The Glory War
We must understand that because God is glorious, life is one big glory war.
Each of us is hardwired by God for glory. We are glory-oriented human beings. We are attracted to glorious things, whether it’s an exciting drama, an enthralling piece of music, or the best meal ever. God built this glory-orientation into us so that it would drive us to him. Because we’re glory-oriented, our lives will always be shaped by the pursuit of some kind of glory. What glory right here, right now, has captured your heart, and how is it shaping the way you respond to the situations, locations, and relationships in your life?
Sin makes us all glory thieves. Though God created us to live lives propelled by the glory of God, sin causes us to live for ourselves (2 Cor. 5:14–15). Sin turns us all into glory thieves. We demand to be in the center of our world, the one place that should be for God and God alone. We take credit for what only God could produce. We want to be sovereign, and we want to be worshiped. We set up our own law and punish people who get in our way and break our rules. We tell ourselves that we’re entitled to what we really don’t deserve. We complain when we don’t get whatever it is that we want. In living for our own glory, we steal glory that belongs to God.
Only God’s glory can satisfy the glory hunger in our hearts. Inside every one of us is a glory hunger . There is a way in which everything we think, desire, choose, do, and say is done in the quest for glory. We all want what is glorious in our lives, but this hunger will never be satisfied by created things. If you could experience the most glorious situations, locations, relationships, experiences, achievements, or possessions in life, your heart still would not be satisfied. Creation has no capacity whatsoever to bring contentment to our hearts. The purpose of creation is not to satisfy our hearts but to point us to the glory of the one who can satiate our hunger, and in satiating our hunger, give peace and rest to our hearts.
God’s grace alone has the power to defeat the glory war in our hearts. This glory war doesn’t rage outside of us, no, it rages inside of us. Deep and abiding glory disloyalty resides in the heart of every sinner. We all tend to continually revert back to self-glory. We do this because living for the glory of self is more natural to a sinner than acknowledging and living for the glory of God. We buy into the lie that imperfect created things can do in our hearts what the perfection of God’s glory can do. In our self-deception we tell ourselves that we really can satisfy our thirst by drinking from dry wells. So the only hope for us is that this God of glory would invade our lives and rescue us from our own glory thievery. This is why Jesus had to come to earth, to live righteously on our behalf, to die for our thievery, and to rise again, conquering sin and death. In amazing grace, Jesus willingly came on a glory rescue mission, and because he did,
there is hope for us that we will finally be free from self-glory and live forever in the light of the satisfying glory of God.
Only God’s glory can satisfy the glory hunger in our hearts.
He Who Is Ultimate in Glory
There is only one who exists in the universe who is ultimate in glory, ultimate in greatness, ultimate in beauty, and ultimate in perfection, and he is all of these things in everything he is and everything he does. God has no glory inconsistency and he has no glory rival. Everything comes from him, everything that is continues to exist through him, and everything is made for him (Rom. 11:36). He is the bright and stunning star in the center of eternity, history, what is physical, what is spiritual, what is now, and what is to come. All life is found in him. To live in light of God’s glory is not just about being spiritual. It is about recapturing your humanity, because this is how every human being was designed to live. Perhaps the vision of God in 1 Chronicles 29 is what should capture the thoughts of our minds and the imagination of our hearts every day, no matter if we are a man or a woman, a child or an adult, young or old, single or married, rich or poor, no matter our race or ethnicity, and no matter where we live and work. Put this passage on a card and tape it to the mirror you look in every morning.
Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 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. 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. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” (1 Chron. 29:10–13)
Take time to let awe of him capture the thoughts, desires, and emotions of your heart one more time. And then jump for joy that you are connected to this awesome one by grace.
This article is adapted from Do You Believe?: 12 Historic Doctrines to Change Your Everyday Life by Paul David Tripp.
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