Thursday, December 13, 2012

Glory or Glorified?

If someone seeks glory, they are usually looking to receive acclaim or honor, maybe even fame and fortune. 

So in  John 17 when Christ asked God to glorify him,  I found that surprising.  Was he actually asking for acclaim or honor?   It seemed to be a selfish request.

"I want the credit, acclaim, or fame for what is about to happen." 

How often do we make similar requests?  Admirable petitions that ultimately go astray?

Use me God, so that they can see what I can do
God I want to do this for your Kingdom, so that they know that you favor me.

But in asking to be glorified, Jesus was saying let my humanity be overtaken by God the Father so there is no mistake that what I am about to do is only because He abides in, over and around me.  In being glorified, he was offering the greatest service. He was making the greatest sacrifice.  With no hope of praise or honor in return, he humbled himself to nothing, so that God's magnificence could be wholly known.

Col 1:15 says He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God.  And like Christ, it is in the process of giving ourselves to the will of the Father's plans and purposes, in sacrifice, that we become more like Christ, the perfect image of God.

I liken my attempts to fit the mold of Christ with my experience wearing a retainer.  My time with braces aligned my crooked teeth, and the time came for my dentist to make a mold for my retainer.  See, my teeth have a tendency to gradually shift out of alignment.  So every night  there is pressure and discomfort as the restraints correct their natural inclination to shift back to their crooked ways.

Though I was made in His image, I fail to fit the mold when I measure myself against Christ and the example He left in His time here on earth.  Time after time I get distracted, discouraged, selfish, sluggish and to my dismay, fall into sin again.  I tend to get out of alignment.  And trying to fit that mold can be uncomfortable when I've strayed too far.

However, 2 Corinthians 4:16 tells me there is hope. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.  Scripture describes God's glory as a pressing weight, realigning us and preparing us to be in His eternal presence.  The persistent pressing of His constant correction, the weight of God's glory can seem relentless, and some days impossible to bear. 

But I am thankful for a relentless God.  Because to go before him for this purification, consumed by him, enveloped in His holy presence and surrounded by His power, though mostly challenging, is also my reward.  I am being prepared for the promise of a great day when we can eternally bask in the glow of his divine and magnificent glory.


1 comment:

  1. love how you related it to a retainer. So practical--who hasn't worn one??