But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you(1 Peter 5:10 KJV)
As the darkness over the earth becomes darker—increasing sin, unrest, fears, diseases, etc.—the glory of the Lord as the light will shine brighter and brighter. Therefore the glory is God’s antidote to the darkness. This devotional will examine three distinct but related ways the glory of God operates in us: partaking, beholding, and expressing.
As discussed in a prior devotional, the glory of God is essentially God Himself manifested in His beauty and splendor to His creation. Furthermore, as the Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 5:10, this glory is our eternal calling in Christianity. God has called us to partake of Himself, His life, and His Son; He has graciously invited us to enjoy what it “feels” to be God and to live as He does!
The first dimension of the glory is partaking in the divine nature(2 Peter 1:2). If God becoming a Man is the most perplexing truth in the entire Bible, next to it will be man sharing in God’s nature. God has called His human children to be God, not “gods” but God Himself. At conversion, the Holy Spirit, the very nature of God, becomes one with our human spirit. God alone knows how He made this happen—there is nothing impossible with God! So as a believer, we share in God’s very nature, His glory. He has called us unto Himself, into the Holy of Holies, to partake of His very life.
The beholding is the second dimension of the glory, following the partaking. While partaking in the divine nature is in our spirit, beholding the glory is in the realm of the flesh, that is, natural. Beholding the glory is perceiving God with the senses of our hearts or body. Israel physically saw God in different manifestations, including fire, cloud, smoke, light, etc. The Apostles had the unique privilege of seeing, hearing, and touching Jesus—Jehovah in the flesh! But perceiving God with our physical senses( eyes or ears) is only the beginning; the New Testament takes us one step further. In Christ, in addition to the possible physical manifestations, the glory of God is principally seen or beheld in our hearts as Jesus is revealed to us:
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6 KJV)
As the glory shines in our hearts, we become more and more like Him!
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV)
Besides the partaking and the beholding, the last operational dimension of the glory is expressing. This third dimension is God’s ultimate purpose of partaking and beholding. God wants to fully express the totality of His Person in and as you and me. He did this in Jesus; when the people saw Jesus act, react, reason, talk, smile, walk, etc., they saw the fullness of the Father as a Human Being. Jesus did not express the Father mainly by teaching or preaching. His life—His person, actions, words—were the complete revelation of God. Similarly, when the glory fills our hearts(beholding), we become living manifestations of the invisible God. When this occurs, people around us will never again ask to see God’s love, wisdom, power, etc. They will merely have to meet us. This is not some spiritual rhetoric to make you feel better. This is God’s will. He is looking forward to the manifestations of the sons on the earth!
So we operate or function in our calling unto glory by partaking in the divine nature, beholding His Person revealed, and expressing the loveliness, beauty, and excellency of the Father.
What are the three dimensions of operating in the glory described above?
Apply the Word
Be glory conscious. Christ is in you, the hope of glory!
Thank the Lord for inviting us into His glory.