Beholding the Glory of God–Ray Ortland

by Rick Pidcock

Tonight was a great session for me personally.  We began with about 50 minutes of very rich worship, which I will share some thoughts on toward the bottom of this article.  Then Bob Kauflin got up and gave away a bunch of free stuff, which led to what seems to be the traditional Mark Altrogge announcement experience.  And then Ray Ortland Jr. got up to preach on “Beholding the Glory of God.”

His main text was 2 Corinthians 3:18, which says,

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

Ray detailed how the old covenant, though glorious, was limited in its glory compared to the new covenant in Christ.  The Old Covenant could not give us the freedom to face our glorious God despite our failures, lack of knowledge, inexperience, etc.  But the New Covenant, bought for us by Christ, gives us a new vision and freedom to behold the glory of God in Christ, despite our insufficiencies.

Ray also touched on the patience of God.  God is committed to changing His people.  And He is patient in doing so.  As such, we should be patient also as God allows us to take part in influencing others toward change in the gospel.

Ultimately, the transformation that comes in others lives, according to 2 Corinthians 3:18, comes from the Holy Spirit.  We cannot force this change on others.  It is something that God produces through the Spirit as He reveals His glory to others.

Ray then asked three application questions, though we can only remember two of them for some reason.  So I’ll just give you two of them.

1. Are we turning to the Lord, or just coming to church?

2. (This is the one we can’t remember)

3. Is He being displayed as glorious, or are we?

Through the ministry of worship in the local church, Christ draws near to and manifests Himself to the local church.  But in order to help others behold the greatness of God, we as worship leaders and team members must behold His glory ourselves.  We must seek to connect with Christ.  The main pursuit of the local church worship team is to pursue the glory of God by seeking to experience Christ.

Two Prophecies

So with the idea that we must behold His glory ourselves, I’d like to go back to two prophetic words that came during the time of corporate worship.

But first, let me share with you what I have been experiencing this week.  Over the past few months, I have been working many hours on a floor cleaning commercial contract.  This contract has been taking all of my time.  And due to the fact that they still have not paid me, our finances have been dwindling.  We needed that check to come in the mail before we left for this conference, and were promised multiple times that it would be.  But when yesterday came and went, the check was still not in the mail. So we currently find ourselves in Maryland, still not having purchased our return plane tickets.  And since our money still has not come, I found myself just hoping that there would be free food at the conference so I could eat.  It was humiliating and frustrating.

Earlier this week, I was really struggling.  In fact, it even crossed my mind to stay home due to not knowing when this check would come in the mail.

So during the worship tonight, somebody went to the prophecy mic.  And in my heart, I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me that this prophecy was for me.  So I listened as the person said, “There is somebody here tonight who has been struggling over whether or not they could afford to come to this event.  Earlier in the week, you were even contemplating not coming.  But God wants to remind you that even now as you praise Him, He rejoices over you in song.”

Then another person came to the mic and said, “God wants somebody here to know that He knows what you are facing, and that He is going to take care of you.  Matthew 7:9-11 says, ‘Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

We then followed those two prophecies up by singing Psalm 62, by Aaron Keyes.  Verses two and three of that song say,

“Find rest my soul in God alone,
Amid the world’s temptations.
When evil seeks to take a hold,
I’ll cling to my salvation.
Though riches come and riches go,
Don’t set your heart upon them.
The fields of hope in which I sow
Are harvested in heaven.

“I’ll set my gaze on God alone
And trust in Him completely.
With every day pour out my soul,
And He will prove His mercy.”

These two prophecies and this song tonight for me provided what the message was all about–a greater vision of the Glory of God in Christ that is transforming me into His image.

The check will eventually come, probably in the next few days.  And we’ll be able to get back home.  But if the check had come before we left for the conference, then my experience of Christ tonight would not have been as rich.

2 thoughts on “Beholding the Glory of God–Ray Ortland

  1. To God be the glory! Thanks for detailing so humbly how God is already meeting you — My faith was nurtured just reading your account. May the Lord continue to bless and refresh both you and Ruth Ellen as you continue to press in to know Him better.

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