By Clarissa Ghere
Whether we want to admit it or not, some form of glory is in the middle of everything we do or pursue: our glory or God’s glory. Either way, you are pursuing some type of glory.
I was recently reading in a devotional by Dr. Paul David Tripp called New Morning Mercies. He writes:
“Life is all about glory. Sin is all about glory. Grace is all about glory. Spirituality is all about glory. Heaven and hell are all about glory. Submission and rebellion are all about glory. Love and hatred are all about glory. A life of demand and a life of service are both propelled by glory. Contentment and craving are both motivated by glory. Every word you speak and every action you take is directed by glory. Glory causes you to want some things and despise others. Glory makes you arrogant and causes you to be humble. Glory reduces you to a thief or motivates you to give. Glory makes your heart glad or causes it to be eaten with envy. Glory makes you constantly thankful for a Savior or causes you to forget he exists.”
All of us are hardwired for glory, either for ourselves or for God. There is no gray area. We can’t scoot over on the throne in our lives to make a little room for God to reign. He’s either on the throne, receiving all the glory for our lives, or we are ruling and pursing self-glorification.
If we truly understood God’s glory and how much of it He deserves, how different would our lives be? How much less would we focus on the things that make us feel good or that build us up in our own eyes? That would all seem so foolish and selfish if we realized what’s truly at stake here.
Why in the world would we elevate ourselves for self-glorification when we serve a holy and righteous God who deserves far more than we could feebly offer?
Isaiah 6:1-4 is an excellent passage when we are in need of remembering how much glory God deserves.
“[…] I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’ And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.”
What would it be like to be Isaiah in this moment? God gave him a vision of His splendor and glory! The humility and awe that Isaiah later shows in this passage is amazing. He knew he wasn’t worthy to see the glory of God, knowing how much of a sinner he was. Yet God, in His grace and mercy, made Isaiah clean by touching a coal to his lips. A severely painful process, I’m sure.
So, even in our ridiculous and proud human state, God gives us mercy each time we choose self-glorification over glorifying Him. Just like He gave mercy to Isaiah.
How great is our God that He continues to refine us! Even though it is painful sometimes, how merciful of Him to show us the glory He deserves and how He needs to be on the throne in our lives! May we never stop pursuing God’s glory and put to death the desire for our own glory.
How has God touched your life with a “hot coal?”