Our current sermon series at Highland is called MOVE. We are looking at the experiences of the Israelites under the leadership of Moses and Joshua. One of the points Pastor Grant has made several times is that when God moves, He is not only showing us who He truly is, but also those around us ... even our enemies. He talked about how the difficulties Moses faced in convincing Pharaoh to let the Israelites go happened in part so that God could demonstrate to the Egyptians just how powerful He was. Then, soon after leaving Egypt, Israel found herself trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army with no hope of escape. Again, it was an opportunity for God to display His glory not only to His people, but to the Egyptians, and indeed, to the whole world!
All this got me thinking about how I had been taught to live for God's glory. It always seemed like this romantic, charmed existence the way people talked about it. It was as if living for God's glory would make things easier or simpler, or at least more pleasant. Then I thought about the Israelites in the two stories I shared above. And then I thought about other examples in Scripture. What about all that the prophets endured to declare God's glory to Israel? What about the blind man in John 10 who is blind just so that Jesus can show His glory in healing him? What about the numerous examples of the saints outside Scripture? What about Jim Elliot and his friends? For them, the price of God displaying His glory to the tribe they loved so much was not only dying, but leaving their children fatherless and their wives as widows.
Who would want to live for God's glory, who would want their lives to be used as opportunities for Him to display His power to the nations if these are the sorts of price tags we're talking about? Who would want their loved ones to grow seriously ill so that God could display His glory to the nurses and doctors that care for him or her? Who would want to have to bury a loved one so that God could display His glory to those watching His child walk through godly grief? Who would want to lose everything so that God's power of provision could be displayed for those watching afterward? Who would want to be treated unjustly so that God could witness about Himself to the unjust?
In short, who would want MORE obstacles and difficulties in their lives because they boldly and openly allied themselves with the God of the universe?
There must be something about His glory and power that we absolutely delight in. There must be something about Him that makes anything and everything worth it just because it's for Him. Are you there yet? I'm working on it...