A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a crazy, generous, loving God who wants desperately to glorify us. It is among the long list of what He does for us found in Romans 8:30. “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” You may have been thinking, So where’s my glory? That’s the funny thing about glory, He wants to glorify you, but most of the time you mess it up.
Jesus got the glory thing just right and showed us how it works. The night before He was arrested, we get let in on how He thought about glory when He prayed to God in John 17:1-5: “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” Glory is what results when you live your life to please God. You can’t avoid glory; however, you can’t get glory by seeking glory.
Our human weakness draws us to glory. We all want it. We are hungry for glory. We often lose our souls on the track to glory.
God is a generous, loving, amazing God; but He absolutely refuses for us to take glory for what He does. That is not a character flaw in God. It doesn’t make Him stingy, unkind, or unwilling to share. It is absolutely necessary for our good. If God gave us what we want—His glory—it would destroy our lives. He loves us too much for that.
In 2 Kings 18-20, you can read the true story of one of the good guys who God distracted by God’s glorification of him. King Hezekiah led the nation of Israel to pray and stood up against the world power that had taken the Northern tribes captive. God glorified Hezekiah and the nation with renewed riches in spite of the fact that Hezekiah gave a lot of it away to the enemy before he turned to prayer. What did Hezekiah do with the glory? He showed it off to a distant leader from Babylon (the same nation that destroyed his people after his death). There didn’t seem to be any wonder or praise going to the God who had given Hezekiah the victory. When God glorifies us and we forget Him and the fact that we had nothing to do with the wonderful victories we have, we get into trouble fast.
When God gives you glory, remember Him. There is so much He wants to give us here, but sometimes we won’t let him. I will never forget a quote by Creath Davis, who said: “God isn’t half as sad about the things we do as He is about the things He wants to do for us, but we won’t let Him.” The reason we won’t let Him is because we like King Hezekiah steal His glory and end up destroying our lives.