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Do we shine or tarnish God's glory?

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

Surrounded by your glory . . . .

That morning, my quiet time was as close to God as I think I could get this side of heaven. His presence was palpable. The time of worship filled my cup so full the vessel kept growing. My prayer time was a conversation with God as I poured my heart out to Him and heard his voice. He spoke to the depths of my soul in the verses He led me to that morning. I felt the presence of God that morning in such a tangible way; I felt like He was right beside me.

What will my heart feel . . .

Can I just tell you how full my heart was that morning? I'd never experienced anything like that. I carried that feeling all through the morning. I was praising God and talking to Him. It was such a beautiful time of connection. I'll never forget it.

I was listening to the words of I Can Only Imagine the other day and was reminded of that morning of worship. I think this is as close to being surrounded by His glory I will get here on earth. And you know what ended that sweet, glorious time? A car pulled out in front of me, and without even thinking, I called them a big, fat, dummy head.

That moment I took my eyes off of Jesus, I lost the connection. Like Peter in the boat, it only took a blink, and we both sunk. (Matthew 14:28-31)

I felt the presence of God that morning in such a tangible way; I felt like He was right beside me.

I probably need to tell you that the car that pulled out in front of me sped away; I barely had to break. This minor distraction didn't change the trajectory of my day. However, my reaction to that little distraction changed everything about the rest of my day.

Ugh! Sometimes my humanity stinks! Why did I allow something so minor to break such a beautiful connection with God? I feel like I should be farther along in my spiritual maturity by now.

"And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, 'These are the Lord's people, and yet they had to leave his land.' I had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone. "Therefore say to the Israelites, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes." Ezekiel 36:20-23

These words about the idolatry of the Israelites hit me hard. It reminds me that I, too, can tarnish God's holiness in the eyes of the world. Do I chip away at His holiness when I complain about Walmart's check-out system? Does my selfishness dim the view of His light to the world? Will my pride keep those longing for something to fill the hole in their heart as they look everywhere but at Jesus? Ouch!

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23

But Jesus! God is glorified in the holiness of His people! 17:22 shows me that I also have the opportunity to show the world God's glory. Jesus prayed that for all of us as believers. Not only did Jesus pray for our unity to bring glory to God, but He is available to support us in that quest. He alone gives us the strength and courage to be the beacon that shows God's holiness and sees His perfect love through us.

God is glorified in the holiness of His people!

How can we ensure we are the beacon of light God needs rather than the ones who are filtering His glorious light? Spend time with Him, time in prayer, and time listening for His voice. Read the instructions He gave us through His word; soak it up, delight in reading it. The closer we are to Him, the easier it is to shine and not tarnish. It's only when we make it all about Jesus, that we will fulfill our purpose of advancing the Kingdom of God.

And do you know what? It will be beyond incredible when we live surrounded by His glory, walking in His holiness, no longer separated from our God!

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