The flames were higher than the roof of the Toyota pick-up. Wind-driven and fed by the fuel spilling from overturned gasoline trucks, these terrible torches scorched everything in their path. The ribbon of asphalt over which we sped reflected the red-orange danger on either side. Minutes passed like hours and when we finally passed over a ridge, out of the wind and fire, we took refuge under a large tree and got out to see the damage.
The paint had not blistered. The rubber cover of the truck bed had neither bubbled nor burned and all the contents were intact. In fact, none of us even smelled like smoke. Looking back down the valley we could see miles of swirling flames climbing into the night sky. Isaiah 43:1-2 became a reality in my life that Mexico evening. The flames did not kindle upon us. We passed through untouched.
“Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth—Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” Isaiah 43:5-7
These particular verses have been prayer verses for us at SEAPC for decades. We speak to the North, South, East, and West to give up the souls of men. Through the application of this verse, we have realized that God is Central and, through us, limitless in both His desire and power to reach every person around us with His message. He has even given us the ability to gain wealth in order that His covenant can be established in all nations. He will establish His glory among the nations. The resting place of the Glory of God is the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. As we are the fulfillment of the typology of the ark (see page 73 of Attack Lambs) the Glory of God dwells in us, between the angels given for our protection.
As we move about in the earth, cognizant of our declared relationship with Jesus, we bring this glory to bear on people, places, and things. All things temporal are at the mercy of the Glory as it flows out from us. Paul prays that our eyes might be opened to realize the riches of the glory of His inheritance that is in the Saints. Yes, we have all sinned and come short of the glory to be revealed in us; but, when released, this glory become the force for change in the earth. Why do the nations come? They are drawn to the glory. Why do paths open in the wilderness and streams in the desert? By the force of His glory. How is this glory manifest, released, effective in our present age? The obedience of the believer releases the Glory of God in the earth.
Why is it that no weapon formed against us shall prosper and no sickness can dwell in our bodies? The power of the glorious presence of God in our lives. You see, it is all about the glory. Christ in us, the hope of Glory, is the power of God to release righteousness upon us, through us to our neighbors and the nations. We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the Glory may be His and not ours. Jesus has made the way for the Glory to descend upon us, abide in us, and flow out from us. Therefore, in every place, rivers spring forth from the dry and parched desert floor of the heart without Christ.
This “new thing” of creating roads in the wilderness and streams in the desert is prophesied in Isaiah 43:19 and taught by Jesus in John 7:38 ushers a revolutionary concept of the believer. When the reality of Jesus becomes more “real” to us, we stop obsessing on what we receive from Him and start releasing His glory to the benefit of others. Jesus said, “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
So many Christians today write about what they have done. People stand in ridiculous pictures with giant check replicas of a financial gift they have given. Human pride takes root in the heart of those who do good works to glorify themselves. How do we do a good work that results in the “Glory” being given to our Heavenly Father? By declaring to ourselves and all who will listen that we are nothing, and He is everything. We are not deceived, it is the prayer, the release of Glory that causes lives to be changed. Jesus said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You… I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work You have given me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” John 17:1, 4-5
How I long to join Jesus in being able to say, “I have done what You have given me to do.” But, we are not there yet. We need to complete the children’s homes in Cambodia and the prayer centers in Mexico. Autism still needs to be addressed in China and breakthrough awaits in India. Myanmar and Guatemala and Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia as well as Indonesia cry out for the Glory. The United States needs a river of Glory to flow as never before. How will this be done? As we pray and call upon the Lord, He will surely hear and send His glory. He will do a new thing so great it will outshine all the former things.