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Over time, we all create a painting in our heads. It’s a painting called “How Things Are.” We are very sure of these paintings and keep them front-and-center. They are beautiful and took time to create and most importantly, they are correct. Or so we think. But as we learn and grow and mature, we reluctantly throw out the old “How Things Are” and begin painting a new one. All that work for nothing.
This is what this blog series has begun to force me to do, a lot of repainting (or flat out burning) specifically in the area of my thoughts on God’s glory and sovereignty. I shared a bit of this in the post that started this whole series here. And surprise! This topic has themed its way into my 2011.
The question of only loving God because of what He does for me rather than who He is connects to the question I and others were asked by a speaker I listened to last week: Why does the idea of God wanting to glorify himself make us squirm in our seats? As we squirmed, he continued probing, “Does God desire God’s glory more than He desires us? Why does He seek His own praise above all else? Is this bothering you? Why is this bothering you?” And the pieces of my little self-made theories began to drop to the floor. And my beautiful “How Things Are” once again appeared ridiculous.
When you read the Bible, you read the word “glory” many times and it is always God’s glory. And when you keep reading the Bible, it turns out the whole point is His glory. Sounds rudimentary, I know, but to realize God’s chief aim is to be praised and not to be sure I am ok and am successful and joyful and on the right path, well, that has been difficult for me. I squirmed as I heard about–what John Piper calls–God’s God-centeredness and realized I was squirming out of my own self-centeredness.
His chief aim is not us; his chief aim is himself. And that sounds selfish and vain, but only because we are selfish and vain.
I have an incredibly difficult task before me now: to realize once and for all that this world is not about me. This life is not about me. My life is not about me. I am not about me.
I believe in questions. I say this a lot; I’ll say it again…