“He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31
This morning as I was reading through scripture and my devotionals, a comment from Oswald Chambers made me think of how much God has changed my heart over the past 10 years from being a Christian who was ready to do great things for the Lord, to now a Christian who is able to see the greatness of God and my desire to show His glory into the world.
Here is the quote for you to read:
“...undress yourself morally before God of everything that might be a possession until you are a mere conscious human being, and then give God that. That is where the battle is fought – in the domain of the will before God. Are you more devoted to your idea of what Jesus wants than to Himself?..I can be so rich in poverty, so rich in consciousness that I am nobody, that I shall never be a disciple of Jesus; and I can be so rich in in the consciousness that I am somebody that I shall never be a disciple.” Oswald Chambers
This quote though also made me think that it is not just those who are in pursuit to be a “somebody” in the Christian realm that get caught in this trap, it is also those Christians who are pursuing to be a “nobody” within the context of false humility that are trapped. We are not to be full of ourselves in either context. Rather, the goal of a Christian on either end of the spectrum is to be empty of everything that is not of God so that in turn the glory of God may be the only thing she has to give to the world around her and the only compass by which she is able to use to direct her actions is from the Lord.
“Thus says the Lord: 'Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,' says the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24
If we keep on living in a manner that seeks what we can get out of life, even in our service to the Lord, then we will always come up with something less than fulfilling and less than ideal. Living for the Lord requires complete loss of all we consider worthy in this world and complete surrender to all that God wants to put into our lives that reflects His glory in this world.
Two years ago when we were asked to take on the job of foster parenting (in hopes of adoption) for three special needs preschoolers, I knew that God was working a great work in me to rid me of what I found self-fulfillment and worldly contentment in as I pursued my desire to serve Him, but more so serve myself. I had to walk away from a prominent ministry, I had to refuse speaking engagements, and I had to stop writing because there was no time for those activities with this new calling in my life. I knew very well that God had a very distinct purpose during this undetermined span of time in my life. The need to say no to the activities I did for Him that brought me glory needed to be poured out and the Lord alone and what He could fill me with in areas I was completely unequipped to handle from my own talents and aptitude had to start pouring in.
Those 13 months of my life were the most difficult I have had to endure as of yet, and I am still feeling the physical effects of depleting myself so greatly during that time of humbling service. Do I regret the time I lost in doing the things I love to do and am gifted by the Lord to do for His service? Not at all. I may have lost a year of service, but that is nothing compared to the self-filled attitude and pride I needed to lose and did lose as a result of that year.
Jesus is the only reason we are here on this earth. To please Him and to gain more of Him. If I make my life about anything other than that reason, I have completely missed the point to what life is all about. Jesus is life. With Him in your life you are everything. With Him out of your life you are nothing. If we think we are something without Jesus, then we are too full of ourselves to see the truth the Christian faith reveals.
My life and the transformation God has done in it has shown that when I was seeking to do great things for God I could only see myself, but when I was looking at God and was willing to give Him glory as He chose to work in my life it was then I was able to give God all the glory my life could reflect.
“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth.” Psalm 115:1