There have been people throughout time who have had powerful and glorious encounters with God. Each of them displayed His glory differently. The creativity of God even shows up in how He interacts with His people.
• While in the desert, Moses encountered a burning bush and the voice of God. He proceeded to make excuses about why he couldn’t serve. (Exodus 3, 4)
• In the temple, Isaiah saw an incredible vision of the Lord in His holiness. As a result, he had an acute awareness of his own sin and then he offered himself in service. (Isaiah 6)
• On the road to Damascus, Paul encountered the risen Christ. He came to faith and became arguably the most influential missionary of all time. (Acts 9)
The Transfiguration of Jesus adds yet another flavor to the mix. Jesus radiated light. His clothes were whiter and brighter than anything ever seen. And in His glory, He was joined by Moses and Elijah. Let’s draw attention to two details about this encounter.
First, listen to the conversation of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Luke tells us, “they spoke about His departure, which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem” (v. 31). Although that sounds pretty innocuous, a closer look tells us they were talking about His “exodus”…that’s the word used for “departure.” Both Moses and Elijah had experienced their own “exodus.” Moses gloriously led the people of God in “exodus” from Egypt to the Promised Land. And Elijah? His “exodus” was a glorious departure from this world into heaven with a chariot of fire and a whirlwind (2 Kings 2). Jesus was also going to experience an “exodus” as He was taken up into heaven (Acts 2). That would have been a fascinating discussion!
Notice, secondly, the response of the disciples. Awakened from sleep, Peter suggested the building of shelters…perhaps reminiscent of the Feast of Tabernacles. Maybe he was suggesting that they place their ministry hats on the shelf and stay in the glorious presence of Christ there on that mountain. But, you see, part of the purpose of these encounters with the glorious Christ is that people are empowered for continued and greater service with uniquely diverse purpose…not taken out of service. If you have encountered Christ in powerful ways in powerful times of worship, allow that to propel you to fruitful and creative ministry for Him!