Missing God’s Present Glory by James Larson
Praise the Lord! My text comes from Luke 9:28-36. It reads, ” And it came to past about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter, John, and James and went up into a mountain to pray.
As he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And behold, there talking with him two men which were Moses and Elias. Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles. One for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. Not knowing what he said.
While he thus spake, there came a cloud that overshadowed them and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud saying, This is my beloved son: hear him. And when the voice was past Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.
As we receive the word of God, God works out what he purposes us to be if we will obey his work and respond to his word then it really
does a work. There is a beautiful story in this scripture because this is the only occasion you will ever see this in the scriptures. This
text is world history. It has never happened since, it will never happen again. It only happened one time. It was a titanic stupendous occasion that three men were privileged to be part of just three out of the twelve, the inner circle: Peter, James, and John. But those three
men were privileged and chosen and set apart and allowed to be in a little portion of what took place on that mountain top. There is something in all of us as human beings, it’s in all of our natures and our thought process that we can miss something and we’ll just make up
for it. You might miss a taxi and another one come along, but there are some things that if you miss it, you’ve missed it forever. There are
some vital truths and some vital necessary experiences that God plans for us to experience and be a part of that some people out of their own ignorance and their own ego, and their own sloven living, miss out on the glory when it’s present.
Verses 29, 30, 31 and the end of 32 are the most important verses of the text. It says, “as Jesus was praying, there began to be an outlandish change in his face and his raiment, his clothes went from a normal looking garment and became glistening. It was like a sparkle and there was an illumination that came on him. As he prayed, his countenance changed. And behold there appeared talking with two men.
They were two of the greatest men who walked on this earth. They came back from the dead and came back from an outstanding ministry.
Moses and Elias appeared with Jesus. And appeared in glory. They then spake; they began to talk of the decease of the greatest literal
function on earth in all of history….The death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They began to speak of the decease that would be
accomplished in Jerusalem. Peter, James, and John, however, were missing out on a once in a lifetime happening. They were eye witnesses.
They were absolutely permissively allowed to be in this situation of the transfiguration, but Peter and they that were with him were heavy
They didn’t care what was taking place. They were actually physically indifferent to what was happening. They were not in tune with the most glorious thing that had happened one time in that hour.”
It is not a mistake. You are alive and breathing well. You have come into this world and God knows right where you are at this very moment. God knows how many times your heart beats before you hit your casket; how many hairs on your head. God knows because he has the ability. What really matters is a hundred years from today and where you’ll be a hundred years from today. But he chooses to give you the
ability to make your own choice. We serve a God, Jesus Christ; he has great plans: for everybody here. If you choose to live for God; to
serve the Lord, he has great plans for you. This Lord we are serving tonight, he is a God who is always planning something wonderful for his
church. He loves his church, his church is the apple of his eye. This church is the pride of this world to God. His church is his bride. He
gave himself for the church. He purchased the church with his own blood. If he is coming back for his church and if he died for the
church; if he gave gifts to the church; if the church is what eternity is all about; if he made heaven for the church; if he has made things
that the eye has not seen, ear has not heard, never been recorded for the church; if he has got a place prepared for you that where he is
there may ye also be; if he has done all of these things for the church, then I want you to know that God has some great plans that you
have never understood and that he has for you even till you get to that city on high. You can not do the praying without the response. You can not build a building without something taking place. You can’t give three or four years of sweat and toil and sacrifice and hours and
burning of the midnight oil. I am believing God for great things. And calling out for revival and asking God through the years to help us
support the missionary. We are not trying to lift ourselves up. I am trying to get you to understand that through the building program,
through your sacrifice, through your years of sowing, be not mocked.
God is not mocked. He is going to bless you and he is going to do some things for you. God is sovereign. He works in ways beyond your ability to understand. He will do great things for his people. His mysterious ways is how he works his wonders to perform. God is particular, he keeps good books. He knows exactly all your needs and knows where you sit. He also knows where you will be tomorrow. I am saying this all to you to set an understanding. The understanding that God plans things in life that are better for you than you plan yourself. He’s got things for you better planned. He’s got blessings beyond our understanding.
He’s planned great and wonderful things for those who love him. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. He delights in doing that he enjoys doing. God gets his kicks, God enjoys loving his girlfriend. God loves to bless his bride. And God is very blessed. It really does something wonderful to the heart of God when he sees one of his children, a saint of God, reach that blessed plateau of not just potential, but finding their potential in God as a reality. God loves it when his children recognize
if we will be faithful to God. God is faithful. I will never out give God. I’II never out do God. I’II never out time God. I’II never out work God. He’s always going to do more for me. He’s always going to repay in kindness and there is a life in Jesus always that is greater than we ever could imagine.
When you started walking for God, you were absolutely stripped poor of the things that really count. When you start out with God you
realize that you are a poor way- faring stranger. You are an unprofitable servant, you’re a dirty dasterdly sinner. Let’s face it that’s how we all start out; you felt unworthy of this thing. You feel ungodly. You feel unwholesome and then he puts you on his right hand. He puts you in a place or cleanliness of Godliness, of righteousness and he begins to delight in doing the blessings. He enjoys doing and he takes the tattered ends of our life and when he is done with it, he takes the blindly little mishaps of our life and he puts us into superior living, far beyond what we realize he would do for us. When I get to thinking about God blessing me far beyond what I ever thought he would, I can’t believe it. I have to rub me all the time to see what God has done for me. He’s done so much for me I can not tell it all. I can’t begin to describe him. I don’t have the vocabulary or the alphabet to give you the understanding of what it does to really get into line with this Lord and see him change and plan your lifestyle so.
We have got three men here tonight: Peter, James and John. He says, “come on boys! We are going to go up in the mountain and pray.” He didn’t bring all twelve or them, he didn’t bring 120 people from the upper room, he didn’t ask 1,000 people to go. He asked Peter, James,
and John to be the privileged ones to be in on the exacting, precise, outstanding, speechless happening that the world had never ever seen
and would never see again.
He Chose these three out of the twelve for this all time happening and now here they go. They start following the master. I want you to understand something. They had no idea what was going to happen.
It didn’t even enter their thinking that they were going to see- They didn’t have the ability to grasp the glory of now was going to be so
profound upon them. They had no idea what kind of experience was ahead.
Too many times we get into the Rata-tat-tat of habitation. And every time it is going to be the same old thing. What in the world do you
think God is planning for you? If he actually could be coming in 1985 or 1986. If the Lord is coming as soon as we believe you in this very
service? What do you think he has planned for you this week? Just think about it. What does God have planned for you after the building gets done. If we get the building finished, what’s he got planned for this church in the next twelve months. It makes me just want to bite my
teeth and begin to inquisitively think with excitement and rapture in my soul, what has God got in store? What has God got in mind? What has God got planned? He said that the ladder house will be greater than the former house. He said these things that I do, “Ye shall do greater things.” He said in the last days I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. Did he say it? Yes, he did. Do I believe it? I’d better believe
it, because if I don’t believe it, then I will not see it. Unbelief will always destroy that.
Faith is taking God at his word. The acrostic of faith is forsaking a11 I trust Him. I believe with out a shadow of a doubt. I’m believing it as I am speaking almost in prophecy. I believe that God has some things around the corner for everybody here that you have never dreamed of. If you’ll stay true to God if you will not fall by the way side if you will be faithful in the lean times in the good times.
Give God your best. Keep on walking, follow him up the mountain. When he says it’s time to pray, go on and follow him, have a prayer
meeting because you don’t know the moment of his glory to be known. You don’t know what he is doing. You don’t know what he is thinking. I’m convinced that the people that backslid last year never knew what they were going to miss out on. I believe the people that transferred, the people that left us, the people that want the greener pastures in their mind; the people that went on. I believe that they have never seen historically and spiritually what we are going to see who have stayed in the arena of action. The arena of sacrifice and held up the load and really held up the pressure and held up the sacrifice and held up the prayer and kept walking with God. There is a payday coming. I believe it’s a spiritual phenomenon. We are presently living in the greatest days of all time. The Lord would not allow us to go the greatest days of all time when having the greatest ability of his presence to do is to do what he wants in that hour.
I would not trade places with any serious person in any time. I don’t want to go to camel days or donkey days. You can have it” I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the day of Pentecostal. I wouldn’t want to be in the time of cowboys and Indians and have a six gun in my belt.
I wouldn’t want to be in the time of the great depression. I am glad to be alive. I don’t want to change places with anybody. I don’t want to
change my place in time. Why? Because I have seen and visualizing what is happening in the wheels of prophecy. We are presently living in the rapture church generation. We are going to see it. We are living in the hour of prophecy being fulfilled life never before we are living in the greatest hour of spiritual awakening that the world will even see of all time of all prophecy of all moves of God. We are in the time of the
greatest grow in the greatest restoration.
You and I have been asked and been set in heavenly places. We are involved in the greatest thing that God has ever done and we know what
he is going to do. Let him put a fire in your soul and an excitement in your heart. But God wants to take us aside and show us some things. God wants to take on some side trips. He is sovereign. What he did for someone else he will do for you and I.
He has got some things he wants to show us that we have never dreamed of yet. But you know what the tragedy of the ninth chapter of
Luke the 32 verse. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep. I want you to take the ladle of their head and understand
something, these men were human beings. They were not interested in prayer. They went up into the mountain. Jesus said let’s go pray. Where are we going Lord? We are going up the mountain and automatically the human computer minds begin to twist around and they said, Oh! Brother here we go again. You’ll know what it means when the master says we’re going up to the mountain to pray its going to be a long walk. A dusty and steep walk. And when we get up there he is going to pray us until we are silly. He actually prays the prayer out of us. He is going to get us up there and pray all night long and until our tongue is swollen. Why couldn’t he have asked someone else. We are stuck going on this trip. Dear God, why do we have to be in the office today. He’s going to make us do this little side trip.: Why couldn’t we be somewhere out on the telephone and not been one he asked. We are going to have to go through this that we have gone through so many times. Up to the mountain to pray, Come on boys lets pray and here they are their doing it alone. They are thinking that God its going to be all night and that is just how we are today. That is a picture of our church today. It is a picture of you and I. So many times we have got money for the things we want. We got time for the things we want. We can get so tired when it comes to going to church. So tired when it’s time to pray, the weather gets so nasty all of the sudden when it’s time to go to the house of God. But if we announce a dinner with all the trimmings and live entertainment and all kinds of things, we can set there real fast it doesn’t matter if its forty below. We can be in church and be real tired but go home and stay up till 1:30 in the morning cause there is no school tomorrow. Let’s play old maid, let’s play something else, lets play checkers of let’s have a good time.
But I’m saying to you God, help us to understand some times we stop just one breath short, one prayer short of a miracle of a divine
visitation of the power of God’s glory. We miss the glory. What a tragedy to miss the glory of God. What a sad story to not know it was
right there. But to give up to soon, to fall asleep to fall out with what God wants us to think about. God doesn’t even tell us in advance
of his glorious workings and movings. I wish I could put in the paper “Be at church Thursday night. It is going to be blow out night. The
Holy Ghost is going to fall; 36 1/2 are going to get the Holy Ghost.” But I can’t. God chooses to work in his mysterious ways, his wonders to
He doesn’t work when we feel like working. He doesn’t work on our schedule when we feel like coming. Some folks I don’t understand it in
these days. Some folks so easily say, “Well I stay home for any little radio program and any magazine and every little thing that makes me
tired. Do you understand something: tonight I believe in the wise providence of God there have been services that have been marked out in
heaven with exactly what individuals into the dozens need of that night. It would have literally set a core of revival so it would have
answered their prayer. It would have met their need out they stayed home that night. They’ll never have that service again. They missed it.
It’s gone forever. The Bible knows what it is talking about when it says forsake not the assembly of ourselves together. I believe every
time we come together we ought to mean business. God has something for everybody. He has something to say he has something to talk to his church in a most intimate way. Don’t even think when you skip a church service that it is a little thing; it is not a little thing. Every time
you miss the house of God you get a little bit weaker. Every time you come, you get a little bit stronger. That’s why you miss once you get
weaker, you miss twice in a row you get weaker and weaker. You miss a little while you think you don’t need to go to church. Pretty soon
it’s, ” why was I going so much for?” It takes a lot of gas, it takes a lot of time. And soon your carnal mind has reasoned God right out of
his prominent place of first in your life.
It is amazing for us to realize how we lose the opportunity and understandings that God moves unpredictable- He moves the times that we
least expect and when you are the most unprepared. When God knows you’ll need something, he’ll give to you.
He didn’t say he’ll blast the trumpet a week ahead and tell you when I am coming. He says, “I am coming as a thief in the night. I am
coming in an hour that you think not.” He works the same way in his spirit. The time you are the most tired and feel the least and expect
the least is when God can come down with his sovereign ability. Meet the very cry of your inner most soul.
Some months back on a Sunday night service, nobody knew it was going to happen; Somebody was the first young person to pray through.
It was like popcorn and all of the sudden there was a second one; then a third one. Nobody knew it was going to happen that night and before it was over they were drunk in the Holy Ghost over two hours in the back prayer room. There was a circle enveloped over fifty young people got in that circle talking in tongues. There were young people that didn’t want to be in that circle and they had no intention of even
praying. But the Holy Ghost was so strong and the spirit was so real and the power of God’s glory was so beautiful and present that before
long there was quivering lips and tears in the corner of eyes. Young people began to come forward and that night there were a dozen that
prayed through that never knew they were going to pray through. It’s beautiful to watch how God moves. I watch it all the time. Some times
as pastor I want to get down here on the front row and not watch any body cause some times its hard to watch people and worship at the same time.
I’ve stood in line before and shook people’s hands as they came out on Sunday morning. We had that beautiful Sunday School presentation
at Christmas time with the young children. It’s that time of the year one a year out of 52 weeks a year that the children get up and say a
few verses. We don’t do it all for us, we allow those children to put into their hear and mind what Christmas is really about. And get up and
exact Jesus and his birth. The Savior of the world. And some of them get embarrassed and miss half the lines and don’t talk, some cry, some
do funny things. We enjoy it. It’s once a year they present Christmas to us. While I was shaking hands after the play a lady came up to me
and said, “What kind of Christmas is this? The pastor should get up and give a Christmas message. If we are going to have Christmas around this church.” and walked by.
And I thought Dear God some people act like it was wonderful and others act as if we were in a space age. I say unto you that time and
time I watch people come into the presence of God now. They are blessed.
They are edified, they are stirred, they’re moved and others walk out and, sadly, not a thing in that service touched me. It was a dead
service. I didn’t find anything there. You know what the problem is. The problem is never with God. God always wants to touch us. He always wants to heal. He always wills to stir. He always wants to hear revival. The problem isn’t with God. The problem isn’t with his word.
The problem is how is it with your heart. How is it in your heart. Look at Matthew 15:18, But those things which proceed out of the mouth. come forth from the heart and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, and thieves. I want to steel that, false witness, I want to mud his face because I don’t believe him, blaspheming. These are the things, which defile man.
It says in Jeremiah 17:9, The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked who can know it.
Here God planned to show three men in a prayer meeting the greatest or a glimpse of his glory that the world has never seen. This one time this stupendous act of god’s transformation. They were privileged to be there. On one had ever had the experience before. No one was ever going to have the experience again. It was just three men, I wonder what they didn’t see. with their eyelids half open. I wonder what their unawareness and their en caustic indifference have cost us.
We will never know some of the things that took place. We will never understand what happened. I am so glad for what they did see and what they blessed us with. I am happy for what they were able to record. I am thankful for what was written. Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep. They missed out on the majority of it. It said what Peter wrote in his epistles. 2 Peter 1:16, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we were made known unto you power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the father honor and glory when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. ” and his voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the heavenly mountain. We have also a more, sure word of prophecy; where unto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Notice for we receive from God that beautiful voice that told him this is my beloved son. I believe that to their dying day they regretted taking that nap and what glory they missed out on. They were asleep, they were tired. Something besides the transfiguration was
missed that day on the mountain. They missed the conversation of Moses and Elias. Can you imagine what it would have been like to bear the whole conversation. To look into the eyes of Moses and Elias. To hear everything they said and their prophecies. But all they could write
about was they heard of the glory of these men that they spake of him deceased in Jerusalem. They missed the conversation between patriots brought back to life. And the conversation had all attention in heaven and hell, That conversation had every ones attention. The devil was listening in, because that was a conversation that was talking about the happening of all times. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Everybody in the spiritual world was excited about hearing it. But those three were heavy with sleep. During the greatest
subject of the world. Their message had to do with every living soul that would ever be born and walk on the face of this earth. They spoke
about everything we have to live for and these men of God fell asleep in the hour of God’s presence and glory. The only chance they ever had
to walk that way. There are things in life I regretted missing out on.
I wish I were born before so I could meet people and famous pastors and preach like they did and witness like they did and pray like them. But God knows where we need to be so we don’t miss out on God’s present glory. I am saying, some how tonight on a February night, you need to pinch yourself right now. You nee to shake yourself and allow your mind to expand. Need to allow the thought process of the holy ghost to get past your little voice efforts and to probe your inner thoughts and soul and get into that place where you can understand what destroyed Israel and the city of Jerusalem. The Jews didn’t recognize the messiah. They didn’t know the hour of their visitation. They rejected him when they came. And some of us can’t even believe and don’t know this is the last days. We have got to be at our best. We must do all we can to be apostolic and reach out to a lost world. If you slouch in the kingdom of God there will be hundreds connected to your final position that will pay the price of your sovereign ability to miss the presence of God now. We have got responsibilities of, our family and our church. If Jesus tarries, nobody is out on left field in this thing. God is pruning his church.
God is trying his church by fire and I don’t know what the future holds but there is one thing I know, the greatest hours that the apostolic movement has ever known, is right on top of us. When God is transfigured, I don’t want to be asleep I want to be awake. In Hebrews 6-11, it says, “We will never know some things because of tired eyelids, we will never know some things because of carnal thinking” Hebrews 5:6, As he saith also in another place, thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; thou he were a savior, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him, called of God on high priest after the order of Melchisedec of whom we have many things to say and hard to be uttered seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Realistically, someday there is going to be some people mighty to you that are going to pay the price in eternity, if you are deaf to the voice of God in the last days, someday you are going to weep tears like a man named Esau. He wept a life time in trying to find repentance.
If you allow the full of glory and visitation of God to move in your church in the last days and sit idly by and think it is going to shake
and move you before you do some moving, it is time for you to do some seeking. You need to get a vision and on the ball to do some things. If you could understand that my presence and glory is upon you now. But you have not heard me. Someone will never have the chance if you hold back and stay cold and indifferent. Somebody is going to bring tears to your eyes. Hear me, there is a place in God. He is calling some of you, you have never got to that potential. You haven’t even scratched the surface of what he has desired you to be. You haven’t yet expounded your potential in God, because you have never submitted wholly and completely to God. He has spiritual wells of effervescence springing up with surprises of blessings. Debts untold, riches untold. No man is an island to himself. You live and die not to yourself. You impact everything around you. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.
God has ordained potential here.
The human mind is the greatest organ on earth. The greatest scientist use less than 1Q% of their mind. Don’t misunderstand me but if I hadn’t been a preacher, I could have been an artist or a builder or the best piano player ever known. I am saying God gives us all ability. It’s just that some of us never find these abilities because we don’t want to give the time and the effort. The only thing that limits you is you mind. I need to recognize if the holy ghost is going to flow I might as well give up me hands, my mind, my tongue, my feet, my heart, my soul and let him get the powerful rotunda of glory he wants in the last days.
God is going to move forever, God is not going to knock on your door forever. He’s not going to stir you forever. There comes a time when you make the effort you push yourself and go a little bit further. You give God your best, It will pay off in the arena of life and eternity. You’ll be able to run faster, leap over a wall. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Let us Praise the Lord!