Beholding the glory of God has a way of putting you facedown in worship in silence. The Spirit of God can then pick you up, set you on your feet, and prepare you to hear what God is saying. That’s one of the big ideas I’m chewing on as I read the opening chapters of Ezekiel this morning. Encountered it twice in my reading, first in Ezekiel 1:28-2:2 and then again in Ezekiel 3.
So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the Chebar canal, and I fell on my face. But the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and He spoke with me . . .
(Ezekiel 3:23-24 ESV)
Brought something James writes to mind. Eugene Peterson puts it this way:
Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
(James 4:10 MSG)
And in kind of an unexpected way, it set me up for Peter’s opening words in his second letter.
Glory-induced worship is a prerequisite for a glory-giving walk. Bowing before God in awe of who He is and what He’s done, is the catalyst for standing before God ready to be who we are called to be and willing to do what we are called to do. Encountering His glory has a way of getting us going.
And make no mistake about it, we are to get going. Though saved by faith we are saved for works. While saved by grace alone through faith alone — “and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8) — I was reminded this morning that we are saved to “make every effort to supplement your faith.”
Peter begins his second letter with the stuff that should fuel the flames of worship. A reminder that we’ve had an encounter of the divine kind with the One who has called us “to His own glory and excellence.” That “His divine power” has infused us — all of us! — with everything we need for life and godliness. Everything we need to partake of “the divine nature.” All the tools necessary to escape “from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” Possible — yes, practically possible — because “He has granted to us His precious and very great promises.” (2Pet. 1:3-4). If that don’t put us facedown, not sure what will.
But then . . . on your feet! And this is where the Spirit’s enabling comes in.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith . . .
(2Peter 1:5a ESV)
Yup, you read that right. Saved by faith alone that we might add to our faith (NIV). Redeemed only by the work of Jesus on the cross, but redeemed so that we might make every effort to build on that work. Bowed down by awe through a fresh encounter with who He is and what He’s done, set on our feet by the Spirit determined to fertilize our faith with what’s needed for fruitfulness.
Ready to give it our all! Ready to add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (2Pet. 1:6-7).
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . Therefore, brothers [and sisters], be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
(2Peter 1:8, 10 ESV)
Never fall (Trip up from time to time? Sure. But fall? Never). Who doesn’t want that? Confirming our calling? Demonstrating it’s the real-meal deal? Sign me up!
So, here’s the promise to claim, the divine dynamic to test and prove: keep on keepin’ on supplementing your faith with the right stuff and you won’t be ineffective, you won’t be unfruitful, you will never fall.
How are we going to do that? By beholding His glory and going facedown. By daily engaging with the Spirit who sets us on our feet, ready and willing to hear His voice, able to do His will.
On my face. Set on my feet. Adding to my faith. Promised to be fruitful.
By His grace. For His glory.