PJ’s Daily Devotional for Friday, January 13, 2017
Do you desire to go to a church where people expect to and do experience the glory of God manifesting in their midst?
To ‘manifest’ means is to be readily perceived by the senses; to be made apparent, recognized by the mind. An example of how I use this word in my everyday discipleship relationships is, “You have the fruit of the Spirit, that is given to you by God when you put your trust in Jesus Christ and are sealed with the Holy Spirit, but what is preventing patience (or joy or love or…) from manifesting in your life?” In other words, why aren’t you acting like the person you are in Christ.
Even with my great desire to see God manifest His presence in our worship services, more than anything, I desire for our church family to glorify God for who He is and what He has done through His Son Jesus Christ! More than us experiencing His manifest glory in our worship services, I want God to experience our worship to Him in our services! No strings attached; no bartering; no quid pro quo; just us worshipping God for who He is and what He has done! For us to be overflowing with such love and gratitude for our salvation, that we manifest vertical worship to the only One who is worthy, and we manifest the fruit of the Spirit in our relationships with one another and the communities we are called to evangelize.
What would it look like for us to experience the manifest glory of God in our worship services?
Paul teaches the Corinthian believers, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 3:18).
When we experience the glory of God our stories will be transformed. We will tell stories in church about what God has done, is doing, and will be doing. We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). Our lives will be transformed in such a way that God’s presence will manifest through us and our stories more and more. Our stories will point to Jesus Christ, the Cross of Calvary, the Empty Tomb—the redemption from sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the regeneration that can only come through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (born again), and the reconciliation of a prodigal with the Father.
A mark of the manifest presence of God in our services is the sharing of testimonies. Our faces will be unveiled and we will not hide from one another. We will hear the stories; people will share their lives with one another; they will want to because the Spirit will compel them to give glory to the God who is transforming them “from one degree of glory to another.”
When we worship God, not as “shoulders-up” worship (a worship characterized by intellectual ascent to the doctrines of God), but as “whole-person” worship (a worship characterized by loving the Lord with your whole heart, mind, body, and soul), then we will be worshipping the way God commanded us to love Him in the Greatest Commandment. Our worship will be by faith, filled with truth & Spirit; not by obligation, filled with ritual & routine. And it is faith (not works!) that is commended to us as righteousness.
A mark of the manifest presence of God is unashamed worship of the living God who is present in the room when we worship Him. Our faces will be unveiled and we will not be concerned about one another. We will see one another in reckless abandonment during worship and instead of feeling socially awkward and inhibited, we will experience a release from captivity that can only be done through the freedom of Christ. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:17, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
Paul proclaims that all this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. We cannot manifest anything apart from the presence and power of Jesus Christ in us—the Holy Spirit.
What are you manifesting?