Monday, 27 September 2010

Struggling with the Glory of God

A few months ago I listened to Paris Reidhead’s sermon “Ten Shekels and a Shirt”. Afterwards I was undone. As he talked about how humanism has infiltrated our thinking even in the church, I recognised how this was so true of me. As he talked about how our evangelistic efforts are man-centred – to save souls from hell for their sake – rather than God-focused – a bride for Christ for His sake – I realised I didn’t understand “Soli Deo Gloria” (to God alone be the glory) at all.

This was reinforced when a friend commented that she had told a family member that “if she is the only one in her family that God has chosen to display his transforming power and deliverance through, that He might gain a greater glory and effect righteousness in the dark places, then so be it”. I was undone again. Then I was reminded of God’s word given to Isaiah. Isaiah has just been given what has to be one of the most memorable visions of God’s glory in the whole Bible. He is then commissioned by God to preach to the people in order to “make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed” (Isa 6:10). Soli Deo Gloria.

I have the privilege of being friends with a lady whose husband was recently killed in a car crash leaving her alone to bring up their young daughter. She continues to put her trust and faith in the God she has known all her life, who has revealed His goodness to her, and who has given her a real Hope for the future. I am undone by her faith. I am reminded of Jesus who, on being told that his friend Lazarus is sick, replies “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). We may have to deal with death for now, but we have a hope that on that Blessed Day in the future the Resurrection will bring God the glory as He prepares the wedding feast for His bride. Soli Deo Gloria.

I read about my Christian brothers and sisters suffering persecution around the world and I am undone. Their ability to stand firm and not deny Christ in the face of severe pressure, sometimes at the cost of their lives, is truly testimony to the ability of the One who holds us in His hands to keep us, and not to allow anyone to snatch us out of His hands. I am reminded of the account of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, who just before he died looked up to heaven and “saw the glory of God” (Acts 7:55). Soli Deo Gloria.

I have to confess – I am wired up to see things from a human perspective. I listen to Paris Reidhead, and interact with my Christian friends and I can feel the gears clunking in my head as I try to shift from one view to another. I am distraught that God’s glory is not my natural automatic worldview. I am dismayed that after walking with God for so many years I still don’t “get it” naturally, and that I have to be dragged out of humanism to God-centredness.

This short video clip considers this same issue:

My only hope is that I will be transformed by the renewing of my mind as I continue to read God’s word which is “sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb 4:12). I finish with a plea to my Christian friends – I need you to keep reminding me that God’s glory is all that matters.

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgements, and His paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counsellor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory for ever! Amen!” (Rom 11:33-36)


  1. So honest, so well done. Thank you for keeping the glory of God before you, straining to get a glimpse at what only Moses saw from the vantage point of what was the backside of God.

    It spurs me on.

    Here are some verses I've supped on over the last few years, pertaining to the glory of God.
    Exodus 33:12-23
    Exodus 34:1-9


  2. Thanks for those verses Elizabeth. Just quickly reading them through, I am instantly struck by Ex 34:9 - "Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance". How absolutely true is that! We bring nothing other than our wickedness and sin - He forgives and makes us His inheritance - because of all the Son has done - all for the glory of God! Amen!

  3. God's Glory is all that matters! May we always remind each other! Beautiful post! Grace and blessings!

  4. Your blog is one of the ways I am reminded of God's glory, Petra, so thank you :)