“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43:6-7
For centuries man has scoured the earth and beyond in search of elusive answers to these haunting questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose?
Scripture settles the matter in one succinct sentence. God created you for His glory.
I’ll let the thought settle on you for a moment. Your existence—your entire reason for being—centers on one, eternal purpose: the glory of God. No wonder man finds himself driven to relentlessly pursue glory. He was made for it. Yet man’s quest for glory never truly satisfies the soul. The glory he chases can’t quiet the longing; the deceiver has convinced man to abandon God’s glory for his own.
Your heart cries out for the glory of God, dear one. It longs to encounter it, to be filled by it. You see, that’s exactly what God’s glory does. It fills.
. . . the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14
Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Psalm 72:19
God’s glory fills wherever He dwells. He sits enthroned above the earth (Isaiah 40:22), and the heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). Yet amazingly, in His great love for humanity, God desires to dwell among men.
He spoke these incredible words to Moses after delivering Israel out of Egypt,
“ . . . have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8
God gave detailed instructions to Moses for the building of His tabernacle, and Moses did as God commanded Him.
. . . And so Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Exodus 40:33-35
I wonder how the people felt as they witnessed the sight. What comfort it must have given to observe God’s nearness with their eyes! Yet the gift of God’s glory was not given for nearness alone. He meant to lead them into His extraordinary purpose for them.
In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels. Exodus 40:36-38
God’s glory consumed the place where He dwelled and led His people into their Promised Land. Later King Solomon built a temple in Jerusalem to house the LORD’s glory. When he had finished its construction, he offered up a prayer of dedication before all of Israel. In the midst of his praise, these words erupted from his lips.
“But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” 1 Kings 8:27
Indeed, how can a structure built by human hands truly contain the glory of God?
2 Chronicles 7 describes what happened at the conclusion of Solomon’s prayer.
When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,
“He is good; his love endures forever.”
Imagine the sight! Fire descended from heaven to consume their sacrifices as God’s glory filled the temple. And as the watching people beheld God’s glory engulfing His new dwelling, their knees hit the pavement and their faces hit the ground.
The prophet Ezekiel had a similar experience when God gave him a vision,
I looked and saw the glory of the Lord filling the temple of the Lord, and I fell facedown. Ezekiel 44:4
The sight of God’s glory filling His dwelling place brings people to their knees. Dear one, if you belong to Jesus, you have become the temple of the LORD.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
Consider what that truth means for you, beloved. Jesus—the radiance of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3)— has given His glory to all who believe in Him (John 17:22). His glory no longer inhabits walls of gold, marble or stone. God’s glory now dwells within the hearts of His children. God inhabits the vessels He Himself “created for [His] glory, whom [He] formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7).
You were created to house the glory of God, and now His glory dwells within you. Based on the precedent set in Scripture, God intends to fill you with that glory.
“I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,” says the Lord Almighty. Haggai 2:7
What if you and I committed to seek the LORD for the revelation of His glory? What if we began to fervently pray for God to fill His house? What if we truly surrendered our hearts to God, presenting ourselves as living sacrifices, and invited the fire of God to consume all that inhibits the unveiling of His glory within us?
As the glory of the LORD fills His dwelling place, all who see it will fall to their knees.