Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
The Way of God is His Glory. It carries the full weight of His person, it is who He is. Many people desire and enjoy the benefits of His presence but they themselves do not partake of the fruit in it and began to carry the weight of His Way. Many enjoy the Lord’s Kindness and Mercy, yet they themselves do not become kindness and mercy to those around them. They do not realize that everything in this world will perish except for those qualities that come from an Eternal Kingdom that cannot be shaken. Therefore they spend their lives striving to attain some earthly reputation and an earthly treasure. Only those things that reflect His image will remain.
When we praise God we exalt His greatness. His greatness being, not only that He created the Heavens and the Earth, but that He being all powerful restrains Himself because He is Love. That He being powerful is gentle and merciful.
Hebrews 1:3 says about Jesus that “He is the brightness of His (the Father’s) Glory, the express image of His person.” What was Jesus emanating? What was the light that proceeded from His being, here on earth? It was the Way of the Father. It was the likeness of God that Jesus was emanating. He came and served as a humble servant. He came shinning Meekness, Humility, Kindness, Mercy, Compassion, Justice, Patience, Joy, Goodness, Self-control, Faithfulness, and Love. This is His Way.
Moses cried out to God as he pleaded with the LORD to have mercy on Israel and to not depart from them. He cried out, “If I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight…” (Exodus 33). Four verses later he says “Please show me Your Glory” (Exodus 33). In response to these requests God said to him that He would place him in the cleft of the rock, and there make His Goodness pass before him. There He would proclaim His Name to Moses. When He did, this is what He said, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
This is what Jesus reflected, this was the light that the world rejected. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of man. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” “This is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 1:4-5; 3:19). This light shined beyond actions and words but into the depths of the human heart and those in darkness wanted nothing to do with that which exposes and makes their wickedness manifest (Ephesians 5:13).
Jesus was speaking to a teacher of the law, Nicodemus, when He declared the condemnation of those who loved the darkness rather than the light. It was because their deeds were evil that they rejected the light. They may have been doing good things, but those deeds were defiled with the wicked intentions and desires of their hearts. Many of the ones who rejected Him were the ones that apparently did all the right things, the religious of His day. His Word discerns not simply the outward but especially the internal, the intentions and motives of the heart (Hebrews 4:12-13).
He showed extravagant mercy, and to those who will not repent He will give their due recompense as proclaimed in Exodus 34. He is the exact representation of the Father, and He has called us to be the same. We were made to display His likeness, to carry His image (Genesis 1:26; Colossians 3:10).
This image that we are to carry is not earthly and it is not outward, but it is an internal reality. It is not buying an expensive tuxedo that says Jesus on it, or even wearing a smile on our faces. But it is the true overflowing of Love from our hearts. It is gained and displayed in a place that is hidden to the natural eye. It is hidden in the secret place and it is to the Father’s delight. It is primarily for His pleasure rather than for our own elevation. Some people may never see the good intentions of your heart but the Father will see it. Others with impure motives may be promoted at times while you may remain in the background but your life becomes not about yourself or about what others think about you, but you begin to live a life before the audience of One.
You begin to experience the hidden life that Jesus lived, “Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being founding appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). Did you come to Christ to gain riches, and have a good reputation? To be known as being a good person? Are you religious so that men can look up to you?
We get so caught up in doing the right things and in fulfilling the appearance we feel we ought to have, that we don’t ever actually exude Christ likeness. We fit the part to the eyes that see outwardly but Christ is not truly formed in us. We may not yell vanity at the person that inconvenienced us, but our hearts exude hatred and bitterness. Instead of saying it audibly with our mouths, we may smile while violently cursing them inside.
It is not enough to do good things, or to be, apparently, a good person or even a good Christian, but we must know the Man Jesus. The One who is the exact representation of the Father. We must behold Him and become like Him. When the Presence of the Lord shows up, and God moves in your midst, that is the time to linger and wait on Him. Many times God shows up and we don’t have time for Him, or we run to tell someone of the sight. When the bush was burning but not being consumed, Moses turned. “When one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image form glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
You begin to act and resemble those you get around. If you go to a bar and there are many smoking, you will come out smelling like smoke. Likewise when you get around Jesus you will begin to resemble and smell like Him. The only Way to be like Him, to exude the Way of the Father, is to behold the Man, Jesus. To know Him and thereby to become like Him.
Emanating His Way is both conscious decision and the overflow of a new and empowered nature. Goodness, mercy, patience etc., are just not a natural human qualities in this fallen world. But in Christ we are new creations. We choose to walk in kindness and humility. By the power of the Holy Spirit we choose to agree with who we truly are, and in beholding His Glory, we are continually transformed into His likeness. This is when we really begin to enjoy His kindness and Mercy and become it to those around us. When we begin to partake of the fruit in His presence, and to carry the weight of His Way.