Have you ever walked into an unfamiliar room that was dark and couldn’t just figure out where the switch that turns on the light was? You knew there was electricity in that room but just couldn’t find the switch to turn it on. The fact that you didn’t feel electricity wasn’t enough proof that there was no electricity there because you knew there was! It really had nothing to do with feelings but it had everything to do with reality. This is same with the glory of God! The glory of God had been on the earth ever since God created the earth in Genesis. Man fell short of that glory in Adam when he sinned (Romans 3:23). However, the coming of Jesus Christ into the earth was the return of the full glory of God and it’s been on earth ever since. Praise God!
The Scripture tells us in Isaiah 60 “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” (vs.1). Notice it’s in present tense. It clearly indicates that this is not in the future but in the now. It says: “...for thy light IS come, and the glory of the LORD IS risen upon thee.” This doesn’t appear to be a prophecy, but a call to action and a notification of what’s happening right now. To the then Israelites it was a prophecy but to us it is a present tense reality. Praise God! It goes on to say “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.” Praise God! Here’s something else you must observe: the Light comes first before the glory is risen. This is very instructive. Habakkuk 2:14 confirms this truth. It says “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Light signifies knowledge, understanding, revelation, insight etc. The Word of God tells us in Psalm 119:130 thus “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” The light signifies the knowledge of God’s Word.
The knowledge of the glory always precedes the manifestation of the glory. We only experience the glory when the light comes on and we can only have the light come on when we give ourselves to the Word of God. Therefore, if you want to see the glory, get to the Word! The glory and the Word are already here but not everyone is experiencing them because it’s a decision – not automatic. This then means that when we experience the glory is up to each one of us individually. It’s good news to know that we can decide when to experience the glory of God! All through the Scriptures the Word and the glory are always linked to each other. We also see that is Isaiah 40:5. “And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” It tells us that the glory shall be revealed because the Lord has spoken. So, we are seeing something because He has said something. Praise God!
What then is glory? Glory means manifestation, a showing forth, splendour, a display, etc. The glory of God means the manifestation of the Person and Presence of God in a tangible form. The glory of God is the very essence of God. It is the weight of God! It is not just a cloud. Yes, it could manifest in form of a cloud just as it could in any other form. In the Old Testament, we had much of its manifestations in the form of a cloud but that is not all there is to God’s manifestation! Generally, the glory of God is the manifestation of God and there are different levels of that glory. There is the general glory of God which can be seen by every human – saved or unsaved, believing or unbelieving. The Scripture talks about this in Romans 1:19-20. However, as believers, there is the glory of God we can experience here on earth and there are diverse degrees to its manifestation. Then there is the degree of the glory of God we can’t experience here on earth – it’s reserved for us when we get to heaven, our human bodies can’t contain that kind. It’s so unfortunate that the devil has deceived so many believers into believing that the entire glory experience is reserved for heaven. This has resulted in making many believers content with living void of the glory of God here on earth. Isaiah 60:1 and 2 explicitly shows us that the glory of the LORD IS risen upon us and that it shall be SEEN upon us – not in heaven but here on earth. Verse 3 goes on to tell us that this glory shall be visible to the mortal gentiles and kings who would equally respond to it!
Now, someone might ask, if the glory of God is here on earth today, why is everyone not experiencing it? It’s same as asking if Jesus died for the whole world why is everyone not yet saved? Remember, the fact that I don’t feel electricity doesn’t negate the presence of electricity. Apart from not having the light turned on, as we saw earlier, another reason why many don’t experience the glory of God is found in the Words of the Master in John 11:40 and it’s still linked to the Word of God. He says: “...Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” So we see that it’s because not everyone is connecting to it. Faith is the connector! When we function in faith we’re connected to it but we are disconnected from it when we are in unbelief. It’s pretty much like turning on or off an electric switch! It’s a decision. Observe from that verse the phrases: ‘wouldest believe’ and ’shouldest see’ These are clear indications that faith is a decision and that when we choose to walk in faith seeing the glory is both inevitable and automatic! Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve made up my mind to experience all there is of the glory of God available to the believer here on earth!
In Isaiah 60:1, the Lord stirs us up to something. He tells us to arise! Notice that verse says “Arise, shine...”. It doesn’t say ‘arise and shine’. This is to say that when we obey the Lord to arise, we’d shine automatically. Why because our light has already come and the glory of the LORD is already reason upon us. In other words, the stage has been set already; all that is left is for you to arise. The Lord is simply asking us to arise to the occasion. So will you arise? All creation is waiting for you to arise now. Can’t you see the problems in the world and how that men are looking for solutions everywhere? The unfortunate thing is that if you don’t arise, you become part of the problem. God help us! Be challenged by the words of Deborah the Prophetess in Judges 5:7. It’s time to arise. It’s time to shine. The greater glory is here!