Why God's Glory Isn't Just for 'Carpet Time With the Drunken Saints'

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I am reminded of a college professor prior to my earlier days of Bible college. I had heard from many sources that this man of God would arrive early to his classroom to pray and study quietly before teaching his Bible classes. Students and faculty could always tell when he was there because they could feel the glory of God resting in the hallways outside his study. They would say that it was like God's presence would fill the entire area of that floor when he was there as he would pray and seek God for the day's lessons.

What was this "glory" that they were talking about? Was it Jesus showing up or was He already there, now functioning in power on this man's behalf? The answer is found in understanding just what the glory of God is.

This glory is found in several places throughout the Bible. Let's look at one right here:

Emmanuel (or Immanuel in Hebrew) meaning, "God with us." This is the promise that one day a holy and distant God will make His place on earth with us. This was fulfilled with Christ's birth. But it doesn't stop there; it gets better. Christ didn't come just to live among us; He came to live in us. In other words, Christ became the conduit—the connector—between God and a sinful people (you and me). But He came to dwell inside, not hang out on the outside like in the times past (as in the Old Testament). And this is for all people, not just the original Israelites or Jews. This is what Paul is referring to here:

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"To them God would make known what is the glorious riches of this mystery among the nations. It is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27).

The word "glory" here has a few meanings to consider. One common one is, "Weight, or to make something heavy." This explains why some people can't get up off the floor when under the glory of God. It also means, "Dignity, power, honor and generally speaking, "light" (Acts 22:11). In other words, God's glory (heaviness), His dignity, power and honor transforming our inner lives will cause us to light up for others so they can catch fire like we did. The light of God (glory) must become brighter within first.

The Glory Isn't Just for Carpet Time With the 'Drunken Saints'

If you've been in the charismatic movement long enough, you've had encounters and experiences with God. I can recall many times being "drunk in the Spirit" during a service, unable to get up off the floor, as though it were evening happy hour at a local bar. And hours later still attempting to compose myself to hear the rest of the meeting. I am not against supernatural encounters at all, but if our greatest understanding of the glory of God is having "carpet time" with some friends, then we have totally missed the most amazing aspect of the kingdom of God on earth: God's glory (the Son of God) living inside of us.

The glory of God resting in us and among us isn't just for the purpose of displaying physical signs and wonders. This isn't the sizzle in the steak or the icing on the cake; instead, this is a manifestation of God's glory—God displaying His deity among common people. The ultimate form of glory is being able to understand what He has done inside you and helping others grasp what He can do in them. The glory isn't as much about the outward manifestations (falling, people rolling on the floor, healings, signs and wonders, and so on), as it is about inner transformation. The glory of God comes through the son of God making His home within us. This is glory in you! This heavenly kingdom, now living in your body and taking up residence in you, is far more valuable than any outward sign and wonder.

When we stop at the outer manifestations of the glory of God (signs and wonders), we miss the richness of God's glory—the inner transformation that trumps the lesser gifts (healings, signs and wonders, miracles). These gifts should follow us—not go before us, nor be the reason of our being (see Mark 16: 17-20). Signs and wonders follow us because these gifts follow the glory of God living inside us. The inner glory is deeper than a few fond memories with friends and things that make you wonder.

The Glory Comes Through Time

The glory is only discovered by spending time with Him. There isn't another solution, book, article, conference, prophet or yet another church that brings this to you. The glory is manifested from the inside out, not from the outside in. The atmosphere changes on the outside when the glorious image of Jesus Christ becomes revealed inside us. Heaven is now inside you, a temporary dwelling place for the King of kings. Christ came down here to spend time with us. This is why there is something special about waiting in the weightiness of God. The glory only comes through waiting. It doesn't come through a quick-fix program, church meeting or weekend retreat. Though they all help, God's glory (heaviness) outshines all of that.

When the weight of His glory (likeness of God) is present, we must linger in His presence and not leave until it "lifts" and the atmosphere shifts. The "feel-good moments" aren't just for the experience; they're an invitation from the King to enter into His most secret, personal chambers. The glory carries a sacred time schedule with it—and the glory never arrives on our time, always on God's. We must learn to walk with the glory of God throughout the natural boundaries of time. The disciplined Christian will surrender their time in an instant in order to be welcomed by the king of Glory.

God's Glorious Writers Will Fill the Earth

"He trains my hands for war, so that my arms bend a bow of bronze" (Ps. 18:34).

God's glorious writers are rising up! He is releasing and commissioning people to write for Him, to spread His message throughout the world. These writers will carry the determination to follow through with the Lord's instructions. They will write for kingdom purposes and not for worldly desire. These writers will devote their time to teach others the principles of the kingdom. Kingdom writers ignite; they don't exploit. Over the next few years, there will be a wave of writers moving throughout the earth. They will experience divine intervention that will free their time to write more. Some of you reading this will experience the miracle of watching God open sovereign and unexpected doors that will usher you into the call to write.

When I think of how we can grasp the concept of His kingdom living in us, all I can say is just one word: Glorious!

Andy Sanders had a drug overdose and an encounter with God just before his high school graduation. He has been supernaturally healed on more than one occasion. Sanders is an avid writer who has been involved with the publishing industry since 1999. His writing venues include Charisma Media, The Elijah List, Morning Star Journal, Identity Network, Spirit Fuel and The Oak Initiative. Sanders is happily married to his wife of 24 years, Cathy, and has two teenage children. They reside in Syracuse, New York.

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