[The blog post is part of a series based on a course called Satisfed]
Yesterday I said that if you want to be satisfied in God you have to (a) stop finding your approval through one another and (b) seek the glory that comes from the only God.
I didn’t make that up. Jesus says that in the book of John. Which is confusing to me because I’m pretty sure that I can open the Bible to any random page and find something that sounds like this:
My Glory I will not share with another, (Isaiah 42:8)
God is nothing if not jealous for His glory. Why on earth would He call us to seek glory when He’s not willing to share it?
The kind of glory we’re commanded to seek from God is different from any we’ve ever known. Seeking glory that comes from God means begging God to make much of Himself through us. We are seeking the glory that comes from displaying God through our lives.
Think about it this way: back before the Fall of Man we had honor and glory because we were image bearers of God, but when sin entered the picture it distorted our ability to reflect God clearly. We lost honor and glory because we looked less like God.
God wants us to seek the honor, praise, glory that comes from reflecting Him; bearing His image.
As we look more like Jesus, we’re gonna get more glory. I’m not making this stuff up:
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV)
If we seek glory by seeking to look more like Jesus even our glory is really about Him. Don’t be confused: God does not want to make much of us. He wants to make much of Himself through us.
When my dad got sick I knew myself well enough to know that my temptation would be to use that to get attention and approval: glory. (I’m sick.)
I felt called to fast from people’s attention. I spoke only with my closest community about what was going on. I resisted the urge to post blogs and messages that for me would have been a sneaky attempt to receive approval from others.
But in those moments of panic, I clung to the truth that my hunger for glory wasn’t the problem. God could use that desire to lead me to Him!
He reminded me that if I used that trial to get worldly attention, I would be missing out. I would be wasting an opportunity to get true glory:
you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-9 ESV)
Trials are a means to an end. They make us look more like Jesus and therefore, they lead us to the glory that comes from being a clearer image bearer. Each and every one of us is going to continue to be transformed until we look just like Jesus and what an honor that will be.
And the good news is that until that day when we finally look like Him, we can reflect His image – even in our failures.
In the eyes of the world, your failure is an enemy of your glory. If you make a mistake, if you let the ball drop, if you betray your friends and fail your spouse – it will cost you glory in the world. You will get less honor, affection and approval.
But with God, even our failure can be a tool for glory.
With every weakness I get the opportunity to display God’s strength. With every sinful failure, I get the opportunity to display His great mercy. Because I’m a wreck, I get to be a clearer picture of His unfathomable grace. I’m a portrait, hung on the wall for all the angels and saints to see: the ‘mount of His redeeming love’.
Starving myself from worldly approval revealed more weakness in me than it revealed strength. But those weaknesses forced me to lean on God, and when I did, I found the joy that comes from displaying to the world that my God is big enough to deal with the mess of me.
Seek the glory that comes from displaying God to the universe through your obedience and through your failure. I promise it will bring more sweet satisfaction then worldly glory ever could.