The Glory and the Power of God
Rev. Lily Lim | On 06, Jun 2017
Psalms 63:1 (NKJV)- O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
V2- So I have looked for you in the sanctuary, to see Your power and glory.
What do you want to see most in this life?
For some, it is Boracay like some of you who had been invited to the wedding of Jett and Hershe at the Boracay Beach last week.
For me, it is snow. In the past, I dreamt of seeing and touching the snow one day. And my chance came in 2001 when I stopped over at Vancouver on our way to New York for a Pastors’ Conference at Time Square Church. Pastor Toh Nee and I drove to Grouse Mountain. It was spring at that time and we weren’t expecting to see any snow. However when the cable car took us up to Grouse Mountain, I saw the mountains covered with patches of white “thing”. I exclaimed to Pastor Toh Nee, “Snow! Snow! Snow!” But Pastor Toh Nee deflated me by saying, “Dear! That’s not snow la! That is cement. They need to cement the slopes of the mountains to prevent landslide.” I had no choice but to accept Pastor Toh Nee’s lame explanation. However, upon disembarking from the cable car, I walked by the curb that had this patch “white thing” over it, thinking it was “cement” as Pastor Toh Nee claimed it. Without any expectation, I just bent down to touch it and to my surprise, it felt cold and fluffy. It was snow. I jumped and jumped and looked at Pastor Toh Nee with that accusatory look –“Ya! You and your stupid white cement explanation!!”
However, my heart’s desire and longing were still not satisfied. I wanted to experience snow falling upon me like a rain falling upon me in the Philippines. And my chance came again in March 8, 2014 when we were taking a one month long vacation in France. We drove about 4 hours down from Lyon to Mont Blanc (the Famous Alp of France). After returning from a cable car ride to the peak of the Alps, we were walking towards the car park, when lo and behold, the snow fell on us. It was our very first snow fall. Jan and her French classmate were with us and Jan videoed our elation.
Snow was and is still my longing and is still the very thing I want to see the most in this life.
Our key text tells us that David’s longing wasn’t Boracay or snow. David longed to see the glory and the power of God.
This morning I would like to share a sermon which is my longing for this church – THE GLORY AND THE POWER OF GOD.
Yes, in this life, I want to see snow and my dream is to be able to stay in a snowing country for at least 6 months. But when it comes to this church, the one thing I long to see for Evangel Tabernacle is the glory and the power of God. That’s why I themed year 2017 as THY KINGDOM COME! I want to see the Kingdom glory and power come upon Evangel Tabernacle and her people.
There are three things I want to share with you this morning:
1) The Glory of God
2) The Power of God
3) How to experience and see the glory and the power of God?
(I) THE GLORY OF GOD
What is the glory of God?
Some associate this glory with an intimate experience they may have had – an experience in which God seemed so close, like a vision of heaven. But they fumble for words when trying to explain it.
The truth is that the GLORY OF GOD IS THE PERSON AND PRESENCE OF GOD – THE GLORY IS THE HOLY SPIRIT.
When you experience His presence – the overwhelming realization that God Almighty is so near you can almost reach out and touch Him – then you have experienced the glory of God. You feel the warmth of His love, the comfort of His peace.
The wonderful experience of the presence causes you to wonder: “Who am I that You, the Creator of the universe, would allow me to be in Your presence?” It is this same question David the psalmist asked: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him and the son of man that You visit him? (Psalm 8:3-4 NKJV).
You are in total awe as you experience the presence and the glory of God. How can God be great enough to create everything there is and yet small enough and near enough for you – a speck of dust that He breathed into – to know the intimacy of His presence and love? You feel as though you have been ushered into the throne room of heaven and given a private audience with God. His arms seem to enfold you and wrap you in His love. The cares of the world pass away.
WHEN THE PRESENCE OF GOD COMES, THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD COME AS WELL.
Think of the experience of Moses in Exodus 33:18:
AND God replied, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
GOODNESS, MERCY AND COMPASSION were to be shown to him in a concrete, visible ways.
WITH THE PRESENCE OF GOD WOULD COME THE NATURE – THE VERY ATTRIBUTES OF GOD HIMSELF.
Exodus 34:5-7 –“Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed: “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.”
The glory or the presence, comes so do the attributes, grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, goodness.
Lives are changed for eternity. In short, the Holy Spirit brings the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT, as described in Galatians 5:22-23. And the fruit must come before the anointing for service comes.
Application: Do you have the glory of God in you? Do you have the presence of God in you? Is there evidence of the attributes of God in you – grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and goodness?
(II) THE POWER OF GOD
The presence of God is His glory, His personality, His attributes. The Holy Spirit, God, is a person who wants lovingly and yearningly to make His presence known to you. And it is possible now and forever, to live in that presence.
The presence of the Holy Spirit can and should lead to the anointing for service.
THE PRESENCE MUST PRECEDE THE ANOINTING.
What is the anointing?
IT IS THE POWER OF GOD.
THE ANOINTING IS THE POWER OF GOD.
This power of God exceeds anything man can generate. It is the power that brought heavens and the earth into being. It is the power that created man. It is the power that raised Jesus – from the dead. It is the power that will bring Jesus from the right hand of God to earth at the appointed time and will cause all things to be made new.
THE PRESENCE OF GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT LEADS TO THE ANOINTING OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE POWER OF GOD, AND THE POWER OF GOD BRINGS FORTH THE MANIFESTATION OF THE PRESENCE.
The anointing itself –an anointing of the Holy Spirit – cannot be seen but the power, its manifestations, its effects can and should be seen.
It is called the TANGIBLE ANOINTING.
This harmonizes with the Lord’s teaching to Nicodemus in John 3:8 that the Spirit blows like the wind, in which case its effect can be seen.
Beyond the salvation message itself, the most explosive words of the Scripture came out of Christ’s mouth as recorded in Acts 1:8. They are vital to the truth of the anointing:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (KJV).
YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER – THE ANOINTING, THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS – AFTER THE HOLY GHOST- THE PRESENCE, THE GLORY, THE PERSON, THE FRUIT- COMES UPON YOU.
Do you see it? The FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT, so missing in the church today, is connected to the PRESENCE OF GOD.
THE GIFTS AND THE MINSTRY OF GOD, also sadly missing, are connected to the POWER OF GOD.
What are the fruits?
They are the qualities or characteristics – attributes – of a person, in this case God. They begin INSIDE you, where God is if you are a believer. God says, “I will come in, and My fruit will come in with Me. I leave, and My fruit will go with Me.”
That is what Paul means in Romans 12:3 when he says that God has given to each a “measure of faith” to use for Him. In other words, when we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit comes into our spirit man and assigns a measure of faith in us for God. No born again believer can say he has no faith in God. The difference between one and the other believer is the measure of faith. I believe alongside with this measure of faith God has brought along with Him into our lives His virtue or divine nature (2 Peter 1:1-11) and Peter exhorts us to supplement this basic faith and virtue with knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love.
You can lose the fruit of the Spirit if you are not careful to tend your life as is instructed by the Bible. This fruit of the Spirit is not your fruit or attribute. They are GOD’S. His fruit should shine forth from you when you become His ambassadors.
Not so with power. The power of God comes UPON YOU AS A GIFT. It stays with you. As Paul wrote to the Romans, speaking of the current and future conditions of the Jews, “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). Yes, it is not an easy truth but it is possible for the presence of God to withdraw and the gifts to remain, at least for a while. But that will ultimately lead to disaster.
Look at the example of the nation of Israel where Ichabod was declared by the daughter-in-law of Eli when she heard that her husband and father-in-law had died, which immediately caused her to give birth and subsequently die. Ichabod means THE GLORY HAD DEPARTED FROM ISRAEL because the ark of God (which is the presence of God) had been captured.
Application: Have you been allowing the Holy Spirit to work on the fruit of the Spirit which He has begun in you? Have you been building upon the measure faith and virtue which God has imputed in you? Or has the glory of God departed from your life today because of your habitual lifestyle of godlessness and sin. Has the enemy captured the “ark of the covenant” the presence of God from you and today death is prevalent in your life? Though you still have the gifts of God like speaking in tongues and prophesy, can people safely see the fruit of the spirit in you?
Look at Paul the Apostle, previously called Saul, a man felled by the Spirit of God on the road to Damascus. He fell and came out a new man. He had been a murderer and immediately after his experience with the presence of God through God the Holy Spirit, he was no longer a killer. Prior to that, he had had no genuine knowledge of God. Suddenly, however, he knew God and lived for Him. He was even willing to die for Him. Paul was under power and heard God’s voice. Ezekiel was under the power and heard God’s voice. Why? Because the Lord was present, and He produced virtue.
THE VOICE OF GOD IS HEARD IN HIS PRESENCE AND THIS ENABLES YOU UNDER THE ANOINTING TO SPEAK YOUR WORDS THAT PRODUCE RESULTS.
THE PRESENCE OF GOD CARRIES HIS VOICE; THE GIFTS OF GOD CARRY YOURS.
Thus, in Acts 1:8 Jesus said the empowered disciples would be His WITNESSES.
The power of God is for service and not for goose pimples. The anointing is a must if you want to be used by God, no matter what position you are in. It carries a heavier responsibility than the presence of God by itself; but you cannot do without it.
His presence can be yours and you can have fellowship with Him regularly, loving Him, walking with Him, without even having a ministry. But the second you step into the ministry, you need the power to fight devils, sickness and the powers of hell. No matter what your ministerial calling is, you need the power of the anointing to fulfill it. You will never accomplish what God wants you to do without it.
THE ANOINTING IS MANDATORY IF YOU ARE CALLED TO SERVE THE LORD.
Without it, there will be no growth, no blessing, and no victory in your ministry.
After the power came upon the 120 disciples waiting in the upper room during the Day of Pentecost, 3000 people were saved, then another 5000 and then all Jerusalem was shaken by that power of God. That’s the power of God we all must have with any service to God. In tandem with the presence, it will be the greatest plus your life can have.
Our prayer should be each time, we are given opportunity to preach or share in the pulpit or anywhere else is, “Lord, please anoint me today or my words will be dead.” Without the power or the anointing of God, we will have no church. No lives will be changed; no souls saved and nobody healed.
Now as you go on with the anointing God gives you, He will trust you with more. In other words, keep serving God with His anointing. His anointing needs to be used again and again in order for it to increase, if not, you will lose it.
The anointing or the power of God is dependent upon our WORDS.
THE VOICE OF GOD IS HEARD IN HIS PRESENCE AND THIS ENABLES YOU UNDER THE ANOINTING TO SPEAK YOUR WORDS THAT PRODUCE RESULTS. THE PRESENCE OF GOD CARRIES HIS VOICE; THE GIFTS OF GOD CARRY YOURS.
A pastor was laying hands on the people who lined up at the altar. As he was praying from the first to the third person, nothing happened. And he became more nervous. Then he heard a voice within him, “Say-“The power of the Spirit goes through you.’” “Why should I say that?” The fourth person, nothing. Then the fifth one, nothing. And the suggestion was still there, “Say, ‘The power of the Spirit goes through you.” Finally the pastor began to get the idea. “Lord, are you teaching me something new?” The Lord replied, “Start doing what I’m telling you.” Finally to the sixth person, the pastor said, “The power of the Spirit goes through you.” BANG! Down he went. The next one the same, the next one and the next one.
God will not move unless you say. Why? Because He has made us CO-WORKERS WITH HIM. He set things up that way.
The anointing and the power of God are dependent on your BOLDNESS.
We must use the weapons He’s given us. His Words and His names because Jesus has said, “In My name, do it.”
The anointing and the power of God are dependent on your OBEDIENCE.
The knowledge of the Scripture is key to that obedience because the more you know about God, the more He can trust you with power.
(III) HOW TO EXPEPRIENCE THE GLORY AND POWER OF GOD?
David in our key text declares that his flesh “longs” for God, while his soul “thirsts”. Isaiah, meanwhile, in 26:9, says that with his spirit he will “seek” God.
So we have the FLESH longing for God, the SOUL thirsting and the SPIRIT seeking.
It is noteworthy that in Moses’ account of the Tabernacle, we find:
• OUTER COURT = flesh = Longing
• HOLY PLACE= soul= Thirsting
• HOLY OF HOLIES= spirit= Seeking
LONGING takes one to the Outer Court.
THIRSTING takes one to the Holy Place
SEEKING takes one to the Holy of Holies
OUTER COURT – LONGING OF THE FLESH
As we long for God we go into PRAYER, which is
place where God begins to deal with and crucify the flesh. It is a place of struggle where, as we get on our knees each day, all we can think about at first is our guilt, our failures, our great needs. We repeat ourselves over and over and God seems a million miles away. We wonder if we’re accomplishing anything. We want to fall asleep, to take a break – anything.
What we don’t immediately realize is that the longer we are on our knees, the less of the flesh remains. A death begins as we are on our knees.
Soon, as God finishes crucifying the flesh, a breakthrough comes – you feel it- and suddenly your prayer becomes real. A river gushes out of your inmost being and your words become meaningful. The presence of God or the glory of God comes in and something real happens to you. You may even begin to weep.
That breakthrough may take half an hour, an hour, maybe longer. It will take as long as needed, depending on where you are with the Lord, what your relationship is with Him. He must deal with the idols and the sins in your heart. Any Isaacs in your heart must die (which is what God was determining with Abraham). If you haven’t prayed for a long time you can’t expect a breakthrough after the first minute or two.
Remember, this is a daily matter. The breakthrough doesn’t come once for all time. “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). There will be a struggle each time we go into this kind of prayer. The presence and the anointing don’t come today because you died twenty years ago. They come today because you died this morning. God does not use leftovers.
The way you will know when the breakthrough comes is that guilt will disappear. The absence of guilt means you have broken through. You have sought Him and found Him. Bill Johnson said, “It is illegal to enjoy the presence of the Lord and not conquer something.”
The decision to pay the price and to pray is something every Christian must decide for himself- no one can decide it for him.
God gives us all the opportunity to pray and calls us to it but He will not force us. The choice is ours.
The second you say no to prayer – “I’m too tired” or “I don’t feel like”- the real you is an IDOL WORSHIPPER. You have submitted to the lower nature, and your flesh has taken the place of God.
You really need to understand that. God loves you. He will help you but He will not force you. The Lord always leads but the devil always pushes. It’s up to you to take that flesh by the neck and say, “No, I’m going to pray.”
The awful danger of submitting to the flesh is revealed in the early chapters of the Genesis. God made man a being of spirit, soul and body but the devil, through the temptation to Eve and Adam, turned man around: body, soul and spirit. The flesh prevailed and we find these tragic words in Genesis 6:3 – “And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh.” The devil had turned man upside down.
Submitting to the flesh is rebelling against God. It will kill you and that is what you do when you refuse to pray. God will not use a man who has been turned down and He certainly will not anoint Him.
Start seeking God. Pay the price. Turn your life right side up. And He will anoint your head clear down to your feet.
THE HOLY PLACE – THIRSTING OF THE SOUL
At some point will come the ‘THIRSTING” for God. Your soul will thirst for God. David said in Psalm 42:1-2 – As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”
And that is exactly what happens to us. Our soul thirsts to come before the living God; it thirsts for His presence.
David’s imagery is perfect. A deer seeks water for two reasons: one is because he is thirsty and two, because he is being chased by another animal. He knows that his scent will be lost if he gets into the water. He will be safe.
Application: So it is with us believers. We thirst for the presence of God because it satisfies our souls and because no enemy can touch us. The devil cannot find us. That’s why David also wrote “You are my hiding place” (Psalm 32:7).
So when you find that water for which your SOUL has been thirsting for, PRAISE will erupt in you. You will know that you are in the Holy Place, where PRAISE IS GENUINE. There will be none of the matter-of-fact and routine “praise the Lord; thank you Lord”. It will become REAL. Every part of your being will be THANKING HIM – even for those things that an hour ago you could not thank Him for. Everything will become beautiful.
HOLY OF HOLIES – SEEKING OF THE SPIRIT
Our key text says that David spoke of wanting to see God’s POWER AND GLORY. That will happen in this third stage- the prayer and the dying to self must come before the anointing.
The Holy of Holies is symbolic of the spirit. It is the place where you say nothing, you do nothing. You don’t pray. You don’t sing. You receive.
That’s the place David meant when he said in Psalms 42:7- Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All your waves and billows have gone over me.
IN THE OUTER COURT, MY MOUTH WAS TALKING TO GOD.
IN THE HOLY PLACE, MY SOUL WAS TALKING TO GOD.
IN THE HOLY OF HOLIES, MY SPIRIT TALKS – DEEP CALLING UNTO DEEP.
This is where prayer without ceasing is born where you bask in the GLORY OF GOD. You are not longing. You are not thirsting. You are drinking.
“Be still and know that I am God,” David wrote in Psalm 46:10. You are so full that you cannot talk. Words are inadequate. You are totally in His presence. You are not interested in what He can do for you. You are interested in knowing Him. This place of stillness in your spirit is also known as ABIDING IN CHRIST. Jesus taught of this in His story about the vine and the branches. In the same way that a branch is connected to the vine, so we are to be connected to Christ in this Holy of Holies.
ABIDING MEANS BASICALLY THAT WE LIVE WITH A PROFOUND CONNECTION TO THE HEART, MIND AND PRESENCE OF GOD, WITH HIS PROMISES.
Living conscious of God’s heart for us keeps us in a place of PEACE where you are so still before God. And peace is more than the absence of something like war, noise or conflict.
OUR PEACE IS THE PRESENCE OF SOMEONE. IT IS THE ACTUAL ATMOSPHERE OF HEAVEN.
Cultivate a supreme value for the presence of God upon your life. Always have God’s promises for your life within reach. Memorize them, sing them, write them out on pieces of paper – do anything you need to keep His mind in front of yours, until His thoughts become instinctively your thoughts.
Those who experience this are the ones God can trust with the anointing. God will not trust the anointing to those who don’t love Him, who do not put Him as number one.
As you enter the Holy of Holies on a daily basis, it becomes more natural quicker. It may not take you half an hour to break through; it may take five minutes. The more time you remain in the presence of God, the more that presence will rub off on you. The thicker it will get. As you continue to spend more and more time with the Lord, you will walk out and before you say anything, people will feel the glory. You won’t have to say anything.
You may not be pretty, intelligent or rich. But people can tell if you have the glory of God in you. And that comes with you paying the price of waiting in the Holy of Holies for God.
Illustration: Lecrae Devaughn Moore, simply known as Lecrae, is an American Christian rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor.
At a conference appearance (PASSION 2015), Lecrae told the story of a recent trip to Hollywood during which he stepped into a department store to buy a T shirt. Not a fancy silk or diamond studded-shirt – just plain cotton T-shirt. As he pulled one from the rack, he noticed the price tag and thought to himself that it must be mis-marked. So he pulled another to find the same price on the tag. Incredulous, he approached the salesperson to question the exorbitant price – US$640.
The salesperson told him the price was correct- $640 was the “special” sale price.
He began to question what could possibly be so special about this T-shirt to warrant such a value. “Am I going to be healed of some disease when I put this on? Am I going to get some kind of superpower?”
“It’s the designer’s name on it that adds value to it,” she replied.
Lesson- Do you know how valuable you are because of whose name is on you?” Lecrae asked the crowd.
“Do you understand that your worth and value comes from whose name is on you? GOD’S GLORY IS STICHED IN YOUR GENES, AND YOU ARE HERE TO GLORIFY HIM. Indeed we are made in the very image of the Living God. He has designed us. He has created us to do His will and His work.
So your earthly looks, background and achievements do not matter. What matters is- do you have the DESIGNER’S NAME BY THE NAME OF YAHWEH JESUS AND HIS GLORY STITCHED IN YOUR GENES?
Adam and Eve were in the Holy of Holies- fellowshipping and worshipping God in the cool of the evening at the Garden of Eden. But sin robbed them of this Holy of Holies. For many centuries, God put a Cherubim and a flaming sword to prevent man from entering that Holy of Holies again. In the OT, God put a veil before the Holy of Holies, preventing all to enter except the High Priest who was allowed to enter only once a year on the Day of Atonement. But Christ, our faithful High Priest, suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood (Hebrews 13:12). Through His death, the veil between us and God was torn down so that we can have direct access to this Holy of Holies where we can see and experience the glory and power of God.
Where are you today? Outside? Outer court? The Holy Place? The Holy of Holies?
The glory and the power of God – these are the two things I pray that God will release from heaven and let them invade our lives. Thy Kingdom come! Thy kingdom glory and thy kingdom power come upon us.
How to have glory and the power of God? Long, thirst and seek God in the Holy of Holies.
PREACHED AT ETAB 1ST ENGLISH SERVICE ON 4 JUNE 2017