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My Journey into Glory

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Hello, beloved.

It’s been a while. I’ve been on a journey with the Lord that shifted my attention from writing for a season. In the midst of building our ministry and discipling people, God has been revealing Himself personally to me in profound and beautiful ways—ways I long for you to experience too. He still heals hearts, you know, and He dearly wants to heal yours.

But I wonder if you even recognize that you need healing. Do you, dear one? I only ask because I didn’t, at least not to the depth that Jesus saw I needed. And you and I will never invite Jesus in to restore what we don’t recognize we need.

So, I’m about to get vulnerable with you. Because we NEED vulnerability. Desperately. Our hiding has kept the enemy powerful, and we need to learn the glory of stepping into the light.

Two years ago in healing prayer, I had a powerful encounter with Jesus. He led me back to a pivotal memory as a small child that had shifted my understanding of who I was supposed to be, and there, my precious Jesus redeemed it. I literally saw Him exchange the influence of that moment with a crisp, clean, white page—a new beginning as He wiped my slate clean.

As our prayer came to a close, my friend sensed in the Spirit, “He wants to show you His glory. Ask Him to show it to you.”

I made the request, unprepared for what I was about to see. The image caught my breath and left me sobbing before my King.

It was me.

Part of me still hesitates to share the moment with you. Even now, the false humility much of the church calls “spiritual” wants to apologize for it. But understanding truth is what sets Kingdom sons and daughters free, so I’m sharing it anyway. I saw myself shining in dazzling splendor. Regal. Crowned. Radiant with light. Glorious!

Instantly, unbelief began to discredit the vision, until the Spirit reminded me of Jesus’ words to His Father on the night He gave His life for us.

The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.” John 17:22-23

Did you know that you carry His glory, dear one? Jesus poured His glory into you the moment you put your faith in Him. He poured it into me, too. He created us to be His image bearers, reflecting the beauty of His own nature and filling the earth with the glory of who He is. But when we shape our identity around our own life experience and the enemy’s deceptions instead of this truth, that glory remains hidden. And you and I will never live out the full potential of what we carry.

I almost didn’t.

What should’ve unleashed fresh anointing and victorious power in my life set off a war within my soul. My mind understood the truth that Scripture was declaring, and my heart joyfully leapt at the knowledge! But underneath, hidden within the deep wounds of my past, my heart couldn’t believe it for myself. And I didn’t know I couldn’t. I honestly thought that I was leaning into that beautiful promise! But then I began to experience a feeling of separation from God.

It doesn't matter what you know. What matters is what you believe. #onlyFaithAccessesGrace Click To Tweet

Can you relate, dear one? Have you ever felt a shift in your relationship with Jesus that leaves you longing for what you had? Yet no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get there?

That was me. Loving Jesus. Serving Him. Yet feeling a growing chasm between my heart and His.

This happens, dear one, when our hearts reject the truth He declares over us, when something inside us denies Him by refusing to believe what He says. We can’t experience the intimate fellowship He longs for while we disagree with Him. Amos 3:3 (NKJV) says, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” The answer, child of God, remains “no.”

Beloved, when we reject His words, we reject Jesus.

I will share more of my story next time, but for now, let’s establish the foundational truth I believe God wants to anchor our hearts in. You are a glory carrier. If you have put your faith in Jesus, His glory lies within you. And above all else, He wants to reveal it through you. Not by asking you to perform good works, but by teaching you who you truly are as He shows you who He is.

Take a moment to reflect on our opening Scripture:

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Did you see it, dear one? The same image. Not a lesser version. Not an imperfect replica of the true. God desires to transform us into the same image that He Himself bears. Righteous. Regal. Radiant. Pure. Glorious.

Let’s stop allowing the enemy to convince us to settle for less than promises. He schemes to limit the revelation of God’s power on earth by convincing His people that we are less than who we are. Our God is calling us higher, so let’s raise the bar. Jesus accomplished an incredible miracle on that old rugged cross. He made us much more than we think we are. He made us who He is.

Perhaps it’s time we believed Him.

 

Do You Know What You Have?

“For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Mark 4:25

Recently God captured my attention with a portion of scripture from Acts 3.

It begins with Peter and John heading to the temple at the hour of prayer. As they were about to enter, a man who had been lame from birth asked them for money. Peter responded with something the man did not expect.

And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. Acts 3:4-5

I wonder how many times this man had lived this very scene. Verse 2 reveals that he was carried and laid daily at the temple gate to ask for alms. I imagine the monotony of the routine left him with little expectation. I wonder how many temple visitors passed by pretending not to see him. Still others may have tossed him a coin without ever actually looking at his face.

And yet this day, Peter and John gazed right at him and asked him to do the same. “Look at us.” Their response got his attention, stirring the lame man’s heart with hopeful expectation. These two would surely provide him something.

But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Acts 3:6-7

I can only imagine what the man must have thought in that life-changing moment. He extended his hand to receive coins from a stranger. Instead a hand raised him to his feet. And immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.

Most of us can’t remember our first steps. This man, lame from birth, would never forget his.

And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:8-10

Are you desperate to experience wonder and amazement at the hand of God, dear one? I am. I long to see God reveal Himself again in our midst. And I believe what I desire is something God longs to give.

You see, Hebrews 13:8 declares simply,

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Jesus hasn’t changed, dear one. If our experience of Him has changed since He first birthed His church, that only leaves one explanation. We’ve changed.

What’s different now? Take a look at Peter’s words when he addressed the crowd to reveal the power behind this miraculous healing.

And his name [Jesus]—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all. Acts 3:16

Faith in the name of Jesus gave a lame man perfect health. Legs that had never stood before lifted him to his feet. Muscles that should have atrophied from years without use carried him into the temple. And he didn’t just walk. He leapt.

What had been dead came alive, all because of faith. Sounds like the Gospel message to me.

But whose faith, dear one?

This is the part of the story that intrigues me most. You see, it wasn’t the faith of the lame man that ushered in his miracle. It was Peter’s faith that produced a work of God on his behalf.

I can’t seem to let go of Peter’s words to the lame beggar.

“I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”

Peter knew what he had. He knew exactly what was available to him through Jesus. And he knew he was free to give it. He believed, and his belief poured out blessing on a man who had no faith.

I wonder, dear one. Do we miss seeing Jesus reveal His glory in our midst because we don’t know what we have to give? Do we simply no longer believe?

Perhaps it’s a good time to revisit our opening scripture.

“For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Mark 4:25

Jesus repeats those words five times in the four gospels. [See Matthew 13:12, Matthew 25:29, Mark 4:25, Luke 8:18, and Luke 19:26] I think He may be trying to get our attention.

At first glance Jesus’ words appear confusing. How can God take something from someone with nothing?

Take a look at His words again.

From the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

What if Jesus’ words reveal that this man’s problem isn’t really that he didn’t have, but rather that he didn’t acknowledge and use what he had? The consequences are clear. If we don’t use it, we lose it.

You and I need to know what we have, dear one.

Let’s not allow unbelief to quench the Spirit of God in our day. It’s not our place to tell God how He should move. He manifests His Spirit through each of us as He chooses (1 Corinthians 12:11). But if He’s going to release His work through you, He will require something of you.

A little faith.

The Power of One

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:  I in them and you in me.”  John 17:22-23a

Feeling stirs my heart as I ponder the words of our opening Scripture today. They flowed from the mouth of Jesus on the night of His arrest. You just read some of the last recorded utterances of the Word made flesh before His body dangled for you from a bloody cross.

We observe an intimate moment between God the Son and God the Father, the heart of God laid bare before us in His perfect Word. Did you know Jesus’ final prayers were for you?

Jesus had just finished praying for Himself and the disciples He would leave behind. Then in verse 20 He adds, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” That’s you and me.

What did He pray for, dear one?

 “… that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”  John 17:21

Witness the Father’s revealed will spoken through the voice of His Son. His highest priority? Unity within the body of believers. Jesus prayed that believers would be one with each other in the same way that He is one with the Father. The resulting unity would cause the world to believe that Jesus did indeed come from God.

How is that possible?

Jesus and His Father are completely one in every way. Jesus declared it in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” They share the same thoughts and desires; their actions flow from the same perfect will. So how can men and women with very different preferences and desires, longings, and needs truly share one mind . . . one heart . . . one will?

They can’t, at least not within the realm of the natural. But those who believe in Jesus and have received the seal of His Spirit within them aren’t limited to the natural. They possess the very glory of God.

Look at Jesus’ words in our opening verse. “I have given them the glory that you gave me.” According to Jesus, that glory will enable us to become one.

John 17:23 reveals His purpose in uniting us:

 “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Unity within Christ’s church will reveal two things to the world.

  1. Jesus did indeed come from God
  2. God loves them

I have to ask you to consider something, dear one. Is our generation giving Christ what He asked for? Are we allowing His Spirit within us to crucify the desires of our flesh and unite us with His glorious will so that we can become one with our brothers and sisters? Or do we hold tightly to our own desires and allow our differences to separate us?

Beloved, our unity in Christ will release the glory of God.

Let’s visit a prayer meeting that took place in the early church after Peter and John had been arrested for preaching about Jesus. Upon their release, a group of believers united together in fervent prayer with spectacular results.

Here’s how they began.

“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”Acts 4:29-30

Do you notice anything significant about their prayer? Is that how you have prayed?

Let your thoughts settle on the words you speak when you approach God in prayer. When I did, the Spirit revealed one obvious difference about their request. Instead of asking God to rescue them, they asked God to reveal His glory.

Amazing. They didn’t ask God to take away the danger, stop the persecution, or even to protect them from the threats coming against them. Instead, they asked Him to empower them to boldly stand for Him in the midst of it. They asked for strength to speak His word with boldness in spite of the threats. They asked Him to reveal the power that comes through the name of Jesus.

These believers had one, single-minded purpose. They desired to see God reveal His glory through them. In spite of the danger, in spite of their fear, they cast aside their own desires to exalt His. And how did God respond to His humble, unified servants?

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.  Acts 4:31

Oh, that we would once again become a body so united in heart and purpose that our prayers shake our meeting halls! Notice that God granted their request. He filled each of them with His Spirit to empower them and equipped all of them to speak His Word boldly. Not one of them was exempt from the gift.

Dear one, when you submit your heart to the Father’s will instead of your own, neither are you.