When I think of Glory, I think of God’s face. I think of the encounters I have had with God that have been life-changing. I think of the encounters I’ve had with Him that were quiet and comforting. I think of the times when I have been a part of a service in which the heavens opened up and God’s presence became tangible and real. I believe that Christ died to give us the opportunity to come into that place of Glory, the very throne room of God, at ANY point without barriers, distractions, or chains. Take a look at this passage and what Jesus tells His disciples:
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times. Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My father’s house are many mansions (dwellings; a staying); if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 13:36-14:6)
Our first thought in reading this passage is of the streets of gold in the sweet by and by where one day Jesus will take us after His return to rapture His people. But, I don’t think that’s what He’s talking about. In the very same passage is a statement that we use all the time as Christians upon salvation: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John14:6) We never assume in this particular statement that Jesus means He’s the way only after the rapture, so why do we assume He’s speaking post-rapture in the former?
Over and over again, throughout the Bible, and I know in my life and probably yours, God has made the point that He is about a love relationship. He created us for loving Him and for Him to love us. The moment that Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the holy of holies was rent in two! He physically made the statement that He would be separated from His people NO LONGER!! So why do we think that we have to wait to be with Him?? Now we have the opportunity to come face to face with God in a more intimate way than even those who attended David’s open tabernacle! And not only that, but we get to come to Him in His own righteousness, covered by the blood of the most holy Lamb, as the Bride of Christ! Wow!! What an incredible opportunity!
Looking at this passage as one who has been saved by His blood and walking in His righteousness with the revelation that INDEED Jesus means HERE and NOW, there are several things that we can learn:
- We can follow Jesus to that place NOW, just by getting on our face, or crying out “Abba, Father”, or singing “worthy”…
- It does not matter what mistakes and failures we have made. It was not a mistake that Jesus talked about this opportunity of relationship right after telling Peter that he wouldn’t be as faithful as he thought. Jesus wanted Peter to know that his failures would have no effect on the opportunity he was preparing for him of fellowship with the Father.
- Jesus went to prepare a place in Glory for us to dwell, to stay. We have to stop thinking of Heaven as a place in the clouds with angels and harps. We have to remember that the Spirit world is here, now! If the earth is God’s footstool (Isaiah 66:1), then that would put us ALL in His throne room!! Heaven is here, not some faraway, ethereal place.
- When Christ received us upon the confession of our faith in Him we immediately received the benefit of being in Glory with Him, face to face, having a Glory encounter.
What’s even more amazing is that it doesn’t have to be at church with the right song playing and goosebumps on your arm. You can be in that place at His feet, or in His lap, or wrapped in His arms anywhere, anytime: in your car, at your desk, in the kitchen with your kids screaming around you, at school… And, it doesn’t have to be after hours of preparation (or even after a year of preparation as it was in the Old Testament for the High Priest), but we can enter into that throne room, that place of Glory, in as little as 60 seconds! (Or really, for some it could even happen in just a blink of the eye.)
Are you reading this and thinking, “I’ve never had an encounter like that with God, and I’m not sure what it even feels like.”? Well, my goal in this blog is to give you a set of tools to help you get to that place of Glory in less time than it takes you to read it.
Be sure to leave your comments and questions! I would love to get a discussion going!
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