[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).
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.
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.
Jesus lived so utterly and totally before the Father's face alone,
that He did not care to be vindicated before those who crucified Him,
after He rose from the dead. In the eyes of the world and the Jewish
leaders, Jesus' ministry was a total failure. If Jesus had been
soulish, He would have longed to go back and present Himself before
those leaders after His resurrection to confound them and to vindicate
Himself. But he did not do that. He presented Himself after the
resurrection, only to those who believed on Him. The Father's time for
the vindication of Jesus had not yet come - and Jesus was prepared to wait.
That time has still not come.
Jesus is still misunderstood in the world, and most people consider
His life to have been a failure. He began life (as a man), in the
ignominy of a cattle food-box and ended His life on earth in the
humiliating death on the cross, with two criminals of the worst order.
And that was the last that this world saw of Him. Jesus was quite
prepared to appear a failure before men, provided the Father was
glorified. He did not live or serve, to be admired by men, and
therefore one day the Father will vindicate Him publicly with great
glory and honour; and in that day every knee will bow and every tongue
will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord - but even that will be for the
glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:11).
And so the question that we must ask ourselves is: AM I LIVING AND
LABOURING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD ALONE?
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon