Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"The Glory of One"

It is natural for human beings to want attention, affirmation, and accolade for our accomplishments (alliteration unintended, by the way :) ). It is supernatural to want all glory directed to the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, God must change our hearts if we are to live in the reality that He alone is worthy of all honor.

Even before sin entered the human race, there were harbingers that indicated we would be a race challenged in the matter of giving credit where credit is due. After Eve's creation by God, Adam did not respond with praise and thanksgiving to her Maker. "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man" (Genesis 2:23). Rather than grateful acknowledgement of the amazing creativity and generosity of the Lord in granting the sublime gift of woman to Adam - "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord" - Adam rather viewed Eve in terms of the material (his body) from which she was made (Proverbs 18:22). "My bones... my flesh" exulted the first man, indicating that something must happen in the very fabric of humanity's consciousness and sensibility if we are to fulfill the true reason for our being: "We should be to the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:12).

Salvation in Christ births a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). In every born again believer, therefore, the seed of devotion to God's glory is planted. We still retain our fleshly humanity that is bent toward itself, of course, and we will be often tempted to desire our own honor and glory. In our present generation of self affirmation promoted even in Christian circles, it will be a great challenge to seek and proclaim the glory of One. We must therefore determine within our hearts and minds that as the dew which brought the manna to the children of Israel and then melted into forgottenness, we must do our doings in such an unassuming manner that even our left hand is unaware of the accomplishments of the right (Exodus 16:13-14; Matthew 6:3). "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).

Some things we do will be noticed by others, and we will sometimes be affirmed and thanked. There is nothing wrong with this, and the encouragement of fellow believers is a good thing so long as in our hearts we are directing all credit to the Lord who has led and enabled all accomplishment. We are dust without Him, but we are rare and precious jewels when united to the Spirit of the Lord Jesus. That is, we exist to provide unique composition and capacity for His light to shine within us in the beauty of holiness. Devotion to this truth is peace, the peace of understanding the One in whom we "live and move and have our being" is the source of any goodness known by us (Acts 17:28). Indeed, we do well to remember that left to ourselves and our own devices, our next breath would not be forthcoming...

"He giveth to all life and breath and all things."
(Acts 17:25)

"He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
(II Corinthians 10:17)

No comments: