o say Moses had some experiences with God would be an understatement. The experiences themselves are breathtaking, the burning bush, the 10 plagues, the splitting of the Red Sed, God ascending on Mount Sinai, the tent of meeting. And yet, what is most amazing to me about Exodus 33:18, is that Moses, after all of these experiences with God, still wants more of Him!
Moses wanted to see God face to face.
Moses Said Please Show Me Your Glory
“Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” (Exodus 33:18)
It seems the more Moses experienced God, the more he wanted of Him. This is not a typical statement. For most of us, we are content with the little stiff-necked relationship that we have with God. Yet Moses, after encountering God in such marvelous ways, longed deeply to see more of God's glory.
Scripture is filled with those who longed to see God.
- “My soul is crushed with longing after Your ordinances at all times..” (Psalms 119:20)
- At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; for when the earth experiences your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9)
- “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.” (Psalms 73:25)
- “My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your Word.” (Psalms 119:81)
- “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalms 42:2)
- “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalms 63:1)
- “I stretch out my hands to You; my soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah” (Psalms 143:6)
Using these scriptures as study references, along with the longings of Moses all together teaches us something very important. If you are genuinely experiencing God in your life, your appetite for His glory will increase, not decrease.
God is so good that the more you experience of Him, the more you want of Him. If this is not a reality in your life today, I am here to tell you there is so much more for you in God, but you have to lay down the excuses that hold you back from experiencing more of Him.
“But the trouble is that we call “asking God’s forgiveness” very often really consists in asking God to accept our excuses.” - C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Experiencing the glory of God in your life is all about letting go of all the excuses that hold you back from an encounter with God.
What Does Experiencing Gods Glory Mean?
Now, before we move any further, I think it would be helpful to do a short Bible study on what the word for glory actually means in Exodus 33:18. The word glory comes from the Hebrew word kabowd (kaw-bode’), and this words means “abundance.”
When Moses is asking God to show him more of His glory, he is asking God for an abundance or overflow of Himself in Moses’ life. Wow! What a request! Moses was not settling for the things he had experienced in his past but was ready for a new encounter of abundance.
Encountering the glory of God is all about allowing God to give you the abundance of His presence. To experience this, I think John the Baptist said it the best in John 3:30, “may He increase, so that I may decrease.”
This tells me something. The glory of God is something that you have to make room for in your life. Before Moses could encounter God on the burning bush, he first had to take off his sandals. Why? He had to spiritually make room for God. Taking off his sandals was an act of faith. This is really important to understand because one of the main reasons we do not encounter the abundance of God in our lives is because we are already filled with our own personal glory. On the flip side, whatever space you create for God in your life, His glory will fill it abundantly!
one of the main reasons we do not encounter the abundance of God in our lives is because we are already filled with our own personal abundance.
There are three key instances in the Bible where the priest literally could not minister because of the abundance of the glory of God.
“Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:35)
“… the priest could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.” (1 Kings 8:11)
“The priest could not enter into the house of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house.” (2 Chronicles 7:2)
How To Encounter God's Glory
Whatever you empty, no matter if it is a temple made of stone or the temple in your heart, God will fill it with His glory! Now, the next question should be, how do you empty yourself so that the abundance of God may come in and fill it? Let’s look to Moses for the answer.
“Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ (Exodus 33:18)
It seems to me, God was asking Moses (and I paraphrase) “you want to encounter my glory? Then, proclaim My name.”
When we begin to magnify the name of God, things begin to change in our life. What is the manifest name of God? Jesus Christ!
- “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth…” (John 1:14)
- "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature and upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3)
- “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)
The Lord cannot fill what has not first been emptied. When we come to a place in our hearts and say, “Jesus, I need more of you! The measure I have just isn’t enough, I need the overflow - the abundance of your glory”, only then do things begin to change.
When speaking of this abundance of glory, God warned Moses..
“But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” (Exodus 33:20)
Do you think this stopped Moses from an encounter? It sure did not. For Moses, to not see God’s glory was already a death of its own. This is powerful to me because we cannot allow anything to keep us from an encounter with the glory of God.
All we have to do is get rid of the dead weight that keeps us from encountering the abundant measure of God’s glory in our life. Empty yourself of the dead weight, and watch the glory of God transform your life. Paul speaks to this transformation in 2 Corinthians 3:18, which says,
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Moses said to the Lord, “please show me your glory”. Are you ready to do the same today? Drop the dead weight and allow the abundance of God to transform your life!