Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 
I Chronicles 29:11

Greatness, power, glory, victory, and majesty- these all belong to God and to Him alone. Not one ounce of any of these qualities rightly belongs to anyone but to the Lord. When I find my wicked heart craving after any of these I can be sure that I am encroaching on the Lord's territory. 

Yet, consider how willingly God shares them with men. Though these qualities belong to God fully, He bestows them on men. I Chronicles 29:12 says "Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all." So God makes some men rich and some men great. He gives some men power, while to others He gives victory. But these qualities always come from God, they belong to God and ultimately their purpose is to be laid back at His feet as an offering of worship.

God gives men greatness that they might use their influence to point others to Him. He gives men power that they might reflect His goodness by wielding it to give justice to the oppressed. He gives men riches to show His generosity and so they may in turn be generous to the poor, the widow, and the orphan. He gives men victory that they might choose to fight His battles to advance His kingdom. He gives men majesty that they might reflect a portion of His own majesty and in so doing whet men's appetite for the One who is truly majestic. 

So it isn't wrong for men to have any of these qualities. It isn't wrong for a person to be powerful or great. But it is wrong for us to use these qualities for our own means, to make our own names great. And it is wrong for us to desire these qualities selfishly, to spend our lives clambering after and grabbing at what only God can give and what properly belongs to Him anyway. 

I fear I have often been guilty of trying to steal God's glory. I've worked hard to take for myself and for my own ends what rightly belongs only to Him. Forgive me for my wicked desires, Lord. Renew within me a right heart, Father, and help me to use what gifts You have given me to maximize Your glory, Your honor and Your praise.

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