A few years back Gloria was invited to a meeting of like-minded wives for the purpose of encouraging one another. As the women got to know Gloria better, they could not help but notice the not-so-subtle cry that came from her conversation…
Look at me,
Please tell me about ALL the wonderful things I do for Jesus.”
The cry for attention sounded something like this when Gloria would speak:
“Oh, you girls, look at how talented you are!
I don’t think that I have a single creative bone in my body.
I just don’t have any talents like all of you girls.”
The women would then scramble to point out all the marvelous things she was involved in for the “kingdom.” HER Kingdom…
“Ohhhhh, sure you are, Gloria…look at the amazing Bible Studies YOU have written,
and YOU even have an ETSY shop for all your amazing artwork!
YOU are too sooooooo talented and beautiful.
Shazaaam… just like that the reward had magically, or shamefully is more like it, had been given to exactly the one Gloria wanted it to go to…herself. Her little kingdom had just been satisfied, well, until the next women’s meeting. The women tried their best to encourage Gloria, but it just seemed to feed the craving for more and more…glory…or Gloria. Sadly, Gloria’s heart was focused on her worth, more than God’s.
We all Fall Short…
Before we gasp in disbelief of Gloria’s blatant need to have her self worth stroked by sisters in Christ, rather than finding her worth in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, we too must confess we have all been guilty of thievery of God’s glory. Lucifer did it, Israel did it, Ananias and Sapphira did it. Sadly, we do it. Until our ultimate glorification, we will all struggle sinfully with “wanting a piece of the pie” and may even need to be reminded from time to time by a loving sister to stop that glory thievin’!
“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:31).
As beloved, chosen, daughters of the King, we must examine our motives and ask soul-examining questions…
Am I guilty of glory thievery — taking something and exalting it in a manner that makes my name greater than my Lord and Savior’s?
Do I spend more time, conversation, and affections on the promotion of my kingdom or His?
Do I give a good show that I am promoting the Gospel, but inwardly I sinfully crave the praise of man?
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power…” (Revelation 4:11).
“Every gift of Christ to us is intended to be a communication of something of Himself” (John Piper).
6 Habits toward helping us better promote our Lord
1. Remember from Whom all things come
In 1 Corinthians 4:7, “For who regards you as superior,” Paul asks, “what do you have that you did not receive? And if you didn’t receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” This is so foundational. Do I find myself reflecting on the reality that EVERYTHING (Gifts, talents, skills, possessions, time) is a grace-gift from our kind God?
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the strong man in his strength, nor the rich man in his riches” (Jeremiah 9:23).
“For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36).
2. Rehearse in your mind and heart the Character, Attributes, and Nature of God…
Our ever-increasing view of God will radically assist us in obtaining a biblical perspective of our worth. When studying a book of the Bible, make simple lists of the things learned about God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit verse by verse. Nothing fancy, just an aid to help our focus stay on WHOM it belongs! Return to that list to deepen your theology.
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth” (Psalm 115:1).
3. Reflect Christ’s heart of humility
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).
Andrew Murray states it well: “Humility is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.”
4. Rejoice in the Work You See God Doing in and through others…
Dear ladies, there is ZERO room for envy in God’s Kingdom. This is a simple practice that will help us promote the Lord and the His Great Gospel rather than ourselves. When God is using a sister in Christ to promote His kingdom, then rejoice with them, and yes, encourage them to “excel still more!”
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice” (James 3:16).
5. Rely on the Lord to do the work…His Work…
We must learn to wait on the Lord! Do I spend more time in prayer, trusting God about a concern, a ministry opportunity, or using the skills He has given me?
To the degree of our dependence is on Him for the ministries and opportunities He providently placed in our path anyway, the greater the glory will be for His namesake.
“Whom have I in heaven but thee?” (Psalm 73:25).
6. Recommit to giving the glory to God…
Charles Spurgeon said, “O Lord Jesus, we would bow at thy feet, conscious of our utter inability to do anything without thee.”
With a repentant heart that desires to humbly grow in giving God His worth we will be able to apply this verse:
“Whatever you do, whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
“When you draw on God’s grace to put off your self-centered attitudes and act on His principles, you put His glory on display. Your life points to His vast wisdom, compassion, and transforming power, and as you look for God’s glory, the impact reaches far beyond yourself because you give everyone around you reason to respect and praise God. Glorifying God is not about letting others see how great you are. It’s about letting them see how great the Lord is” (Ken Sande, Resolving Everyday Conflict).