[b]Living For The Glory Of God[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
In the prayer that the Lord taught His disciples to pray, the very first request is, "Hallowed by Thy Name." This was the primary longing in the heart of the Lord Jesus. He prayed "Father, glorify Thy Name," and chose the way of the Cross since that was to the Father's glory (Jn. 12:27,28). One supreme passion governed the life of the Lord Jesus - the Father's glory.
Everything He did was for the Father's glory. There were no separate sacred and secular compartments in His life. Everything was sacred. He made stools and benches for the glory of God as much as He preached and healed the sick for the glory of God. Every day was equally sacred to Him; and money spent on the necessities of daily living was as sacred as money given to God's work or to the poor.
Jesus lived in perfect rest of heart at all times, because He sought only the Father's glory and cared only for His Father's approval. He lived before the face of His Father and did not care for the honour or praise of men. "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory," said Jesus (Jn. 7:18). The soulish Christian, however much he may appear or pretend to be seeking the glory of God, is really, deep down, interested in his own honour. Jesus on the other hand, never sought any honour for Himself. That which originates in man's cleverness and is carried out through human ingenuity and talents, will always end in glorifying man. That which begins in the soul will only glorify the creature. But there will be nothing in heaven or in earth in the ages of eternity that will bring honour or glory to any man. Everything that survives time and enters the portals of eternity will be what was from God, through God and to God. It is the motive behind an action that gives value and merit to that action, as far as God is concerned. What we do is important, but why we do it is far more important.
Jesus waited on His Father to receive His plan, and also waited on the Father for the power to carry out that plan, so that He did all the will of His Father in the power of God. But that was not all. Jesus went to prayer after some of His greatest achievements - to give the glory to His Father. He offered up the fruit of His labours as a sacrificial offering to His Father. He neither sought honour for Himself, nor received it when it was given Him (Jn. 5:41; 8:50). When His fame spread far and wide, He retired to the mountains to glorify His Father (Lk. 5:15,16). He was determined never to touch that glory Himself. The result of such an attitude consistently held, was that at the end of Jesus' life on earth, He could honestly say, "Father I have glorified You on earth" (Jn. 17:4).
He had come to earth to glorify the Father as a man. He lived each day with that as His aim. He prayed earnestly that the Father alone would be glorified, whatever the cost to Him. And He finally died that the Father would be honoured and exalted and glorified on earth as He was in heaven.
The ministry of Jesus was spiritual. The proof of that is seen in the fact that He left behind a number (small though it be) who also became spiritual, and not soulish. To manifest His glory, we must follow in His footsteps here. Jesus so sought the glory of God that He Himself was quite prepared to pave and prepare the way for His apostles to do something greater than He ever did, after Him (Jn. 14:12). This greater work was, no doubt, the building of the church, with the members therein becoming one as the Father and the Son are one (Jn. 17:21-23). During Jesus' lifetime on earth, not even two of His disciples had become one as the Father and the Son are one. They all sought their own. But after the day of Pentecost, many of His disciples have become one as He desired. This was the greater work. Jesus paved the way for others to do a greater work. He died and laid the foundation and His disciples built on that. There was no self-interest in Jesus. It did not matter to Him if someone else got the credit for what He did, provided the Father was glorified. It is this spirit that has to animate us, if we are to minister life to the church, the Body of Christ, today, and if we are to build it, to the fullness of the stature of Christ.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon