Expecting Glory! by Becky Staab

I've been musing on these two words….Expecting GLORY.

Let’s start with “GLORY.” The theme of our Basket Bash this year was GLORY: Interrupting the ordinary with the extraordinary.

I just finished reading about the glory of Solomon’s temple in my daily Bible reading in 1 Kings 6 and 7. It is easy to gloss over the tedious details and hard to imagine what it really looked like, but I did a little research and found a very interesting article about the amount of gold in this temple. The interior was completely overlaid in gold. Many of the articles used in the temple were also made of, or overlaid with, gold. Calculating the value of the gold and silver listed in the scriptures at the current rates, the wealth of this temple was about $134 billion! It must have been a glorious sight! 1 Kings 10:27 says that the “king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone.” The queen of Sheba came with gifts for Solomon that included $120 million of gold at today’s values. Yet seeing his wealth and wisdom, and the temple he had built, took her breath away. (1 Kings 10:5)

But when the ark of the Lord was brought into this temple, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 1 Kings 8:11 records that the priests could not stand to minister because of the presence of the glory of the Lord. As glorious as Solomon’s temple was, that glory paled in comparison to the glory of the Lord which filled it.

John begins his gospel with a description of a different kind of glory which he saw with his own eyes.

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the GLORY with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind GLORY, like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John 1:14 (MSG)

What kind of GLORY did they see in the Word-made-flesh who moved into the neighborhood? They saw His power over the storms of life; they heard Him speak words of life-giving truth; He satisfied their hunger and thirst; He forgave their sins; He set them free from disabling spirits (Lk. 13:11-13) and gave them value and dignity. It may have often looked very ordinary, since it was clothed in flesh and blood, but every once in a while rays of overwhelming glory burst through the clay and dazzled the bystanders!

What about “expecting”? Expecting almost always involves waiting.

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. Isaiah 64:4

To wait is to expect. The scriptural idea of waiting is always hope-filled and certain. (Ps. 33:20; Is. 30:18) 

Luke records the account of two wonderful examples of expectant waiting in Lk. 2:25,38.

Simeon…was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel ….[Anna] began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

So how do we live expecting GLORY?

First let me remind you what is now described as the temple of God in 1 Cor. 6:19-20 – our bodies! Colossians2:3 tells us that all the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are hidden in Christ. Yet 2 Corinthians 4:7reminds us that “we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Second, I think the “steadfast sandwich” in Psalm 57 guides us.

I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

*Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your GLORY be over all the earth!

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

*Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your GLORY be over all the earth!

Ps. 57:2,3b,5,7a,9-11

The Hebrew word for steadfast “signifies the deep satisfaction and sense of wellbeing which comes from the certainty that one’s heart steadfastly trusts in the Lord.” (Key Word Study Bible) My heart can be steadfast because it is surrounded by the steadfast love of the God who fulfills his purpose for me

Paul says it this way in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” The Greek word used “is associated with hope and refers to that quality of character that does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial.” (Key Word Study Bible) Christ himself is our example of this kind of steadfastness in Hebrews 12:1-3.  

In an article entitled What Does “Glory” Mean? Dan Schaeffer from InTouch Ministries says, “Christians often use this biblical word, but we don’t always recognize what it reveals about our Creator—and the beauty of all He’s doing in our lives and the world around us.” (emphasis mine)  He goes on to explain the meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words used, then he concludes, “To “give glory to God” means to live and speak sincerely and from the heart about His amazing nature or deeds—in such a way that we seek to do justice to the reality of who He is.”

So I ask myself these questions: What would happen if Iactually expected God to interrupt my ordinary life with his extraordinary GLORY? What if I was looking for it like Simon and Anna? What would change if I made my heart steadfast in the hope and certainty of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness? What if I really believed what the scripture says about the treasure in my jar of clay? I wonder…

Elizabeth Barrett Browning says: “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees, takes off his shoes…” 

Let’s ask expectantly that He would fill our earthly temples with His GLORY!

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Becky and her husband, Dave have been actively involved in Valley Church for over five years.  Becky serves on the Global Outreach Team and the Women's Ministry Leadership Team.  She is passionate about spreading His love and truth to women all over this world!