What a wonderful thing it would be to be invited by God to have a mountaintop experience with Him! Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him to the top of a mountain where they got to see Jesus transformed into the brilliance of His true glory. They got to see Christ’s human skin supernaturally superceded by the unmistakable light of God’s awesome glory. What an amazing privilege and blessing they were given! Who could even scarcely wish for such an honor? Only a handful of human beings has ever been graced with the privilege of seeing God’s glory. One thing is sure: it struck terror into the hearts of those three blessed men. They were given a visible manifestation of God’s glory and they were stricken with a terrible fear. It seems that human beings are always stunned with given a glimpse of God’s glory. Ezekiel was sat down for seven days, overwhelmed after a great vision the living creatures, the sparkling wheels and God’s glory sitting on a sapphire throne (Ezekiel 3:15). Isaiah was gripped with a holy fear and terrible sense of guilt because of his own sin when saw a vision of the Lord in His temple filled with the smoke of His glory and the living creatures flying and singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty! The whole earth is filled with His glory!” (Isaiah 6:1-6). The shepherds were quite shaken when the angels appeared in the radiance of the Lord’s glory to announce the birth of the Savior (Luke 2:9). Saul was knocked to the ground and became blinded after the brilliant light of Christ shined down on him (Acts 9:3-4). When John saw the risen Jesus Christ in all His brilliance, shining as bright as the sun, John fell at His feet as though he were dead (Revelation 1:17). Even the simple three words that Jesus said when He was arrested, “I am He,” were so powerful that the leading priests, the Pharisees, the Temple guards and the battalion of Roman soldiers ALL fell backwards to the ground! (John 18:6). It seems that even the slightest revelation of God’s glory to mortal men is enough to knock us off our feet.
So why does God do it? Show us His glory, I mean. Or, why doesn’t He show us more? All He would have to do to convince this entire planet of weak minded wretches with poor morals of their necessity to repent of their sins and to worship God is to just unleash the brilliance of His unfettered glory upon the whole solar system, or entire universe for that matter. He could do it. We would probably be reduced to a thin layer of biological residue on the floor, but He could do it. God in His unapproachable wisdom obviously has other plans. In His understanding and in His perfect timing, He has given the human race time to mature and grow. He gives individuals time to repent and then to learn obedience. And in that slow, and sometimes painfully slow, process we have the potential to become pure. It’s a purity that is solely derived from the work of Christ on the cross. It is a purity completely devoid of self-reliance, but only simple trust and obedience. In the cosmic scheme of things, humans may have been roaming the earth for six thousand years or more. Only God knows how long, but it must be at least six thousand years according to biblical history. If it has taken God that long to even bring humanity this far, He must have a timetable for our lives as well. It may not be what we expect or want. But I suspect that much of our ability to grow is limited by our willingness to put aside our selfish ambitions and yield to the yoke of Christ and take up our cross daily.