“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle…
For the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night,
in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.”
Exodus 40:34, 38
Reading this account, the thought went through my mind of how amazing it would be to have this physical manifestation of the glory of God throughout our days, tangible assurance that He is present.
But even as I thought this, my mind was drawn to Romans 8:16, which tells us that, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” From there, I went to other Scriptures:
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
“He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21b)
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me…I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you…When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 15:26; 16:7, 13-14)
“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:27-29)
Lastly, this beautiful declaration of 1 Peter 1:8-9 came to mind: “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Thought you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
The joy in our hearts that comes from the assurance of His Spirit is itself filled with His glory. We are led by His Spirit as clearly as the Israelites were led in the desert. We simply must humble ourselves, open our hearts, and listen for His voice – the voice that is full of power and majesty; the voice that shakes the wilderness and thunders over the waters (Psalm 29).
We may not see with our eyes the manifestation of the glory of our God, but we know it in our hearts. His Spirit resides here. When we study His Word and draw near in humble, faith-filled prayer and worship, we can sense His power and the assurance of His truth. Not in a mere heightened emotional state which fades, but in a sure, steady confidence that we know the LORD, He is with us, and we are His.