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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.

Trading God’s Presence for His Promise

Sometimes life just gets hard. Especially when we find ourselves in the desert.

Hungry. Thirsty. Dying inside. Definitely tired.

You know what I mean. Have you ever set out toward a blessing, believing God for one of His promises, but it seemed to take forever to get there?

And the longer it takes the more doubt sets in. Weariness saps your strength. And when you and I get weary, we get desperate. We’d do anything for a quick fix, an easy way out.

What would you be willing to sacrifice to leave the desert?

Imagine that Jesus were to approach you today and offer to carry you off to heaven to bask in all its blessings  . . .

  • Eternal life without sin
  • Perfect healing and an end to sickness
  • No more sadness, sorrow or tears
  • Mansions and streets of gold
  • Surpassing love and unending joy
  • Transcending peace

But there’s a catch: He wouldn’t go with you. Would you accept it? If you could leave the pain and struggles of this life today, exchanging it for the glories of heaven, but you’d have to go without Jesus, would you go? Would the blessings be enough for you without Jesus to share it with?

I caution you not to answer too hastily. What we know to be the “right” answer doesn’t always mesh with the truth of what lies within our hearts. I know this from experience. When we invite Jesus in on the conversation, we may be surprised at what we discover about ourselves. I was.

Your honest answer to that question will reveal a lot about your heart. Do you seek Jesus, or do you just want the benefit of His promises?

God gave the Israelites a similar offer in Exodus 33. He had miraculously delivered them from their Egyptian captivity and led them to Mt. Sinai. Then while Moses met with God on the mountain, they thanked Him by building and worshiping a golden calf.

God’s response to them may surprise you.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’  I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.  Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” Exodus 33:1-3

Can you imagine? Israel had not been faithful to Him, but God always remains faithful to His word.  And He had made a promise to Abraham that He intended to keep. God would indeed bring the people into the land He promised them, and He wouldn’t send them alone. He would send an angel before them to clear the land of the enemies living on it. They could just walk right in.

God offered Israel an easy path to quick prosperity in the land of milk and honey, as well as a gift of divine power to claim it. It would end their desert hunger and thirst. It almost sounds too good to be true.

It might be. There’s a catch. God Himself wouldn’t be going.

Perhaps that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you. I mean, that’s what we’re after, isn’t it? We want to experience God’s blessings and promises. I wonder how many of us would jump at that opportunity today.

Let’s see how Israel responded.

 When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments.  . . . Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:4, 15-16

Dear one, any blessing we might receive from God isn’t worth anything without God Himself. Israel understood that, even with their constant rebellion and habitual lack of faith. God Himself is the reward. They wouldn’t take another step without Him.

What are you really after, dear one? Is Jesus merely the means to an end, or is He the end you’ll pursue by whatever means?

What would you be willing to do, beloved, to truly know God’s presence? Would you trade the easy path in order to know His sufficiency? Would you go to battle to experience the working of His strength? Would you forfeit a miracle and experience loss to truly know His comfort? Is His presence worth whatever encountering it may cost?

Perhaps it’s time to start believing Psalm 84:10,

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.

Jesus is everything, dear one. He wants to be everything to you.