Nine days ago, at Breakthrough Night, we experienced a taste of God’s glory. The entire two-hour service was permeated with God’s presence. We witnessed amazing healing miracles.
The following Sunday, we received the counterbalance to what happened the Friday before. Our intoxicating experience with God was perfectly paired with the responsibility of carrying God’s glory.
This has all been designed and orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.
If all we did was experience God’s glory, it wouldn’t be long before we got off track. We’d get caught up in the emotion and excitement of it all and start focusing on the wrong thing.
This is why so many marriages fail. The couple gets caught up in the emotion and excitement of physical intimacy and neglects the responsibility of marriage.
Instead of living to serve each other, they become focused on their own sexual experience. And when sex is the focus, it becomes an appetite that is never satisfied.
While we are on the topic, if you believe that more or better sex will fix your marriage, you are deceived. The world teaches this, but you will not find it in God’s Word.
God is all for great sex. That’s why He taught us how to experience it. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church. Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord.
Live to serve each other’s needs. Put your spouse first. And when you do, great sex will show up. And not because you forced it but as an overflow of doing marriage God’s way.
Otherwise, if all you care about is gettin’ some, you’ll experience a momentary thrill and a lifetime of heartache.
This same thing can happen if we start chasing after an experience of God’s goodness instead of seeking God Himself.
God’s goodness is good
Don’t hear what I am not saying. God wants us to experience His goodness. Breakthrough Night was a gift from Him, and He wants us to have greater and more frequent experiences of His goodness.
But for us to sustain His goodness, our focus must remain on seeking God for who He is, not what He can do for us.
Today I am going to reveal how to sustain God’s glory.
We are in the end-time move of God. It will unfold as the greatest move of God humankind has ever experienced. And as the true body of Christ, we are responsible for sustaining His glory.
Some seasoned churchgoers will watch from a distance because they’d rather hold on to how things were done in the past rather than enjoy the adventure of God’s fresh way of doing things.
Others will be repelled from the glory of God because they’d rather tolerate sin than pursue holiness. Some will get caught up in the emotion and excitement of it all and fizzle out along the way.
But we will sustain God’s glory.
It will impact everyone we encounter. They will see and hear what God is doing here. It will draw them not to church but to Jesus Christ so they can become part of the church.
What is God’s glory?
To sustain God’s glory, we must first know what it is. To figure it out, let’s go to Moses’ request:
Exodus 33:18-19 NKJV – And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.”
This verse overwhelmed me when I first read it. We’re asking, “God, what does your glory look like?” And His response, “I will make ALL My goodness pass before you.”
This is the year of the manifest goodness of God. This is the year that we see God’s glory.
When asked to reveal His glory, God also said, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.”
This verse is prophetic of our time. In this end-time move of God, we will experience ALL of His goodness. It will not end until we hear the trumpet sound, proclaiming the Lord has come for His church.
My wife’s encounter with God’s glory
I was cooking breakfast a few days ago when Beth rushed out of the bathroom after her shower and said, “Did you hear that?! Was there a train or something? It sounded just like trumpets! It was so loud, did you hear it?”
Then she was overcome with the presence of God and began to weep. All she could mutter was, “He’s coming!”
There was no train. I have excellent hearing, and I didn’t hear a thing. God was simply giving Beth an experience of His goodness and reminding her how close we are.
It took her a while to compose herself, but once she did, she said, “I really thought it was time! I thought I wouldn’t be able to get dressed fast enough and would be raptured naked!”
He’s coming. Jesus Christ is coming back for His church. It won’t be long. But first, God must make ALL of His goodness pass before us.
God’s glory is His goodness. The pinnacle of His goodness is Jesus Christ. Let’s ask Him to show us ALL of His goodness.
Sustaining God’s Glory
Now that we know what God’s glory is, let’s find out how to sustain it.
There’s no one better to teach us than Solomon. He experienced an incredible measure of God’s glory. And even so, he failed to sustain it.
As a young man, Solomon asked God for wisdom. Not fame, not fortune, but wisdom. So, God poured out His wisdom, and Solomon became incredibly wise.
This wisdom enabled him to achieve a level of success, fortune, and fame that was unmatched before and has not been experienced since. He even shared this wisdom with us through the book of Proverbs!
He was an incredible king. Everyone under his leadership lived a prosperous and productive life.
But, at some point along the way, he became wise in his own eyes. He got his eyes off the source of wisdom and became consumed with the results of wisdom.
Then came the book of Ecclesiastes, where he wrote all about his meaningless existence. Everything is boring. History merely repeats itself. There is nothing new under the sun.
In his most dramatic state, He said, “The day you die is better than the day you were born.” Have you ever had a pity party like this?
Solomon went from a thriving, exciting, successful life and did a tailspin into dramatic pessimism. He went from loving life to questioning his existence.
The good news is his story doesn’t end in the dumps. He eventually made his way back to where he had started. He put his eyes back on the source of wisdom. Take a look:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 NKJV – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.
Solomon experienced an incredible amount of God’s glory. Then he experienced the sheer disappointment of his own glory. After experiencing both sides of the spectrum, he gives us the only way to sustain God’s glory:
Fear God and keep his commandments.
What does it mean to fear God? Does it mean to be afraid of Him? Oh no. It means to be afraid of turning away from Him.
Some people think that when we sin, God turns away from us. But that’s not it. When we sin, we turn away from God. And the deeper we go, the further we walk away from His goodness.
Moses sums it up nicely:
Exodus 20:20 NKJV – And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.”
Was he contradicting himself? He said, “Do not fear… so that His fear may be before you.” This is not a contradiction. These are actually two different Hebrew words, both translated to fear.
The first one means ‘to be afraid’. The second one means ‘moral reverence.’ Moses is saying, “Don’t be afraid of God! Reverence Him by the way you live.”
It’s like a teenager who has grown up with parents who love him enough to teach him moral excellence. Not only that, but they expect him to live according to what he was taught, or there will be consequences.
This teenager has a healthy fear of his parents. So, when his friends ask him to smoke weed, or steal, or participate in some sexual activity, he looks at them with wide eyes and says, “No way. I’m not turning away from my parents. I need them!”
The fear of his parents protects him from sin.
That’s why Moses gave the outcome of fearing God, “…so that you may not sin.” A healthy fear of God protects us from sin. It’s just not worth turning away from God for some temporary pleasure.
Distortion of God’s Grace
For several decades, the American church proudly preached grace without balancing it with the fear of God. Now we have a generation that thinks grace means God is going light on sin.
That’s why less than half of American pastors have a biblical worldview. We have entire denominations that refuse to speak against the slaughter of babies through abortion.
One of the most well-known pastors in America is affirming those struggling with the sin of homosexuality that God is okay with their behavior, and there is no need to change.
The distortion of God’s grace is the heresy of our day. When we use God’s grace to justify a sinful life, we might as well say we follow the Antichrist because it is the exact opposite of what the Word teaches us. Take a look:
Hebrews 12:28-29 NKJV – Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
This ought to shake what you’ve believed about the grace of God. We’ve gotten way off track.
The grace of God is not God going light on sin. Grace is the power that enables us to live without sin!
Let us have grace. Because grace gives us the ability to serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
For our God is a consuming fire. By His grace, He destroys everything in our lives that is not of Him.
The next time you hear about someone struggling with sin, don’t you dare say, “Don’t worry about it. We have God’s grace.” That nonsense has to stop.
The right response is, “Let the fire of God consume that sin and get it out of your life. Lean into God’s grace because it holds the power to free you from sin.”
God’s grace brings the fear of God into our lives. Not to make us afraid of God but to draw us closer to God.
What is the fear of the Lord?
The fear of the Lord is a new concept for most of us. We’ve heard about it, but American Christianity abandoned it long ago. So we have no idea what it actually looks like to fear the Lord.
John Bevere is one of the few well-known ministers who has never compromised the Word of God. The reason is, he developed a healthy fear of the Lord when he was young.
Now in his 60s, he’s realized that his life’s work has centered on reviving the fear of the Lord in the church. He explains it well in his latest book, The Awe of God. He writes:
To fear God is to be in complete awe of Him.
To fear God is to esteem, respect, honor, venerate, and adore Him above anyone or anything else.
When we fear God, we take on His heart. We love what He loves, and we hate what He hates. What is important to Him is important to us. What is not important to Him is not important to us.
To fear God is to hate sin. To fear God is to hate injustice.
To fear God is to depart from evil in every sense – thought, word, and action. It is to refrain from speaking deceitfully. It is to cast down every thought and imagination that is contrary to God.
To fear God is to walk in authentic humility before God and mankind.
To fear God is to give Him the praise, adoration, thanksgiving, and worship He deserves.
To fear God is to give Him all that belongs to Him.
To fear God is to tremble before Him in wonder and awe. It is to give His Word and presence our full attention.
To fear God is to obey Him, to carry out His will no matter the cost. We eagerly, willingly, and immediately obey – even if we don’t see the benefit or if it doesn’t make sense – and we carry it out to completion.
To fear God is to abstain from any form of complaining, murmuring, or grumbling.
To fear God is to respect, honor, and submit to His direct and delegated authority. It is also to obey the delegated authority, with the only exception being if the authority tells us to sin.
The fear of the Lord shapes our intentions, thoughts, words, and actions.
The Key to Sustaining God’s Glory
We need the fear of the Lord. We cannot sustain God’s glory without the fear of the Lord.
God is pouring out His glory now. We’ve already tasted it. And it will continue to intensify.
We will see not just some of His goodness but ALL of His goodness. And it won’t be long before His glory announces the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So today, the Holy Spirit is pleading with us to be faithful carriers of God’s glory. He is looking for those who fear the Lord because they are the only ones who can sustain this final move of God.
How many of you say yes? Who will fear the Lord and be a faithful carrier of God’s glory?