The Glory of God
About 7 years ago, a bus load of over 40 students from IHOP (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City showed up at my house. They stayed with us for a handful of days to love and pray for our city, and ended up joining us for a conference on Identity that we hosted in my backyard.
During one of the several prayer meetings that we held that week at the Isla Vista House of Prayer (which is strategically located behind the Jesus Burgers House), one of the students passionately told God that we want to make His name famous in our generation. Sometimes you can read or hear something that gives language to your heart’s cry. This is exactly what happened to me when I heard him utter this prayer of sincerity to God.
In reflecting on over a decade of pastoring, I know I would’ve bowed out a long time ago if the fame of Jesus was not the highest reason for why I do what I do. All of us need to be reminded that we are alive for Him, and most alive when we are all about Him.
Since saying yes to Jesus in 2001, I have purposed to live my life to make Jesus famous in the earth. It is my mission to lift His Name above all other names and remind the church family – and often myself – that life is way bigger than ourselves and what we are going through. That we really are not the main character in the story; and taking life personal will only result in disappointment and bitterness.
We are alive for Him, to make Him known in the earth. For a lover of Jesus, this is good news, as love finds its highest expression when it points to the Lover of our souls. As John Piper once said, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
Being a pastor has too many curveballs thrown at you to not have the fame of Jesus as your focus. Without it, we can become disillusioned with what we are doing and easily become weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9). The enemy always wants us to take our focus off of Jesus and place it on ourselves. As leaders, we do not have the luxury of doing this, nor do I think it’s a good idea. Unless we are living for a greater purpose than what is happening on earth, we can easily step back into thinking that we are the main character in the story.
Something that I want to help my children understand is that we are worshippers. I want them to understand from a young age that we have been created to express love, adoration, praise, and thanksgiving to the One that made us. When this becomes a reality in our life, we begin to live at a higher spiritual elevation. Our highest concern isn’t what is happening on earth, since our first ministry is heaven centered, not earth centered.
“Not to us, Yahweh, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your faithful love, because of Your truth.” (Psalm 115:1)
His glory is the very strong lens I see all of life through. When I am going through different trials, relationship issues, life circumstances, I am often asking Him to show me how to magnify His name through it. When I do ask Him, He will often remind me of a verse; other times He just invites me to adore Him; sometimes He gives me super practical strategy in how to walk in love and honor through whatever it may be.
In all of it, the key for me is His fame and knowing that in heaven right now there is no confusion about Jesus. All of heaven has their eyes on this Man and joyfully lifts up His name alone. The will of God becomes much simpler when we seek His glory and not our own.
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)