-What Does A “Win” Look Like?
I greatly enjoyed the years I helped coach the varsity boys basketball team for our local Christian school! One of things we constantly focused on was cutting down on the number of “turnovers”—giving up the ball to your opponent because of a bad pass, a double dribble, or some other violation. Our mantra was: “Every PASS counts! Every SHOT counts! Every DRIBBLE counts!” The ultimate goal was to win more games & it’s hard to win when you keep giving the ball back to your opponent! So, what does a “win” look like, if following Jesus is the goal?
-It’s A “Win” When God Is Glorified!
To the Church of Corinth, Paul wrote: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory” 1 Cor. 10:31. To use the basketball analogy, Paul is saying that a “turnover” occurs whenever we do anything that FAILS to bring glory to God! And, a “win” happens whenever God is glorified! In James MacDonald’s book, Vertical Church, he explains “glory” like this: “When someone or something evidences the reality of God’s existence, that revealing is God’s glory. We don’t see God; we see the evidence that He has been at work; we see His glory.” So, glory is like a “trail” that evidences that God had been there; that, He had been at work! It’s His “supernatural signature”, MacDonald says.
-What Does God’s Glory Look Like?
That’s what Moses saw, in Exodus 33, when he asked God for permission to see His glory. He couldn’t actually look upon God; or, he’d die, God said! So, God showed him his “back”; or, literally where God had been; or, His “trail.” Here’s the application we take from Paul’s admonition to the Corinthian believers: We will see the glory of God; or, the evidence of His presence; or, His supernatural signature, on our churches, in the changed lives of our members! Changed lives—that’s the proof that God has been there! Lives that do everything with a passion for God’s glory! And, we can’t manufacture that! We can’t produce changed lives! Only lives, under the influence of God’s Holy Spirit, will live for God’s glory rather than for self-glory! God’s glory isn’t present where ministry is done “in the flesh”—leaning on our own understanding! Worldly wisdom says, “God helps those that help themselves.” That’s man’s glory, not God’s!
-When It’s Not God’s Glory!
The more I get used to “walking in the Spirit”, the more terrified I become of doing anything, in my life, that’s not for God’s glory; for, His praise & honor! The opposite of His glory is “my glory”; and, that’s pride. God hates pride! Pray that Christ’s Church would be motivated by a passion & a desire that our Sunday Worship services bring Him glory; that, our Small Group ministries shine forth His glory; that anything and everything we do be bathed, in prayer, with a God-honoring longing for God to be revealed in our cities and our nation! God is glorified when we make much of His preferences, plans & program!