The tabernacle is established and God’s glory cloud descends on it so that Moses can’t even go inside. He was just in there. He was just touching the sacred things. But without God’s presence, it’s just a fancy tent.
A church is an empty shell without God’s presence.
A home is an empty shell without God’s presence.
A person is an empty shell without God’s presence.
Our bodies are even called tents by Paul. We’re just fancy tents without God’s presence.
There is no glory without God. Everything without God is temporal. It’s passing. It may give pleasure for a moment, but then it’s gone.
A person may achieve greatness by human standards, but then it’s gone. Even if you achieved something remarkable and landed in the history books, those books will someday be destroyed.
There is only one lasting legacy. God is the only one who endures forever. Anything apart from Him will fade or be destroyed. All our good works apart from Him will fade or be destroyed. Only what He works in and through us is lasting, and so He is the only one worthy of glory.
It’s His glory. Our glory, our reward is that He welcomes us to experience Him, to experience the glory. Experiencing the glory doesn’t mean seeing the glory cloud. Christians have gotten themselves into deep deception seeking after God’s tangible glory like that. The devil is happy to imitate the theatrics if it will turn your focus off of Christ and truth.
Experiencing God’s glory is experiencing His love transforming your life and the lives of those around you. Experiencing God’s glory is watching a family transform, a village transform, a people transform: unity where there was disorder and fighting, love where there had been hatred and bitterness. These things are God’s glory on display.
We experience God’s glory in miracles. We do. But miracles can be faked. A life transformed into the image of Christ, a life transformed into a life of selfless love, is the real glory.