The word “glory” is found over 600 times in our Bibles, so it’s certainly a familiar word to Christians, but I think lately we’ve kind of lost the weight behind that word.
And, yes, I used the word “weight” on purpose in that last sentence, in the hope that you would either recall C.S, Lewis’ book “The Weight of Glory” and/or the Bible verse that book is based upon, namely, 2 Corinthians 4:17:
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” (NKJV)
“Glory” is generally defined in Biblical terms as God’s fame or reputation, so Paul is assigning a physical characteristic to something which is not, strictly speaking, a tangible object like a plate or a brick that has measurable weight.
Nonetheless, that the King of the Universe would come to earth clothed in flesh and save all of humanity by His own sacrifice is indeed amazing and glorious!
There is a weight to that.
And there is another kind of glory mentioned in the Bible. This is the Shekhinah Glory, where the presence of God is visibly felt and experienced. The burning bush and the cloud that rested on Mount Sinai are examples. The Shekhinah was often pictured as a cloud or as a pillar of fire and was referred to as the glory of God.
And that brings me to a morning in Jerusalem.
I was reading my Bible and praying that morning with Cory Asbury’s “Egypt” playing as I did so –and suddenly the lyrics of the third verse caught my attention:
“The cloud by day, is a sign that You are with meThe fire by night, is the guiding light to my feet‘Cause You found me, You freed meHeld back the waters for my release”
As I remembered how the cloud led the children of Israel out of Egypt by day and gave them light with fire at night, (See Exodus 13:21-22) it occurred to me that the glory of LORD that led and protected and illuminated God’s chosen people back then was very, very similar to what the Holy Spirit does in the lives of those who have surrendered to King Jesus today.
Doesn’t the Holy Spirit guide us? Aren’t we told to be led by Him? (Galatians 5:16) Wasn’t the sign of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost both a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire? (Acts 2:2&3) The Bible is not short on the Old Testament foreshadowing the New Testament.
Even if I am wrong about the pillars of cloud and fire foreshadowing the gift of the Holy Spirit, the concept that God’s own Spirit would come to live in us, to occupy these earthly shells as His temple during our lifetimes is nothing short of astoundingly glorious! 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. “(NLT)
That means His glory lives in us. All the honor and fame and recognition due the King of everything that ever was, is, or will be has taken up residence in the ones He has chosen to give His life to save!
And that is why we exist to bring Him glory, honor, and praise!
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (NLT)