view of the world and sin changes dramatically. We will begin to hate sin and corruption. We will hate it so much, that it will bring sorrow to our hearts when those around us practice lasciviousness (like Christ is a license to sin without consequences) We will even be moved to speak out against it, regardless of how much the unrighteous will hate us for doing so. Because this kind of persecution arises, you see many claiming to know Christ, but they are unwilling to be indignant with those who continually practice lawlessness or unrighteousness. They do not speak out against sin, because they fear that the world will not like them or that they will think they are wierdos. Compromising the gospel happens because of fear of persecution. It is a fear that Christ did not have.

    We should be cautious around those who claim Christ, and believe that they are exempt from sorrow, grief, or persecution. Anyone who has taken a stand against unrighteousness is guaranteed to be viewed as a wierdo by the world. This is part of the cost of following the Lord. Jesus was familiar with rejection and sorrow, so that certainly flies in the face of the prosperity gospel.

    As servants who strive to live holy lives, it is normal to be vexed, when surrounded by so much sin. It is the Holy Spirit who has opened our eyes to the things we so ignorantly used to partake in. Gambling, drinking, cursing, coarse joking, and hedonism seem to be more easily welcomed now than it was 20 years ago. The world justifies wicked behavior, while the righteous only become vexed by it. I worry about those who do not have any indignation towards sin. I guess that is what is wrong with today’s “politically correct” model of Jesus…………………….Big mistake!

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  10. This is so inspiring to me and brings tears to my eyes for it has touched my spirit. Jesus is showing me what John the baptist meant when he said…He must increase, I must decrease. Picking up our cross means walking the road that leads to it. The road to the cross.. It is a narrow road, a less travelled path and as we walk it more of our flesh is consumed. On the altar of the Lord may we live as “living sacrifices”….constantly our flesh being “burned out” yet we do not perish to ashes…we reveal more of the glory of Christ Jesus. As I have been driven from my home, rejected and divorced by my husband, I have been humbled…..as I work unto the Lord He assures me He will provide for me and meet all my needs. I am donating my bridal gown to a ministry in Israel where Jewish women can prepare for their wedding with donated items. I pray that the woman who slips on my dress will be filled instantly with the Holy SPirit and becomes a believer in Yeshua as her Messiah. Oh the Lord does work everything together for our good. I wear my ring still as a symbol to my sons of the COVENANT I made unto the Lord at the altar with their father. He may have torn that covenant but I have not. The Lord Jesus is my husband now and my ring is a testimony of FAITHFULNESS. I was faithful in my marriage in all ways just as God is faithful to us.

    Jesus looked at the JOY set before Him and He ENDURED THE CROSS,. I want to do the same….there is JOY up ahead, (even now) as I walk thru this time of testing..and at the end is JESUS……oh to SEE HIM FACE TO FACE…..He is with me now, but oh the JOY of eternity with Him , by His side….at His feet, near His throne…….GLORY TO THE LORD!!!

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