In Exodus 33* Moses was instructed by God to do a task. Moses was afraid and needed assurance; he needed to KNOW God would be with Him. He knew if he went with the glory of God that he would not need to fear. So, he asked God to see His glory, and God responds “I will let my goodness pass before you.” God responds to Moses’ fear by assuring Him of His goodness. The glory of God is in His goodness to us. Moses SAW the goodness of God when He was yearning for Glory. We bring the Kingdom of God into people’s lives by living out the goodness of God’s love. Love on people and you show them God’s glory. The glory of God isn’t always the burning bush and audible voice; it’s Him being good to us and us being good to others. He wants us to never be small minded about Him. He wants us at a place where we believe His love for us is real and He wants our understanding of Him to widen so we can effortlessly perceive His glory and goodness, enabling us to function well in His kingdom. God wants us to know He is good so we can live steadfast in our knowledge of His heart toward us. We will start treating people and ourselves as the dearly loved children of the most high God, no longer living as victims but as victors. We need to really and fully KNOW God. Experientially know Him. Know He is good, know He is kind, know He is compassionate, know He is not angry, know He is loving, know He is forgiving, know He is generous.
I want to encourage you to spend time with Him, to make a dedicated effort to hear what is on His heart for you, to encounter His love. You will receive and upgrade in your thinking. When we encounter the love of God we are never the same. When we encounter His goodness we are shown the essence of His glory and kingdom. Ephesians 1 speaks of the eyes of our understanding being enlightened, so we may know. This word ‘know’ refers to an experiential knowledge, to know because you have experienced, to know because you have seen and felt and heard. Not because you heard a sermon at church. Not because you had an idea formed from reasoning, but because you have experienced the reality of Him. When we experience His love, our understanding of His character becomes enlarged and broadened. We begin to understand He is good, because we have had an encounter with Him. When we encounter Him in person, we get the wonderful opportunity to allow our ideas of Him to be replaced with the truth of who He is. 1Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
Ephesians 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Ephesians 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.
It has been my experience that God absolutely enjoys rocking my religious boat. He has sent some big waves my way, like challenging me to not be a victim of people’s opinions of me. But, no worries, He invites me to walk on the water- every time. I get nervously excited when I feel His prompting. You know? That nagging in your spirit won’t relent until you give it some mind, that persistent thought that you should investigate, an undefined restlessness. It always pays off. So, recently He tells me I need to clean house, not my actual literal house, though that would not be completely unforeseen. No, I was to clean out some trash ideas – a usual consequence of having a prayer life, specifically thoughts about myself and people. God encouraged me to evaluate how I view relationship. I was challenged to be “conscious” of my interpretation of people and the Word. 2 Corinthians 5: 16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! We need to allow our thoughts to be renewed in order to treat ourselves and others with kindness. We need to allow our thoughts to be renewed in order to treat ourselves and others as Christ. For example, if I have a feeling that does not measure up to the knowledge of the fact that He is good, I immediately need to cast out that thought. If I am having feelings of inferiority towards other Christians, jealousy, the need to validate myself, an urge to run and hide from people, I have to stop and evaluate whether these are feelings that come from a lie I believe about His will for me. Thought patterns that intimate that God is the cause of our suffering, lack, poverty, disasters, discomfort, loss and grief are thoughts that belong to the old man that has been crucified. As a child of a good Father, you no longer need to entertain any ideas of unworthiness or lack. The price He paid was paid in full, and you have been redeemed wholly. The life He gives us is one of overcoming. We have been crucified with Him.
“Everything negative about me is on the cross and Jesus killed it. I realised God doesn’t want to clean up my act, He wants to kill me…God is not trying to pastor the old man, I have been made new.” Graham Cooke.
When the eyes of our understanding become enlightened, we gain capacity for greater vision- enlarged vision for ourselves and others. We consequently need an update in our thinking and living, in order to align our thoughts with Kingdom. Kingdom thoughts are the ones that sound absolutely insane to the carnal mind. They are the thoughts you have about doing amazing things, they are the dreams about accomplishing the impossible, and the brave fervour that stems from knowing your source is unlimited.
An unfortunate truth is we tend to relate to the Bible and people in the same manner. If we look down on people, we will also treat the Bible with pride and arrogance, and if we feel intimidated by people, we will also feel as though God is a puppet master who is controlling us and we are just victims of His will. It was time for me to decide if God was my hero or my adversary. Encountering His love will always leave our perceptions challenged. He has this amazing greatness that just won’t fit in any of my boxes. His love surpasses the limits we have set on our worth. He comes rushing in with validation and triumphantly redeems us from… well… us. God always has more in store for us, always willing to give more and do more.