I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. Isaiah 42:8
I am definitely not qualified to write this article and likely have little idea what I am talking about. However, technically it is my thought for the week, and I do not know what else to say. I am not necessarily good at just making something up. Well, besides medium-length novels. But I do not think I am good at pretending to have a conversation with God that I did not have.
Last week I was talking to God about a major area in my life. The priorities of my life had been brought to my attention, and I was trying to sort out if I was indeed spending my time wisely. I kept trying to tell God, “But God, the purpose of my life is __________.” I kept repeating it as though God was my accuser instead of the random person in my life. The weirdest part about the whole experience was I could not bring myself to fill in the blank with what I wanted to say. My heart cried to defend myself. My mouth kept saying “Your glory”. “The purpose of my life is Your glory.”
Now it is not uncommon for me to be in the middle of a sentence when talking to God and change what I have to say from one thing to another. I lose my train of thought often. Sometimes in the middle of a thought I realize my thought is not based on truth, so I change it. Sometimes I say things that are entirely absurd because I have quit paying attention to my own words.
The thing with glory seemed to be more something He wanted to communicate to me than a truth I realized on my own. “Yes, Laura, the purpose of your life is to live in community, make disciples, serve others; but it is all under the umbrella of being for My glory. You were created for my glory.”
Okay, I feel smaller now. In a good way. I like to feel small in the presence of my God.
Later in the week I was arguing with God about something He wanted me to do that I was not sure I wanted to do. “Can I back out on this, God? Please? I just do not know where this is going. What if it isn’t fun? What if it is too hard?” Once again the topic of God’s glory presented itself. I saw my struggle in a light I had seen it before and forgotten. It is not about me. It is about Him. This area of my life is not for my ease or comfort. It is for His glory.
It changed my conversation with God about the commitment I was reconsidering when I saw my struggle in this light. Who am I to decide what brings God the most glory? Wouldn’t He and His Spirit know more about it than I? Many things which bring Him glory are explained in His Word; but decisions like which job I ought to take, who I ought to mentor or who ought to mentor me are a little more blurry. I need His Spirit to give me discernment and guidance in those areas. He knows the situation from the inside out in all its intricate detail. I just know what it looks like on the outside.
This conversation makes me think of how the apostles referred to themselves as slaves of Christ. I guess they realized it was not about them. Yesterday at CR we watched a step 11 video on prayer. It was a comedy about all the ways we should not pray, but ended with an example of how we should pray. I watched the video a few times because I needed to watch it before I shared it with the group. I noticed something. The difference between the “good prayers” and the “bad prayers” were mostly who the prayer was about. Was the focus on the person praying or the God the person was praying to?
I bet if I lived my life focused on living for the glory of God instead of creating reasons why the way I want to live is for the glory of God, my life would be entirely transformed.
For one, if I quit thinking life was about me, I would quit complaining so much, especially to God. I bet I complain more to God than to all my other friends, family and acquaintances combined.
Why, God, why?
I always seem to think it is my right to know. Besides two of my CR groups currently being on the step focused on prayer, my church has been talking about it. Thinking about my own prayer life has made me realize most of my conversation with God over the course of my recovery has simply involved the question, “Why?”. Sometimes in a really poor, poor pitiful me frame of mind. More likely usually in that frame of mind.
If I truly understood my life was for His glory, I bet I would quit whining completely. It certainly is not an attractive trait. It seems to me it is also one entirely devoid of worship. Whining must have a lot to do with my sense of entitlement. It seems to me I cannot be entitled and worship God at the same time.
Some people say I have rights as one of His children. I like to think of them as gifts. They were given to me when I placed my faith in Jesus, who chose to be pretty much obliterated for my sake so I could be given these gifts.
Maybe they are rights. Maybe they are gifts. Maybe they are rights I received as a gift. I certainly am many amazing things in my relationship with Christ. In Christ. Through Christ. For Christ. To Christ. (It is starting to sound Dr. Seuss-y.) It is about His glory. I must have been created to be a recipient of His glory. Perhaps it would be better said to say I am a recipient of the amazingness of a personal relationship with Someone so glorious.
I exist for His glory, and His glory is glorious!
Do you find yourself thinking your life is about you? Or the people around you? Do you see God’s glory in the way you interact in your relationship with Him? The way this relationship has transformed you?