The Glory of His Grace

(Ephesians 1:6)

Jesus prayed that we would be with Him and behold His glory. We live in a day when the Holy Spirit is bringing us into more and more experience of His presence and His glory.  The maturity of those who are disciples of Jesus is increasing.  We also see acceleration in many who are coming to Him, meeting Him for the first time.  This is often the case where those who come to Him are not hindered by religious tradition.

We must spend time in His presence, beholding His glory for this is how we are changed. We are not changed by awesome, revelatory teaching.  We are not changed by going to the “best” church we can find.  Teaching is important, even essential.  So is gathering together with other disciples.  As we hear of what He has made available to us, we must receive, apprehend and pursue that which we have heard with our ears.  We learn by practice and experience to mix the word with faith.  This is further developed as we spend time with Him directly.  We hear His voice, not only the voice of the person who is the speaker.  This is what Jesus meant when He said, “Let Him who has ears to hear, hear.”

Our brother Paul prayed that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened. It is the same with the ears of our hearts, the ears of our inner man.  Here is our secret place, the place we commune with Him, the place that we sit at His feet.  Yes we need to have a physical place or places to do this.  Jesus would go off alone to a high place, above the noise of the day to commune with our Father.  We must do the same.

We find distraction, obstacles, and rocky places in our hearts that hinder our coming to Him and seeing and hearing clearly. He gives grace.  It is His grace that brings us near.  He wants us to come near.  He desires more than we do for us to know Him as Daddy.  His great delight is that His children come to Him.  He delights when a newborn believer appears before Him.  Some father in the church, or some mother has prayed, and interceded for someone and the birth comes.  We have heard and used the word travail.  That refers to prayer that is deep and earnest and often includes tears.  It becomes intense in the spirit.  In the natural, God gave us childbirth as a comparison.  But listen carefully.  There is no pain in true travail in the spirit.  It does not sound like the prophets of Baal, as if the Father does not hear.  It is a cooperative praying in and by the Spirit.

This prayer will result in great grace toward the one being prayed for. It is by grace, not by the following and application of a formula that repentance comes.  Isn’t it the goodness, the grace of God, that leads to repentance?  We fail of the grace of God when we stubbornly continue in our way.  Do we think we can save, deliver, cleanse, or fix ourselves?  No, but we struggle in our own efforts and expect our brothers and sisters to do the same.  We say things like, “You need to do business with God.”  What is that?  Be kind to the one who is struggling.  Love that one.  Has he fallen again?  Don’t beat him up.  Reach down with the grace you have known yourself and pull him back up to his feet.

Each one must know this grace. We are strengthened by grace not by the following and application of the right principle.  We are often taught and learn principles.  Like the natural world, they are helpful for our understanding and they reveal the glory of God.  But they never change us.  Get into His presence.  We pray for our nations.  We humble ourselves, pray, and turn from our wicked ways, and follow the right principles.  Do we seek His face, where the glory of God is?  It seems that we omit that part of that verse from Chronicles.  Only as we seek His face do we really see our wicked ways.  Our self-reliance is exposed there. Our inability to do or become what He is after becomes evident.  We see that without that shining, wonderful glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we cannot be changed and so fulfill His heart and purpose.  And what is that ultimate purpose but to be conformed to the image of that wonderful, first-born son Jesus.  Together we will be refined to be that bride that He waits for.  Stay in His presence wherever you may be for that bride is not made in the earth but in heaven.  She comes down out of heaven from God and is seen in earth, having the glory of God and shining with the glory of His grace.