Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:23-26 (NIV)
How little thought we often give to God’s glory in lieu of our own, Amen? This is particularly true in our prayer lives. Our minds are consumed with our own interests, our passions and our desires – allowing every trifle to come before the God of all creation - seeking our own honor and good over His Who alone is to be praised. When our reputations are harmed in even the smallest degree it burdens and troubles us – sometimes for days, months or even years. Yet, when God’s name is dishonored, it perhaps stings us a bit, but as a bug bite it is soon forgotten – we often remain unmoved rather than brokenhearted and burdened. Do we live for our own honor or for God’s? God is not here to serve us, rather we are to serve Him. That is our purpose - to make much of Him in this world – and not ourselves. We were created for His glory.
The Apostle Paul’s doxology of praise in Romans 11:33-36 (NIV) is fitting here: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
The world and mankind were made for God’s glory. That is our great purpose and end. The crown goes upon His Head and not our own. God will not be coerced into our designs and purposes. We are so often addicted to our own prestige, honor and esteem among man – rather than abasing ourselves and allowing God to exalt us from this ash heap. We are here to serve and God elevates by serving Him – lifting up those who are humble in heart. The created serves the Creator. How often we get that backwards. Our faith gives honor to God. And desiring that our names be lifted high is inconsistent with true faith. Remember, God is not here to serve us rather we are here to serve Him. We can often seek to draw God into our own schemes, desires, purposes and designs. Yet, God knows evert heart and the motive behind every thought and action. There is no fooling Him. Remember the Tower of Babel in Genesis Chapter 11 which occurred after the flood and they had been reestablished by God’s great mercy and grace. It is then we discover man wanting to make a name for himself and God confused their language and scattered them. We are not God. Seek to elevate God not self as the One Who gives the power is the One Who gets the glory.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God--even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 (NIV)