Psalm 115: Not to Us, but to Your Name Give Glory
A word that I often hear in Christian circles these days is empowerment. I have seen entire ministries centered on empowering people to live out their dreams and their goals and their purpose. Let me make this perfectly clear, Jesus did NOT come to die on Calvary, pay for our sins, rise from the dead, ascend into heaven, and send us the Holy Spirit to indwell us just to have our will be done. He came to accomplish his father’s will in all things and that should be our heart’s desire. Never the less, not my will, but thy will should be our constant prayer.
Such ministry philosophy is not Christ centered. It is centered on the whimsical desires of fallen humanity. It’s all about me and what I want. I get to put a bow on it and ask God to bless it like he is a servant. God is treated like the great gift shop in the sky!!
Nothing could be farther from the truth. God is the sovereign Lord of the heavens and the earth. The creator, sustainer, and ruler of all. So it is vain for sinful man to try and impose our self-centered purposes on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Much of this comes from poor preaching and teaching and a misunderstanding of verses such as:
Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.
So here is a question. What happens when we delight ourselves in the Lord? When the Lord becomes your delight, when your focus is to know him more and more, to draw closer to him daily, then you are in a transformational state of growth.
And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.
-2 Corinthians 3:18
One of Gods eternal purposes is to conform/transform us to the image of his son:
For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.
As we are being conformed to the image of his son (like John the Baptizer) something happens. “I” (SELF) must decrease so that “HE” (Jesus) can increase (in me).
As this happens we slowly delight ourselves in that which delights our heavenly father. What delights him? To see people come to faith in Christ, to make those that have called on his name disciples, and live a life that brings HIM glory, honor, worship and praise as a testimony to a world lost and dying to sin and self.
Jesus did promise to empower us with the Holy Spirit but to help us with all that God has called us to do, not to have my desires done, but his.
So, does God impart to our plans and purposes, dreams and desires? YES! And he knows us inside out so what he calls us to do will often touch us deeply in our hearts and seeking to carry these out becomes our joy.
It took me 31 years for a dream in my heart, to become a pastor, to come true. But…. I had to WAIT on Gods timing, I had to make sure it was HIS will and not just me who wanted this to come true. It also took me that long to submit it to God and stop trying to fulfill it on my own.
If God has planted a dream or desire in your heart here is what I have learned:
1-PRAY!!! Seek the Lord about this and have others pray for you. Seek to make sure it’s his will and not your own.
2-WAIT!! God’s timing is not ours. Unto everything, there is a season and a TIME for every purpose under heaven.
3-Be faithful in what he has you doing today!! You are being made ready for this plan/dream and he is at work getting others ready as well. If I had been called as a pastor 1 year earlier, I would not yet have been ready.
4-Share your dreams and desires with Church leadership. God will often impart wisdom to you on them.
5-When God opens that door, enter into it in faithfulness.
6-GIVE HIM THE GLORY!!
To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.
In Jesus name, Amen