My First Encounter With the Lord of Glory
I deeply relate to this passage of Scripture because it reminds me so much of how I first encountered the true and living God. In 1970 I was teaching Kundalini yoga to about 300 students at four universities in the Tampa, Florida, area. I also ran a yoga ashram, a commune where yoga devotees follow a more intense discipline. Each day I taught various techniques geared toward achieving that illusive state referred to in eastern religions as "God consciousness."
Every day began at 3:30 a.m. with two to three hours of meditation and mantra yoga (the chanting of mantras), then various yoga disciplines for about 12 hours. However, one unique and wonderful day I broke with my normal pattern. A friend had sent me a letter explaining that he'd been "born again" (an unfamiliar concept to me at the time) and had discovered Jesus to be the only way to heaven. I initially responded in the negative, that I couldn't confine myself to Christianity. But my friend's letter weighed heavily on my mind.
So one morning I decided that instead of going through my usual yoga routine, I'd spend the whole day praying only to Jesus and reading only the Bible. Though unaware of it at the time, I was using a "Moses-like" approach. All day I asked the Lord to reveal Himself, using words like these: "Lord Jesus, I dedicate this day to You. Show me the way. If You are truly the only way to eternal life, if You really died on the cross for my sins and rose again, I pray You will reveal Yourself supernaturally. Manifest Yourself. Give me some kind of sign."
When Moses prayed that God would reveal His glory, God's loving response was: "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you" (Ex. 33:19).
A similar thing happened for me. I don't have room in this article to explain all the ways God answered my prayers that day—including using a new believer, who had just left behind yoga and Eastern religions a few months before, to tell me about Jesus—but that day something supernatural happened to me similar to Moses' supernatural encounter. God made His "goodness" pass before me (showing me the revelation of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Son of God). The word gospel means "good news." As I learned various facets of the good news, the goodness of the Lord kept passing before me again and again—and I learned from the beginning, God's glory is His goodness.
When Moses asked to see God's glory, the second part of God's response was the pledge that He would "proclaim the name of the Lord" before Moses (Ex. 33:19). That happened to me also during that pivotal turning point. I learned the true name of the Lord was not Brahman (from Hinduism), Sat Nam (from Sikhism) or Allah (from Islam)—but the Lord Jesus Christ, the triune name of the triune God, the name that is above every name, the name to which every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, the name that is connected to the true revelation of the plan of God for man.
Finally, at the close of Exodus 33, we find God doing something remarkable for Moses, something that speaks in a symbolic and spiritual way to us: "Then the Lord said, 'Indeed, there is a place by Me. You must stand on the rock. While My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you will see My back, but My face may not be seen'" (vv. 21-23).
In like manner, when the Lord passed by me in the fall of 1970, He placed His hand upon me, opening up my spiritual understanding. In a spiritual sense He placed me in the "cleft of the Rock"—the one who is called the Rock of Ages. From that day forward I have been "hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3).
Several weeks later I was battling raging doubt in my mind over the concept that the Bible is actually God's inspired Word. The Lord Jesus understood my struggle and came to me in a dream. He appeared before me in glowing white apparel, so brilliant I could not make out the features of His face. Then He disappeared and in His place was the Bible, glowing with the same brilliant white light, with golden Hebrew print on the pages, and pulsating like it had a heartbeat. A river of light poured off the pages into my soul, and I realized that God and His Word are one and that the Bible truly is the Word of God. My doubts were dispelled forever when I beheld His glory!
Did all of these things happen because of prayer? Absolutely! Was it important that I asked God to show me His way (the right path) and manifest Himself to me supernaturally? Yes. It worked for Moses and it worked for me.
As Watchman Nee so aptly declared: "Our prayers lay the track down on which God's power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, His power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails."
So lay down the rails today. You may be surprised what comes to you from above.
Mike Shreve has been involved in full-time ministry since 1971, sharing the gospel globally. He is the author of many best-selling books, most recently Powerful Prayers for Supernatural Results (Charisma House)–from which this article is adapted. For more information, visit shreveministries.org.
Mike Shreve shares personal stories of how God supernaturally answered prayers for his family at shreveprayer.charismamag.com
For more study ...
In his latest book, Powerful Prayers for Supernatural Results (Charisma House), Mike Shreve demonstrates prayer that taps into God's will. He uses prayers recorded in Scripture to show modern-day believers how to pray. You can purchase this book wherever Christian books are sold or at christianbook.com or amazon.com.
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