There are many words in Christendom—perhaps Christendom being one of them—that Christians say that the rest of the world probably has no clue what is meant by them—Christians included. Like salvific – my editor (aka STL BFF) insisted I never ever use salvific when I write – yet I went against her prudent recommendation and used it anyway. Because I like that word, and one of my desires in writing this year is to use words that I don’t normally use every day. Like behoove & conducive. I find myself always wanting to use those words but for some reason find it hard to use them without sounding like a prig. (See what I just did there).
I am going somewhere here.
And here’s where:
I just wrote God this morning, and I said—among other things:
…may I bring glory to you…
In less than two hours from now (I wrote this on Sunday morning, Feb 23) Tom and I will do our last Sunday School class on Relationships. And I am called up short with asking myself: What do I mean by bringing glory to God?
So, this is what I’ve come up with: One word – and its a simple one.
Oh now I’ve got two! Because when I just said simple I even thought of one more simple.
So, this morning, when we are with these lovely young adults for a final time, and I say I want to glorify God in what I say, I suppose I am saying that I want to be delight-full and joy-filled.
And, that’s just the beginning. Bringing God glory—in my mind—also means not bringing glory to myself. All too often speaking in front of people can be very heady, producing all sorts of emotions. Emotions like pride. We all know what comes after pride. A really big fall.
So added to – I want to bring glory to you, Lord – is also the notion – and not to me – because, for one thing, a prideful human is most unattractive (and that is very opposed to my life motto). But perhaps more importantly, as my former pastor once said, you can’t convince people you’re great and God is great at the same time. One of us truly has to diminish, and if we don’t diminish, God is not being brought glory.
So, being a delight … and bringing him delight … and making it not about myself … is a good start. But! there’s even more to that little, yet powerful prayer…
Bringing God glory – also means – (again, in my opinion) – to reflect him well – and represent him well. Now there is indeed something very soul-warming and joy-producing when we actually do this. Something about knowing that you are speaking on behalf of the God of the universe as His ambassador – oh my! See how heady that can become? – when more than a handful of people are listening with intent? There is a serious tension in the whole process – because I do think most people – surely me included – if we really were called to speak to hundreds or even thousands – the power would go straight to our heads – and then you know what happens after that … it ain’t pretty. We’ve seen it many times in this generation. Oh how the mighty indeed fall. And surely the problem can include that notion that we are not glorifying God – that some where in all the hype we have taken our eyes off of God and put them on ourselves. See why this prayer (Lord, may I bring glory to you ALONE!) is so very important? I hope so.
Now there is a payoff—a fabulous payoff:
We are to glorify God BY enjoying him forever (I stole that). There is nothing more soul-warming and joy-producing than bringing glory to God by enjoying him. Representing him before others is truly a delightful thing. What a beautiful thing to recognize that he is delighting in us as we are delighting in him. Talk about a fabulous reciprocity of mutual delight.
Remember, that according to the Protestant shorter catechism’s very first question & answer:
So instead of just knowing that in our minds, it would behoove us all to actually live it out every single solitary day for the rest of our lives. O that will be glory for me — I mean Him! See the tension!? I certainly do!