Thick, black smoke billowed across the sky, hanging like thunder-heads on the horizon. Orange streetlights glared down into the pavement. Orange flames licked the blazing car stalled on the interstate. Shards of glass littered the black top, glinting red and spiraling light in all directions. The seatbelt cut into my shoulder when I braked; and scudding squeals filled the air as those in cars around me did the same.
It shocked me a little to discover that such small flames could cause such billowing clouds of smoke. The accident hadn't taken place too long before I rounded the bend--a barely perceptible increase in temperature, worried yells of men calling to each other, a brief downshift in speed and then I was rolling past, all carnage behind and open road before me. The overhanging smoke was the only sign that anything had happened.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the glory of God. The heavens declare His glory, the same glory that led the children of Israel like a pillar of cloud by day and a burning pillar of fire by night. The Lord has said that He will reveal His glory so that all mankind will see it; it will hang over the people like a canopy. This same glory so filled His tabernacle that Moses and the elders could not enter it; this glory passed before Moses when God hid him in the rocks so that he would not see God's face; this glory was so great that it killed the high priests if they did not offer enough incense to shield them from His greatness--this is what is coming to the earth.
The statement the Lord has been turning in my spirit this week is this: "It is not a matter of whether or not you will see My glory; the question is, will you be ready when you do?" People get ready. Something bigger than we've imagined is coming to the earth--and we are not ready for it.
I don't think it's a coincidence that fog machines have had such an enthusiastic reception at concerts (and even some worship services). We cling to shadows and Christ fulfills all. The pervasive deception in the society is that religion is boring; we cling to the poor copy and don't see the reality for who He is. He is light. And He's bigger than we think.
This is the beauty of Jesus shining through us. When we seek to be a burning and shining lamp (even as John the Baptist was), our sphere of influence changes--not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Smoke always dwarfs the fire, even as the relatively small fire surrounding the car produced enough smoke to cover the sky for miles. When we allow the Lord to consume our hearts in a blaze of love for Him, He comes in with the cloud of His glory. The Lord sits enthroned as King of glory.
"This little light of mine" may only shine bright enough to impact a tiny circle of people, but His glory fills the heavens. As we pray, "Lord, let Your glory fall," I believe He answers, "I will--but where there's smoke, there's fire." Let our hearts burn within us, releasing fragrant incense-prayers that draw the smoke of His glory for the world to see. This will happen; will we take part in the process?
Even so, Lord, come quickly.
Grace over you.