“And the secret is: that Christ is in you! Which means that you will share in God’s glory,” Colossians 1:27.
Glory : The splendor of god personified in his person and likeness – applied to us – Strong’s G1391 δόξα, doxa, dox’-ah”DOXA” – the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ in us – achieved in the process of being perfected by His Spirit within, to be made One (to be transformed into being in absolute harmony and agreement) with His Character, Nature and Personality).
This is, to me personally, one of the most beautiful things the LORD ever shared with Paul, and as a result shared with us through Paul.
He received the wonderful Revelation that when Christ would be a Living part of a believers life, dwelling within such a one who has yielded to the inner-Presence of His Being (The Holy Spirit or the Anointing within) and having the opportunity to chance such a one by the influence of His Presence – that such a person would certainly be found to be rich in producing eternal glory!
He had come to understand that if God had any hope of gaining “glory” from our lives, it would be because of only one sure fact – and that fact would be that Christ dwells in us, working in us “to will and to work according to the His Father’s will”, producing the fragrant fruit of a life being transformed into His Likeness.
He also understood that the very reason WHY Christ would be dwelling in us, would be to bring God glory by His transforming work in us!
All God will be looking for one day when we stand before Him to give an account of our lives is the FRUIT that was produced in us and through our lives, lived to bring Him glory.
He will not be looking for flaws or mistakes, He will be INSPECTING us for only one thing – HIS FRUIT produced from our lives!
Did we yield to His Spirit within so He could produce His fruit in us?
Does our lives bring glory to His Name?
When Jesus inspected the fig tree, He did not inspect it for anything except fruit.
He did not care if the tree was beautiful or whether it was perfect. He simply lifted the leaves to see if there was any fruit to be found on it’s branches.
One day when you stand before God all He will care to find from your life will be His fruit produced for His glory.
But what is this “glory” that God seeks to have in our lives? When we hear of it, some of us may imagine it as something spectacular shining forth from us.
Some wonderful special hallow or radiance shining forth from us – God’s glory being displayed in us, or something magnificent like that.
The truth is that this glory God seeks from you and me is quite different to what we may imagine.
The glory He seeks is the changes that was produced in us by Him working in us!
Every time you faced hardships and trouble and difficulties, and Christ was working in you, forming His Character in you, as you yielded and responded to Him in those difficult times, and as a result was changed in your attitude and behavior, and by having your mind renewed to be brought into harmony with His thoughts and Ways, instead of ranting in the flesh – glory has come from your life as a result of Christ’s work in you in being changed into His Likeness!
This is the glory God desires to have from our lives in eternity as a result of the influence of Christ in us!
This is His hope that He has in us – the hope that we will be changed, because His Spirit lives in us.
This is His hope – that we will be recreated day by day, transformed and transfigured into being as He IS – being renewed and restored to His ORIGINAL creation that He purposed us to be – radiant of His Glory (His Character, Nature and Person) and Grace!
As I said before, Jesus did not inspect the tree for perfection. He was not looking at how crooked the branches were, He did not care! He only looked to see if He could find FRUIT from those crooked branches.
Circumstances may come, and situations that will bend us one way, and twist the direction of our lives into another way.
Challenges within us may rise too powerful for us to conquer – as was allowed in Paul’s life in facing his “thorn in the flesh” (some nagging issue he was called to endure) – as we continue to grow through our journey in this world into our eternal home.
And many times it will be these very hardships that causes God to achieve the greatest glory in us!
When as a result of them we become more dependent upon Him as never before and also give ourselves willingly for Him to have His Way in us, being to weak to fight Him off!
Where we learn to become weak in our own strength and self-assurance so that we may discover and learn to depend upon His Power to work through us!
That ultimately is what will bring Him glory – Our living testimonies of how He brought us through, of how we were in trouble and learned to depend upon Him and how He stepped in to work the impossible in us and through us, and produced glory for His Name!
When Paul discovered that it was when he was at his lowest, most desperate and at his weakest, incapable of getting through situations.
When he could do nothing about changing things in himself or around him. Having no other outcome except to rest on God’s Grace (His Ability, Strength, Power and kind Nature to bring Him into victory) – and that as a result of his surrender in complete faith (a resting in the full assurance that placing himself in harmony with God’s will, He would work out all things to work together for good in accordance with His plan, purpose and His Goodness) – That in doing so God would rise in his life as never before – not only in terms of personal change – but as well as in the great victories won for the Kingdom by the demonstration of the Spirit through his life.
When he discovered the Way by which God would obtain glory in him – it changed his entire perspective and His prayers!
He now WELCOMED “hardships, all sorts of trouble and persecutions!” – Because he found that when they were present in his life, Christ in His Power would rise to will and to work from within Paul, and he would be transformed and changed – and more than that, so would his circumstances also be changed by God’s Power that would come to fill every brook and cranny of His life and rest (tabernacle) him!
God would find both the fruit of His glory in Paul, as well as through him, by working Mightily in delivering him from his troubles!
This wonderful Revelation caused God’s man to realise that the small and the little troubles he was facing on earth, was producing in him a weight of eternal glory that could never stand in comparison to anything he suffered on earth!
No matter how life had mangled his branches through circumstances and hardships, no matter how his branches had been twisted by the storms of this world – they overflowed with the ONE THING God was interested to find that would bring Him eternal glory through Paul’s life and story – they were hanging heavy and low with Divinely formed fruit!
Christ (the Holy Spirit) had been at work in him, and as a result the Father had found glory for His workmanship in an ever-changing Paul!
Every time you and I allow Christ within to work in us, and to change us.
Every time we look to Him in the storms and allow His Strength and Power to rise in us, not only to conquer the storm, but to change in us whatever the storm brought out of us that still disagrees with Who He Is, How He thinks and acts – He has glory from our lives, having being transformed into the Likeness of the Father in that particular area of our lives.
He is not seeking for us to be perfect, (although we will end up being there if we faithfully allow Him to keep working His perfect Character, Nature and Personality into us), what He seeks for in us is the fruit of being on a journey of being changed to perfection, allowing Him to transform us into His Likeness from day to day.
God’s plan for us has always been perfection. There was no imperfection in Eden, nothing in that Heavenly place stood in disagreement to the Goodness of God and His Person. Eden was a place abounding with His Life.
Christ came to restore us to God’s perfect plan for us and to allow Him to grow in us until we again could find that place of rest in Him, amidst a crooked and perverse world that surrounds us.
Nothing brings God greater glory than seeing someone He created live as He originally intended for them to live. When they become His ORIGINAL creation.
This is the journey of restoration that we are called to, so that through our perfect happiness, fulfillment, and abounding lives – free from fleeting and corruptible worldly satisfaction – we may obtain the joy of an everlasting Eden within us!
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven is in South Africa. He has been serving the LORD in ministry since 1991 and has hosted numerous apostolic revival meetings in South Africa and in South America. He also currently pioneers a organic church planting movement across South Africa. For more information about him and his ministry visit www.sonsofsovereignty.com or Revival.