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Monday, February 25, 2013

10 Stages of God's Glory Descending on You

God's purpose in sending Jesus is to restore His glory upon/in/for man/Adam.
Upon falling, man fell short of the glory of God.
In Ezekiel 10, we see God's glory departing from the Lord's temple/Israel in ten painful, gradual, definite stages.
Now, in the book of Ephesians, which is the Apostle Paul's doctrine of church, the temple of God, we see in Chapter 3 the Apostle Paul's prayer for the saints (14-20) wherein we can find God's glory revisiting His people (temple) in ten stages.

Stage 1 - his glorious riches (the spiritual warehouse or reservoir if you will)

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power..."

Man lives in a world with limitations. 

This limitedness however should not limit man to that which is limited for that which is limited stems from that which is without a limit. I would call this the wisdom to see the Reality beyond the reality. 

Look around yourself and see what you've got. "Hmmm... Everything is limited", you say. You are right. Time is limited, space is limited, the money sitting at your bank account is limited. The seats on the flight you desire to reserve are limited. Do you want an isle seat? Make reservations early. Do you want a first class seat? Be willing to pay more. In this world all are limited. 

Not all limits are bad. There is a limit to what your body can take in terms of food. If man's stomach take as much as his appetite goes, what will happen to his body? Since there are limits to the spaces, and since some space is more habitable/desirable than other locations, the prices of real properties vary, giving rise to the possibility for you to exercise self control and make a sensible choice among different locations. 

Still that does not and should not mean that you be limited. This is not the way your maker made you. You are made in His image. You are designed in such a way to rise from that which is limited. You are called to rise from the realty and attain to the Reality beyond the reality. It is expected that you are to tap into His glorious riches that is in Him. 

Remember that riches refer to riches in the true sense of riches. The riches stand for riches that are all encompassing that has ever been created - e.g., the spiritual, moral, ethical, physical, and much more. 

Stage 2 - the Holy Spirit

  through his Spirit (Acts 2:38)

The Holy Spirit causes things to happen. He is so to speak the "go-getter". Speaking of the Spirit's faculty as a go-getter, Jesus says, "The Spirit gives life to man; flesh counts for nothing."

The relationship between Jesus as the Creator and the Spirit as the one who causes things to occur as Jesus wishes can be compared to the relationship between Jonathan and his armor bearer. In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, "Let us go [get it]". Then the armor-bearer said, "Go ahead. I am with you heart and soul." (7)

The Holy Spirit as the go-getter for his children is also seen in his nick name, "Gift". Gift as an English word has the meaning of 'talent' or 'ability' to get things done. If we see a man doing one thing or another well such as playing a musical instrument, we say, "He is a gifted musician."

As a gifted person, the Holy Spirit can do all things seamlessly. Since he is coequal with God, there is nothing which he cannot do. All things are possible with Him.

For those who believe in Jesus Christ, the Son, as Peter says in Acts 2:38, the Lord God gives him a gift, namely the Holy Spirit.

Stage 3 - your inner sanctum

    in your inner being

In the Johari Window, of the four sections of one's person, two sections are not known to self: the Blind Spot and the Unknown. The Blind Spot represents the part known to others but not known to self. The Unknown segment stands for the part of one's inner bing that is not known to self nor to others; it is the area known only to God.

It is one's self that runs his life. Life is compared to a journey, a flight so to speak. At the cockpit, is seated self which steers the course of life just as a pilot at a cockpit controls the airplane.

A pilot ought to know all about the journey. Self who is subject to the Blind Spot and the Unknown is not qualified to run the life.

Socrates, a Greek philospher, recognized the importance of knowing oneself, so he said, "Know yourself."

Question becomes, "How can I know myself?"

The Holy Spirit who dwells in one's inner being answers the question meeting the need. He provides for man the solution to the problem. He makes the self complete. Speaking of this phenominon Ephesians 4:24 says, "Put on the new self created to be like God  in perfect righteousness and holiness." Further, Colossians 3:10 reads, "Put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its creator." And His name is Counselor.

Stage 4 - Christ dwelling in you (through faith)
      Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith

The fourth step in which God restores His glory in man is the Christ dwelling in one's heart through the work of faith in Him.

The key to this step to become operative is the faith.

Christ is the Savior who is now seated at the right hand of God. He is the High Priest ministering on behalf of his children at the Heavenly Temple.

Jesus' heavenly ministry is connected seamlessly with his children real time. For this to occur constantly faith becomes necessary on the part of a believer.

Faith is not a one time transaction. It must be operative on the part of a believer all the time. As long as faith is there the connection becomes constant.

The connection serves as a channel for God's glory to travel to man's self and throgh him to next step.

Stage 5 - Rooted and established
     And I pray that being rooted and established in love

Bucket with a hole cannot hold water. Or a tree which is not firmly rooted in the right soil cannot grow up.

Man is compared to a tree. A tree rooted and established at a right kind of soil can grow tall.

For prosperity man like a tree ought to be planted in the right soil which is the love of God.

Why is love the right soil? It is because it connects to the source which is giving. Love stems from God for God is love. The love of the world is taking, just as a man saying, "I love my chicken". If he loved his chicken why would he eat his chicken? God's love is different. This love alone gives life to man.

Love of God gets man established. He is establied in the sense of being prosperous despite counter forces.

Stage 6 - fellowship with fellow believers
       The Apostle Paul prays saying, "...that you  may have power,  together with all the saints..."

God created man to prosper by working together with fellow men. This concept is seen even in the way Chinese word for man (人 pronounced 'ren') is shaped. The same truth is hidden in the golden rule, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself."

The reason for this set is that God bestowed upon each person his or her unique greatness, so that by working with fellow human beings, man can reach true greatness.

When one is young, one becomes competitive with his neighbor. Watch grade school kids getting involved in a sports game such as soccer or basket ball or Karate. They are fierce. Yet, while competition has its own merit a mature person learns to work with others particularly with saints. [Saints is an idiom for a believer.]

Stage 7 - knowledge beyond knowledge
       to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
       and to know this love that surpasses knowledge   

Knowledge here refers to the personal knowledge based on intimate relationships. Love of Christ stands for the love that forgives, and forgiveness is in order for Him to give and give more. Without forgiving, relationship cannot thrive. Through forgiveness relationship is restored, so God is in a position to give his children free gifts.

Christ's love has four dimensions - width, length, hight, and depth. The four dimensions connote the four directions north-south, left-right, up-down, and time. Each dimension extends without a limit, so a limitless universe comes into being.

Imagine then one knowing the goodness of love along with its all satisfying effect, and practicing this love, so the love flows from the center (one's self) to all different directions of his sphere.

The extension of this love flowing from the center to all others is the key of all keys in causing the glory to arise.

This key is seen in the way the Garden of Eden is designed, such as the head stream at the center of the Garden braching out in four streams flowing to the world.

In Ezekiel the same vision is seen as a river of the water originating from the south side of the altar, flowing to the east, then heading south, in ankle deep, knee deep, waist deep, and swim deep, and wherever the water flows life propers with fishers standing on the river bank.

The Apostle Paul expressed the same concept saying, "To give is more blessed than to receive." What does 'good' mean except the joy and sense of satisfaction getting filled up to the brim to overflowing?

Giving to God (charity), to neighbors, animals and the nature is the foundation of prosperity without a limit.

Stage 8 - all the fullness of God
       that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

The fulfillment of this stage is commensurate with the performance described in the condition set forth on stage 7. The love of Christ appreciated as principle is bound to be practiced. Where the goodness of the principle is appreciated, practice will naturally follow. As one grasps the knowledge beyond the knowledge, namely the love of Chirst, so will the measure of that which is of God increase.

In Downey there are different hamburger shops - Wendy's burger, McDonald, Carl's Jr. Burger King, and In-n-out burger. Of all the burger shops, In-n-out is most crowded. Obviously the success largely depends upon the level of customer satisfaction each shop offers.

Hamburger goes into a mouth, then stomach making you satisfied at least temporarily. Likewise the love of Christ serves as food for soul. And the one who is happy first is the man who shares the love of Christ.

The supreme example of a man filled with the measure of the fullness of God is Jesus Christ. He is the perfect God-man. As a man he set the perfect example of a man who practices the kind of love God has. So it is he who was and is filled to the measure of the fullness of God first.

Then there are saints such as the Apostles. They grasped the knowledge beyond knowledge, and as they tasted the goodness of it and practised the four deimensional love in full strength and force, it was they who were first filled to the meassure of God's fullness.

Stage 9  - prayer
            Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
       according to his power that is at work within us...

Stages 1-8 exist on invisible levels, whereas the stage 9 manifessts on the lowest level, that is, the level of visible reality where action counts.

Two points to consider: who is the doer, and what prompts the doer the doing.

The doer is God and the asker is you. As you pray God does more than you can ask or imagine. But you must ask.

The difference between what God does and what man does is immense, just like sky is higher than the earth.

God allowed man to do a number of things. With the gifts talents abilities endowed by God, man can do many things. But a wise and mature person discerns the difference between what God does and what man does. So he learns getting things done not on his own but through God.

The Apostle Paul explained this concept by saying, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer petitition with thanks make your requests be known to God." Philipplians 4:6

Those who exist on an animal level love to exert themselves, without referring to their Creator. The results of their exertion might look impressive, but in the end, their achievements will amount to nothing as the Scripture states, "Plans are many in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

But we should not be pessimistic about this, because those who love the Lord and hold a firm grip of the knowledge beyond the knowledge, learn to do not on their own but according to the Lord's will.

Stage 10 - glory arising
       to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

This is the final stage, that is, God revealing His glory in the lives of his children, so that God's name would be glorified through his children living for God's glory.

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