Monday, January 9, 2017

Hijacking God's Spotlight



To prelude this post, I want to let you all know that this past Wednesday I was able to attend a couple sessions at the In the Gap leadership cornerstone conference, where I learned so, so much, took nine pages of notes, and will probably be sharing several tidbits from those notes here over the coming weeks. Also, In the Gap is an amazing program for Christians in their late teens and older who want to get involved in a ministry and make an impact for the Kingdom of God. If you're floating around looking for somewhere to serve and really learn to be eternity-focused, I would highly recommend checking out ITG! They are amazing, and if just one day of their leadership conference could change my life like this, I can't imagine what God could do with a life over the course of weeks.

The first thing I felt like I was supposed to type out for you all is on glory. Did you know literally every little thing that has ever happened or ever will happen in this realm we call life/earth is for the glory of God?

It was kind of hard for me to wrap my mind around it, because in my human-level perception, an atheist rejecting God is kind of not glorifying, you know?

But it is. Let me show you.



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The angels were created for His glory. Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. (Nehemiah 9:6)

The first of creation was for His glory. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1) The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (Psalm 19:1)

All of creation was for His glory. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Colossians 1:16) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

The Exodus was for His glory. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. (Psalm 106:7, 8)

He allows our wickedness to continue for His glory. For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. (Isaiah 48:9)

He sent His Son to die for us on the cross... because we fell short of His glory. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)

((This one, though, was so eye-opening to me! I had always thought of this as a verse to expose our old man's sin-nature. You know, for people who think they are perfect, or something. But no! I get it now! Everything else in His creation is still glorifying God- only we fell short! We are literally the scum of Creation- the only thing that wouldn't let God sustain it in and for His glory.

The preacher said in his sermon on this subject, "Every time I sin I'm saying to the whole world, 'God isn't good enough', when every second of our existence should be reflecting His glory!"

And I just thought that was so good. Because it's true! Think about it, in reflection of Romans 3:23.))

The Bible exists for His glory. I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. (1 John 2:12)

Christians bear fruit for His glory. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:8 - which kind of makes it horrible of us to talk about how we need to be more fruitful Christians so we have more rewards in heaven. This isn't a frequent flyer rewards program! All for His glory!)

He helps and answers prayers for His glory. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21)

Heaven is all about His glory. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Revelation 21:23)


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It's funny, isn't it...?

God is history. God created everything that gives us history. And history should be about God, for His glory.

But ever since the beginning of human kind, we've been trying to re-write history. Because in this version, we're going to be the center. We're going to have the glory. Or so we think...

But no! It's all for God's glory! No matter if we choose to "let" it be that way, or not! People are born, for God's glory. People die, for God's glory. Battles are won and lost, for the greater glory of God. Sinful humans "decide" every day they aren't going to glorify God, but He gets glory from that, too! (Somehow. Don't ask me. His thoughts are way higher than my thoughts.)

People accept salvation, for His glory. People don't, and He's still glorified.

God isn't going to stop being God, just because somebody doesn't want to worship Him!!

I get it. It's one of those things our brains don't run fast enough to comprehend fully. But we've all been to a Mexican restaurant on our birthdays at some point, haven't we?

No? Just me?

(Ha! I don't care what you think of me- fajitas are the bomb!)

Okay, we used to go to this one Mexican place in Houston (the best one. If you're a Texan, you know what I'm talking about.) for our birthdays. If you told them it was your birthday, you got a free brownie sundae. Score!

After you finished eating, they'd bring over a sombrero and a team of singing waiters and waitresses, and serenade you with a birthday song. "Happy Birthday from all of us at [Mexican restaurant's name]!!"

Yay! Chocolate and whipped cream!

I think I caught onto their strategy, though. Because for one thing, the birthday song has their name in it. For another thing, we wouldn't have gone over there to eat as often if it hadn't been to celebrate someone's birthday. And I think they knew that.

Genius marketing strategy, y'all.

But what were they really doing?

1) obviously people have birthdays 2) let's use this common thing as a step-stool to more customers 3) by "celebrating them"

Why quotation marks?

Because their purpose was never to celebrate every birthday in the greater Houston area.

Their purpose was more business, in the guise of celebrating your birthday.

So they give a little. And they get a lot.


We do the same!!!




Or... I do. I know I do. You'll have to judge for yourself if you do, I suppose.

Here's how it hashes out in our lives:

1) I want to have a good life, happy, prosperous 2) the Bible says I need God for a life like that so I 3) am a good Christian and "love God"

Why quotation marks?

Because my purpose in that is not to love God, serve God, bring glory to God, or spread the Gospel.

My purpose in that would be to give myself a good life, under the guise of being a Christian.

So I'd give a little. To the church. To missions. To the poor and orphans and widows. I'd serve a little. I'd talk the right talk. I'd walk the right walk.

And I'd get a lot.

And I'd be happy. Because, in the end, life is about me being happy... right?

Nope.

It's all for glorifying God. If I don't, He'll make it in the end so that I do. (And I'd be lying if that doesn't kind of scare me!)

What does all of this mean for us?


Yes! So you might have noticed I haven't written this long of a post in ages! This has just been on my heart since last Wednesday. But what good is it for me to expose this problem- this breech in our systematic Christianity- without telling you it can be solved?

1. Peculiar on Purpose

It's right there in my blog name, guys! Yes, I want you to be peculiar, set-apart, and holy, but not just because that's going to make your life more blessed. I want you to know your purpose- are you living this life for your own awesome future biography, or for God's glory, biography or no? And I want you to live with that purpose in mind.

2. Give Every Second to His Glory

Because, if you don't, He will. Furthermore, doesn't this kind of hold us to a higher lifestyle standard? Like, if my goal is to always reflect His glory, how does putting this cigarette into my mouth play into that bigger picture? Does it glorify Him? Or will He, later on down the road, have to force it into a reflection of His glory? Am I ready for the sting of that?

Also, because every micro-ounce (is that a thing?) of glory already belongs to God, us accepting one second of praise or glory is literally us Hijacking God's Spotlight. It's all Him, y'all!

3. Stay Humble

Thinking of my own race as the worst of Creation has really been a humbling experience for me. I guess ever since God gave Adam dominion over the animals, we've considered that dominion to be a form of superiority. But we are the only part of Creation to sin and displease God! Woah! Remember the world wasn't created for you. You weren't born for your own happiness. (That's not me preaching. That's me reminding myself.)


So... what do you think?

I know this is a crazy long post, but thank you for reading! What are your thoughts? Does this make sense? Have you ever caught yourself being a Christian just for the benefits? Has God ever had to force your life to reflect His glory?





2 comments:

  1. Whoa! Okay,I'm going to be digesting all these new thoughts for awhile...my eyes are really big right now! I have never considered this! Great post! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jenny!! I know it's a ton to take in, but God has really opened my eyes to so much this past week, and I hope I can pass it on to somebody and be a blessing!

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