From the beginning of time man was born with the unquenchable desire to know God and to be known by God. This awareness is not learned or taught but rather is an instinctive hunger deep seeded within the heart of man by God. There has been a veil placed over the hearts and minds of humanity and it is crucial that we wrestle past it through repentance in order to encounter the living God.
It's normal for us to desire to see the face of God. Moses talked with God face to face Exodus 33:11. After seeing and speaking with God face to face Moses asked "show me Your glory" Exodus 33:18. When God makes Himself known to us in the congregation it can at times seem awkward or strange because like the children of Israel we're not acquainted with "His Ways." Manifestations of the Spirit in the congregation during worship tend to be uncomfortable for many. As the Lord begins to move supernaturally in our midst even the most spiritually mature have a tendency to become unsettled. The experience in many ways seems to be more "wacky" than not. I've often wondered why God just didn't reveal Himself in a more "palatable" way that doesn't offend so much. As I sought the Lord on this issue I found more evidence of God's desire to reveal Himself to us as "Friend", and not just a mere "manifestation". He will only reveal Himself to the degree we are able or even willing to see Him!
It's accurate to say that if God were to allow us to see His full nature we wouldn't be able to handle it and in turn He would have to judge us on the level of understanding and revelation that we have. His mercy and love toward us cannot allow this to happen!
Manifestations of the Holy Spirit of God are merely an evidence of Gods presence and power reaching toward us. His face is constantly being revealed in and through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. If we're willing to look for Him in the outpouring of His Spirit, He can then begin to wonderfully reveal Himself to us in ways far beyond our experience and understanding!
A MORE PERFECT IMAGE
Throughout the Old Testament God spoke of a day that we would be able to see a more perfect image or picture of who He is. Neither will I hide My face any more then from them, when I have poured out My Spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord God. EZEKIEL 39:29 It has always been God's desire is to make Himself known to us. I said it earlier, and will say again, that God will only reveal Himself to the degree that we are willingly to open ourselves to know Him. To the degree that we are willing to come after Him will be the degree that He is able to allow us to see Him!!
It was God's desire to reveal Himself to Israel but they were unable to handle it. The Lord knew that if they were to "see" Him they would make an image of Him and worship the image instead.
Deuteronomy 4:9 says, "Only take heed, and guard your life diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen and lest they depart from your (mind and) heart all the days of your life. Teach them to your children and your children's children." Verse 15-16: "Therefore take good heed to yourselves since you saw no form of Him on the day the Lord spoke to you on Horeb our of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly by making for yourselves graven images in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female."
OUT OF THE MIDST OF THE FIRE
God led Israel out of Egypt with a powerful and strong hand with many signs and wonders. The hand of God was upon them continually. They saw the Lord in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud of smoke by day. The power and presence of God was physically manifested over the Ark of God. The Lord told them "I met with you face to face but you did not see my form". God had revealed Himself to the degree that they were "able" to respond and not fall into idolatry. The Lord told them He would not allow them to "see" His form because they would make an idol after His likeness! God new they would make an image of "HIS FACE" and would end up worshipping the symbol or the image rather than seeking after the His Face!
Deuteronomy 5:4 says "the Lord spoke with Israel "FACE TO FACE" on the mount OUT OF THE MIDST OF THE FIRE...5. I (Moses) stood between the Lord and you at that time to show you the word of the Lord, for you were afraid because of the FIRE and you did not go up into the mount!"
All of Israel was there on the side of the mountain with Moses and the Lord and they did not recognize God's "FACE TO FACE" encounter with them. They recognized "the fire of God"... but did not recognize "God in the fire"... instead they said:
Deuteronomy 5:25 "For this great fire will consume us"... and v.27 "Moses you go near and hear all that the Lord our God will say; and we will hear and do it!"
GOD IS LOOKING FOR FRIENDS
The Lord told Moses, "Oh, that they had such a mind and heart in them always to reverently fear Me and keep all My commandments, that it might go well with them and with their children forever! Go say to them, Return to your tents... BUT YOU (Moses) STAND HERE BY ME"! Deuteronomy 5:31 The Lord is looking for those who will "stand here by Me". Moses was the Friend of God and was entrusted and faithful in all the house of God. Moses spoke with God face to face, or mouth to mouth.
Numbers 12:4says, "Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, 'come out, you three to the Tent of Meeting'. And the three of them came out. The Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the Tent door and called Aaron and Miriam and they came forward. 6. And He said, 'Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision and speak to him in a dream. 7. But not so with My servant Moses; he is entrusted and faithful in all My house. 8. With him I speak FACE TO FACE (mouth to mouth) directly, clearly and not in dark speeches; and he SEES (beholds) the form of the Lord."
Moses displayed in the Old Testament then what is available for us to experience in the New Testament now. Moses was entrusted with all of Gods house because he had a desire and an understanding to know God as an intimate friend. Numbers12:8 Moses actually saw the form of the Lord because idolatry had been worked out of him.
It was the charge of God in Zechariah 3 that if we keep our garments clean (from idolatry) and our minds clean (from polluted and corrupted thinking) "If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then also you shall rule all My house and have charge of all My courts and I will give you ACCESS to My presence and places to walk among these (the angels) who stand here (in this heavenly arena)"! Zechariah 3:7-8
To the degree idolatry is worked out of us will be the degree He will trust to reveal Himself to us! It's our heart that sets the standard for what we will see and hear.
BEHOLDING HIS GLORY
The scripture teaches us that "as a man thinks in his heart that's what he becomes". Proverbs 23:7. We become the very thing we set our "GAZE" upon. Colossians 3:1-3 tells us plainly to "seek" that which is from above, where Christ is..."Set" your minds and keep them "set" on what's above...for your real life is hidden with Christ in God!
It's absolutely necessary that we have the "veil" stripped from the eyes of our understanding in order to "see" the way things really are. Ephesians 4:23 says, "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind". Jesus said "Unless you are born from above you cannot 'see' the Kingdom of God. John 3:3. That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of Spirit if Spirit.
2Corinthians 3:16-18 says it best..."But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the VEIL is stripped off and taken away. v.18 And all of us, as with 'unveiled' faces because we continued to 'behold' in the Word of God as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being 'transfigured' into His very own image in ever increasing splendor from one degree of glory to another"...
So when we turn to the Lord in repentance and look to him alone there is a veil that is stripped away that has kept us from seeing Him for who He really is. As we "gaze" at Him with a "clean (renewed) heart and mind" our perspective changes and we are being "transfigured" or "transformed" by the "Living Word" in ever increasing splendor from one revelation... to another revelation... to another revelation...etc... v.17 says we are "transfigured by the Lord who is the Spirit".... The Spirit who liberates us from our "old mindsets" of bondage from the past.
THE RENEWING OF THE MIND
Pete, James, and John had an experience on the mount of Transfiguration with Jesus that radically changed the way they perceived Him. They saw the glorified Son of God and their perspective instantly shifted. Transfiguration and Transformation are the same words used in this supernatural encounter. As they were on the mountain with Jesus the old veil of their understanding was stripped away and they plainly saw as He was transfigured right in front of them. Moses and Elijah stepped out of a cloud and they beheld the Supernatural out-raying of His presence. Mark 9:2 / Hebrews 1:3
Transformation is the same word as "metamorphosis" or "transfiguration". Metamorphosis is the transformation process of a caterpillar "morphing" into a Monarch Butterfly. From "WORM" mentality into "MONARCH" or "ruler ship" mentality! Our "lower life" (worm) or lower way of thinking is in process of being transformed into a "higher life" (Monarch) or higher way of thinking and acting! Jesus said "For whoever wants to save his (higher heavenly) life will lose it...(the lower earthly life); and whoever gives up his life (lower earthly life) for My sake and the Gospel's sake will save it". Mark 8:35
People have made statements to me like "Oh that's just mind over matter or the power of positive thinking". Maybe so, but it's all about where our head is at! But I say it's not mind over matter but rather Spirit over mind! The spiritual mind is life and peace Romans 8:6. The body is the servant of the Mind... The mind is the servant or student of the Spirit!!! It's the Holy Spirit that "opens up to us" and then empowers us to see with a renewed mind. If we can get hold of the reality of the transformation of the mind the power of God will flow freely through us. When the mind is renewed the unthinkable begins to look possible! Fear and anxiety will kill faith and shut down the work of transformation! We need to step in faith and believe!
The principal of "Beholding and Becoming" is paramount. What we think about is what we become! Hebrews 12:2 encourages us to "Fix our eyes on Jesus". To "FIX" means to "STARGAZE" like gazing into space...or to "STARE AT" ... "FOCUS" all of your attention upon.
The world has been longing to see a people who not only claim to know God but walk, talk and act like Him.
"For God Who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness' has shown in our heats so as to (beam forth) the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God (as it is manifested in the Person and is revealed) in the FACE of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 It is God's desire that the glorious Light and power of His presence would shine through the hearts of believing believers all across the globe.
God wanted all of Israel to SHINE like Moses face had. The invitation was for all of Israel to SHINE, but they refused! It's the desire of God that the very power and glory of heaven would fill the body of Christ in such a way that the "Light Power" and "Presence" of our heavenly citizenship would physically shine through us like it did with Moses! Do we want that much of God?!... ARE YOU HUNGRY!