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Monday, January 28, 2013

Celebrate: The Glory

I've often been puzzled by the passage in the Old Testament in which Moses is forbidden to enter the Promised Land. It seemed surprising and even wrong to me that after all those years of leading the Israelites, Moses wouldn't be allowed to go inside. It was after listening to a sermon and then re-reading the passage the next morning, that I was brought to a convicting revelation. God is after ALL of His glory.

This may sound obvious, but let me explain. God is so jealous for His glory and the credit for the victory He has won, that He reminds His people because He deserves it! Sometimes the reminding means removing.

God speaks to Moses in Numbers chapter 20 and says "speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water" (vs 8). Moses responds, grabs his staff and approaches the people once again. He calls them forward and says "listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” (vs 10). Then Moses struck the rock and the water came. The next few verses reveal God's response to the event: "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them" (vs 12). 

My first thought has always been why? That sounds so harsh. Then as I sat in a living room in Waco, Texas, conviction came. I fell to my knees and started repented for places in my heart that have been after glory or credit. See, when Moses told his audience that he (and Aaron) would bring the water and struck the rock instead of speaking to it, He used his own strength to try to do something only God could. The glory and credit was given to Moses, rather than God. And I think that if Moses were allowed into the Promised Land, the people would have praised him instead of God. So God removed him. I'm sure God was 100% faithful to Moses after that, but He was jealous for ALL of His people's attention, praise and adoration.

There's nothing I could do on earth for the Kingdom of God to earn glory for myself. It has to point back to Jesus. He deserves ALL OF THE GLORY. He is so worthy of all my attention, praise and adoration. Jesus, alone, is worthy.

As I sat on my knees on a Wednesday afternoon over break, I prayed for God to put me in the place that would bring Him to most glory. I want to live in a way that people see Jesus, not me, my accomplishments or even the fruit of my life. And in order to do that, I must continually honor Him. Even if I don't feel it, I have to train myself to worship and honor God. I oftentimes practice physically what I want my heart to do spiritually. That means sometimes I jump up and down in my room or worship like crazy to get my heart to catch up and honor God. Although this may sound or look silly, I can't afford to let my eyes fall from His face. So I try to do whatever I can to stir my heart towards God. I hope to live a life that celebrates the Glory, the God of Israel who is jealous for His people and for me. 

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