Worship Matters: Seeing Dimly Now, But That Will Change
- 2003 24 Jul
When I was in the 5th grade I had a wristwatch with a Spidel Twistoflex band. You could twist the band and it would never break. Being a resourceful youngster, I glued a piece of broken mirror onto the back of the watch. This allowed me to flip the watch over during class to see what my friends behind me were doing. I couldn't see much, only a glimpse, but it was fun.
Our lives as believers are a little like that. Paul says that we see now as in a mirror, dimly. I wish I could see more of Jesus. I want to see Him when I get to heaven, but I also want to see as much of His glory as I can right now, here on earth.
It's wonderful to know that Jesus also longs for us to see His glory during this life. On the night before He died, Jesus was with His disciples. You know, when someone is about to die, everything unimportant drops away, and only what really matters remains. Death has a way of doing that.
So Jesus prays in John 17:2, "Father the time has come. Glorify your Son that your Son may glorify you." What is on Jesus' heart is the desire to bring glory to His Father by going to the cross. Then He prays an incredible prayer in verse 24, "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory." Jesus Christ is praying that we, His followers, will see His glory.
Seeing Jesus' glory should be especially important to us, too. Why would I give myself to the things of this world? How is it that I could ever forget God? How can I do anything less than pursue, dwell on, and live for the glory of Christ?
Notice in John's gospel how Jesus makes sure the disciples will be able to hear His prayer. He doesn't go off by Himself to pray. He intentionally stays with His disciples, and they can hear Him. He wants them, and us, to know how much He desires that we see His glory.
Sometimes I pray what Moses prayed in Exodus 33, asking the Lord to show me His glory. Then the thought comes over me: Who am I? What am I saying? What am I asking God? I am a worm asking the infinite God to show me His glory! But I know that Jesus wants me to pray like that. When Moses prayed like that, God didn't rebuke him or refuse him. He answered the prayer. God said that, while Moses couldn't see God's face and live, he would cause all of His goodness to pass before Moses, and gave him a glimpse.
It's true that we see dimly now, like trying to see infinity with a broken mirror on the back of a watch. But it's God's desire that we see more and more of His glory. Ultimately, in heaven, we will see His infinite glory with our eyes, and be able to take it in and enjoy it. In this life, His will is that we see increasingly more of His glory through the eye of faith. Even though the picture is not full yet, it is still the most satisfying, most delightful thing that we can possibly pursue.
A Passion for the Glory of God is a worship conference designed for pastors, worship leaders, worship team members, sound teams, and anyone desiring to be equipped in the principles and practices of God-honoring worship. Bob Kauflin, director of worship development for Sovereign Grace, will host the conference. Other speakers will include Mark Altrogge and Steve Cook. The conference will be held on October 16th-18th, 2003 at Sovereign Grace Church, Gilbert, AZ. For more information click here.
David's Last Words by Mark Altrogge. David: King of Israel, slayer of giants, friend of God. While we remember the significant roles David played, his final words reveal a perspective well worth emulating. To order this message, click here.
Mark Altrogge, occasional guest columnist for Worship Matters, serves as senior pastor of Lord of Life Church in Indiana, Pennsylvania, where he has also led worship since 1976. Mark has published some 200 songs of praise and worship, including I Stand in Awe, I'm Forever Grateful, As Long as I Have Breath, and many other well-known compositions. He also produces the Hide the Word CD series, which sets passages of Scripture to music to create Scripture memory tools. Find out more at www.forevergratefulmusic.com