“Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (John 11:40) What would you give up to see the glory of God, not just the wonders of creation, the beaty that is hidden beneath the curse upon this earth (Gen. 3:17) at the present time, not the wonders of the stars, untold numbers of them visible only when the light has left the sky, not even the invisible things that are clearly seen by all, (Romans 1:20) but to actually be in the presence of God Almighty Himself and to see His glory.
When John saw Christ as he told us in the Book of Revelation (1:17) he fell at His feet as one dead, “For there shall no man see me, and live” (Exo. 33:20) are the words He said to His servant Moses, what would you cast aside as worthless to be able to stand in the presence of the Most Holy. The real question is, what have you left already.
The first step of faith is the most important, but in reality it is the only step that needs to be taken, in that moment for the born-again believer, they realize that they are going to give up every desire of their life, they come to the understanding of the price that was paid for them, in that moment and for the rest of their lives here they have determined to die to self. And if He asks them to die for Him, they will, if He requires poverty or riches, they accept His will, sickness or long life, the sole reason for their existence, for our existence, is to bring glory to the only One worthy of glory.
Every course of action we take, every thought, all deeds are done with only one specific motive in mind, that the name of the Lord would be exalted above the heavens. “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11) “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11) The only place that true fulness of joy exists is in the very presence of Christ Himself, the pleasures waiting forever more at His right hand cannot even compare with the joy that all who call Him Lord will know while in His presence. It is imperceptible how much we are loved, and how little deserving we are of that love. The joy that awaits us cannot now nor ever will be able to be expressed completely, any effort to describe it will fall short, it is more than an experience, there are no words in any language that can give it meaning. What is awaiting us cannot be contemplated by the finite mind, you may as well attempt to ponder eternity, life without end, the never ending is not attainable to the mind that knows it yet has an end to come.
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the LORD in the air: and so shall we ever be with the LORD.” (1 Thess. 4:17) This is as close as we can come to these truths in our mortal thoughts, “That where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3) The Scriptures are full of references to the glory of the Almighty, but to us they are yet unseen, there is where our hope lies, in that which we have been promised, but as yet have not experienced. Contemplating these thoughts continuously will cause this world and all that is in it to become very dim, in fact, with no disrespect, it will become loathsome to us, a great weight we no longer desire to bear. In this respect we long to be in His presence, these thoughts that the Holy Spirit of God has placed within us gives us a great longing to be nowhere else, they put fear in its proper place, they show the truth that “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)
There is a great longing in the heart of the born-again believer, one that can never be found in this life, one we can barely glimpse, and only rarely at that, one that seems so distant and so close at the same time. This is in part what our Lord meant when He said the kingdom of God is within us, (Luke 17:21) a great desire to be nowhere but in His presence. It is why we strive, He is why we die each day a little more to ourselves, why even the smallest sin against Him is a great burden to our hearts, why we willingly give more of ourselves to Him each passing day, while at the same time asking Him to remove even those last vestiges of self from us. The servants of God like to think of the impossible, because they know that with God, all things are possible (Matt. 19:26) to be able to stand in the presence of God Almighty seems impossible to us, but it will happen, and it will never end, we will see the glory of God, we will see it throughout all eternity.