This whole concept of stealing has never been on my radar. Only a few times have things been stolen from us possession wise. One time an iPad was stolen, but was easily tracked down. All the detective shows I have watched finally paid off! Sunday morning the Lord revealed that I have tried to steal glory that only belongs to Him. Do you ever find yourself doing the same? It was eye opening and revealed parts of me that I really do not like. True to the nature of God, He very gently showed me my sin. I share it here in hopes to warn you not to follow my example in the subtle lie I believed.
It went something like this. Normally when my alarm goes off, I think of a verse and let that run through my mind. I want my first thoughts to be of Him. Sunday morning only a heavy feeling of sadness was present. It felt a bit foreign and not normal. I thought maybe I just needed to wakeup a bit more, but a few sips of coffee and the sadness remained. I told the Lord how I was feeling and inside heard Him whisper, “Do you want to talk about it?”. I told Him, “Not really”, and hoped that when I got into my readings for the morning, the heaviness would lift.
It seemed everything I read was tailor-made to fit how I was feeling. As the readings weaved together, something only God can do, I was amazed. When I sat to listen, being still wanting to hear what was on God’s heart, the answer came. It shocked me at first and then made perfect sense. The whisper came, “You are sad because you are trying to steal glory that belongs to Me.” I had to unravel that a bit and went back to a few recent conversations. I was instantly attending my own pity party. Be glad you were not invited. The thoughts were pitiful and circled tightly around self.
The thing is, while there is nothing wrong with receiving compliments, encouragement and kind words, I wanted attention plain and simple. It was me I wanted noticed, not Him. This is typical for a middle school kid, but I am 45 years old. These thoughts actually took me back to when I was that age. A memory came swiftly and I had believed a lie. While not meant for harm, it did just that and I did what needed to be done. I took this lie to the Lord, repented for my actions and turned to truth. These words encourage me. “For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my inquiry. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32:4-5). All was forgiven at the death of Jesus on the cross, but repentance changes me. In forgiveness, I find strength, joy, renewed love for God and others.
Read this verse with me. “After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God…”. Do we hear our voices daily mixed with these? If you read the Bible for yourself, you will find that God is more than worthy to receive glory. He created glory. I was not made to rob Him of what is rightfully His. We may try, but it will not feel natural. Think about the energy it takes to keep up an image. No wonder famous people turn to drugs, poor relationship choices and alcohol. They are not made to carry the glory we fans give them.
My prayer for you and me is that of King David. May we “extol the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. I will glorify in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together.” (Psalm 34:1-3). Today is a new day. Will we seek glory for ourselves or give it to Him? As for me, my heart is set on giving all the glory I can give to Him alone and my words and actions should follow.
*I took this picture of our oldest before everyone arrived at the Never Alone Community Worship Night.