"THE GLORY OF THE LORD SHONE ROUND ABOUT THEM
© 2015 Philip A Matthews
"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid (Luke 2:9)
So today is Christmas Day. This is a very inspirational time, whether this is the actual day of Jesus's birth or not. Who cares and what does it matter?! The fact remains, O praise God, that He DID come to earth, that He WAS born, that Emmanuel IS truly with us”still! So today's text is Luke 2:9”"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the GLORY of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
I was just checking out the Hebrew meanings of the word "GLORY, and at least 200 times in the Scriptures it's a word that means "weight. For example, Ezekiel 43:2,4,5 talks about the "glory of the Lord, from the Hebrew kaÌ‚boÌ‚d, meaning "WEIGHT and based on the word, kaÌ‚bad, meaning "HEAVY." The question becomes, the weight of what? Why it's obvious: the weight of the presence of God!
Is this hard to imagine, that God's presence has weight? My, how weighty and heavy His presence must be! Filled with the fullness of everything heavenly! And on that special night, the weight of God's presence just plopped down in that field right where the shepherds kept their sheep by night! Can you imagine? The whole weight of heaven above just resting on that mountain!
Then in the Greek New Testament, "glory usually appears as "doxa, having to do with the honor, power, grace, Divinity, splendor, supernatural acts, and the overall incredible greatness emanating from the manifestation of God whenever and wherever His weighty presence shows up. Remember that Paul talked about the "might and power of His glory (Colossians 1:11), the "praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:6,12,14), and even the "body of His glory (Philippians 3:2 Revised).
Then he connected these two concepts in 2 Corinthians 4:17 when he mentioned that "our light afflictions work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. This is because glory is associated with the weight of God's presence and all of the spectacular power and grace it brings.
So let's imagine what happens when the weight of God's presence is in a place. Well, the first verses in the Bible start out with that weight: "And the Spirit of God moved... and the entire heavens and earth were created and developed! And back to the Christmas story (Luke 1:35), the angel told Mary, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Lord shall overshadow you (Greek = ˜episkiazo' to ˜envelop in a haze of brilliancy'). Next thing Mary knows, impossibly, she's pregnant! The glory of God will radically transform you!
Then later we hear that Joseph is being commanded to call His name "Jesus, because He would save His people from their sins, and "Emmanuel, meaning "God, in all of His glory and divinity and weight, is with us! Then later when He's ready to leave the earth, He promises His disciples, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world (Matthew 28:20). This would be a fulfillment of His earlier promises to send them a "Comforter, Someone who would be with them forever (John 14:16). Then He tells them to wait for this Comforter, this Holy Spirit, that would come upon each of them. So what does all this mean? It means that the Spirit of God, with the weight of His presence, will always be in us and with us! That will make all the difference in the world!
What overwhelming negative can happen in your life if the weight of His presence plops down right inside of you! What can go wrong if He's always with you? The problem with millions of us Christians today is that we have learned to live our lives without the weight of his presence. We are content to live without the glory of God. We have, sadly and unfortunately, adjusted to live glory-less lives. Heaven forgive us! God have mercy on us!
Exactly what do we expect to achieve without the presence of God flooding our lives? How can we live a life of victory if we are daily unaware of His divine presence? How dare we get up every morning and walk out the door, not feeling one degree of the weight of His presence on our souls! Who in the world do we think we are without His divine glory upon us!?
We pray for patience, but really, it's not patience we need. We need Presence. It is very difficult”indeed impossible”to get anxious and upset while we abide in His presence. We don't need faith; we need His presence. While we are in His presence, special revelations come that enable us to walk by faith, i.e., to walk by seeing what He has revealed in the Spirit instead of what we see all around us in the flesh. We don't need God to remove every problem; we need the weight of His presence, because in His presence, trouble is no such thing!
As the Christmas season ends and the new year begins, let everyone who believes in the name of Jesus resolve to make this year a year of living in His presence. The "Year of His Presence. Cease all the busyness, and take time every day to seek His presence. Move something out of the way and make room for His glory. Exactly what do you have if you wade out into life without Him? How can things possibly turn out right? How can you possibly be an eternal blessing to someone else without the weight of His presence on your own life?
For starters, you can pray the following prayer each day. This prayer is a powerful prayer for His presence, used by prophetess Leanne Payne, who passed away just this past February. Notice that almost every phrase of this prayer is a plea for the presence of God. And keep in mind that as we pray, we pray in the attitude that Jesus commanded us to have in the "Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:10): "Thy will be done in earth, i.e., in me, because I am earth. In other words, a true prayer is always a prayer of radical submission to God.
"Come, Holy Spirit, come.
Pour the living water in Your presence
on the thirsty ground of my heart.
"Make rivers of living water flow
on the barren heights of my soul,
and springs well up within all its valleys.
"I would receive power, Lord Jesus Christ, to be your witness
at home and throughout the earth.
Be thou in me the fountain of living water,
springing up unto everlasting life.
"You have qualified me, Holy Father, to share in the inheritance
of the saints in the kingdom of light.
You have rescued me from the dominion of darkness
and brought me into the kingdom of Your dear Son
in whom I have redemption and
the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1).
You have set Your seal upon me”
Your Spirit in my heart as a deposit,
guaranteeing what is to come.
In Christ, I stand firm (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
For adoption in You, I give you thanks.
For this I praise your holy, gracious name.
"And I praise You as the One who sends forth Your Spirit
upon those who trust in Your name:
"Thou the anointing Spirit art
Who Doest thy sev'nfold gifts impart.
"I ask You now for the baptism of the Holy Spirit,
and a full freedom to move in the power of your Spirit
to the glory of your Name and the advancement of Your kingdom.
I know, Lord, that the day is coming when
"the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory
of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
I rejoice in this, and ask that even now, Your Spirit
will fill me, cover me, and clothe me in this way.
I ask, also, for the grace and strength to so walk before You
that Your Holy Spirit will in no way be grieved or offended,
but will remain upon me; be ever pleased to rest upon me.
"Father, for this baptism of Your Spirit,
one that will continue to well up from within me,
I give you thanks in advance.
"It is in Jesus' holy name that I pray and receive this blessing. Amen.
The whole gist of salvation is that God came down in the form of a baby in order to eventually die to remove our sins so that we could be reconciled and reconnected to Him (2 Corinthians 5:14-21). We could not be reconnected while still in our sins. God is the Only Source of Life and everything pertaining to it. All we will ever need is found in Him, the fullness of all things, as Paul wrote. So if we are separated from Him, we have and are NOTHING.
Everything is about being permanently connected to Him. Everything is about the Holy Spirit! And there is absolutely NO WAY in the world that everybody who claims to be a Christian is truly connected to Him because there's just too much missing from their lives! If you are still empty, if your life is still pointless, if you are not so spiritually satisfied that your life is full in every other aspect as well, then you are missing the whole point of salvation!
And if your life as a Christian is stagnated, stunted, and stale, then you need to earnestly and prayerfully seek the Spirit and the weight of His presence, because as we "continually look upon the glory of the Lord, we are transformed into His image, from one degree of glory into another (2 Corinthians 3:18). Or, as it is translated in the Message, "¦we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like Him.
A famous theologian once wrote something like, "If the Holy Spirit lifted its presence from the earth today, the church of God would continue on operating with business as usual and never notice the difference! Outrageous! And as an individual, you need to let the weight of His glory rest on you because the Spirit is everything.
The "Year of His Presence. This is my prophetic utterance for the New Year, 2016. May God bless us all.