If we could look back in time into the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve’s fall in Genesis 3 we would have witnessed a relatively strange sight. Because Adam and Eve were created to be perfect and at this time knew no sin, we would see what looked like two balls of light walking through and tending to the Garden. When the Lord showed up to meet with his people we would then witness a third, more intense ball of light joining them. Because of their purity and the intensity of the light or the glory of God, it never dawned on them (and they could care less) that they were naked (they were naked and unashamed). In other words, their actual clothing was the glory of God which protected them as well as clothed them. It wasn’t until the light went out (the glory departed) because of their disobedience that they realized they were naked and sought cover in the bushes (people do the same thing today when they are exposed). That day they shed their supernatural raiment and became spiritual streakers. God then made temporary skin coverings for them that would eventually be replaced by the sin obliterating power of the cross and the restoration of the glory.
Many do not realize just how far we as humans fell that day in Genesis and the magnitude of what was compromised and lost but we do get a glimpse of the value of our former state by the amazing sacrifice of Jesus Christ to restore life and the glory of God to his people. Because of the blood of Jesus, the light and power of God’s glory is once again available to us (if we repent and receive him as Lord and Savior). This restoration of the glory has its full manifestation in the resurrection (or translation at the rapture) of the believer when the glorified body is provided but we have increasing access to that glory now: “And we, who will unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, and being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
The transfiguration of Jesus in Mark 9 reveals some very powerful principles for accelerating the manifestation of his glory in our lives (putting our glory clothes back on). Six days before being transfigured, Jesus mentioned that some standing with him would not taste death before they had seen the kingdom of God come in power (Mark 9:1). The Lord still desires for his people to move from one degree of glory to another. I want to share four keys that will position you to advance in the glory of God (get your clothes back on you streaker):
First, just like the disciples you have to go up the mountain or go up to a higher level. No doubt when you do this some will not and cannot make the trip with you. To go up (as John Maxwell often says) you have to give something up. We can’t lug our pride, bitterness, impurity, or wrong motives up the mountain with us. If we want to position ourselves for a greater degree of the glory we have to take some junk out of our trunk. This might even include some compromising or ungodly relationships. I’ve learned to ask myself through the years if a certain attitude, relationship, or practice is worth the glory? It’s very powerful and centering to say to ourselves, “that’s just not worth the glory.”
Second, the transfiguration of Jesus took place when he was alone with this inner core of disciples. The price for higher levels of the manifested presence or glory of God in our lives is intimacy with the Father. We simply must begin to invest the quality and quantity of time in our relationship to know Him as we are known. I heard a man of God say once that every failure in the believer’s life can be traced back to the failure to pray. Let’s not allow coldness or spiritual apathy to rob us of going to the next level in the things of God.
Third, we need to catch a glimpse of what the glory will do. No doubt Jesus was transfigured to show the disciples the true nature of Jesus Christ – that he was the pure and holy spotless Son of God who comes to take away the sin of the world. It would have been a rare privilege to see Jesus for who he really was. It is vital though to understand here that Jesus was not just showing them who he was, he was trying to show them who and what they were to become in him. This is an amazing and staggering thought. We know from Scripture as he is so shall we be. The transfiguration is like a very sophisticated mirror revealing not only the nature of God but reminding us that as believers we are to reflect that glory and become transformed by it.
Finally, we need to make sure we listen to Jesus. During the transfiguration Jesus was flanked by Moses and Elijah representing the law and the prophets, but the voice of the Father boomed out to remind the witnesses that Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets and the great need today is to listen to him rather than to all the competing voices out in the world. The key to walking in the fulness of our spiritual covering, the glory of God, we must hear him and act on what we have heard. As we have learned by going all the way back to the Garden of Eden, disobedience compromises the glory. We know from the example of Jesus and the lessons learned during his transfiguration that obedience is an open door to the glory in our lives.