By Lauren Barrett
Lauren is a mission mobilizer in the US.
Throngs of people swirled around my brother and I as we worked our way closer to the rope, which kept our feet from stepping on the fairway of Hole #1 at the Augusta National Golf Club where the Master’s Golf Tournament was being held. Stillness and silence fell over the crowd.
Tiger Woods stroked the ball from the tee and it landed right in front of us in the middle of the fairway. A beautiful shot. Acclaim and laud fell from the lips of awed spectators.
As I listened to different people declare the praises of this professional golfer, one said in reference to Tiger, “Man, I wonder what it feels like to be god?”
I couldn’t help but think, “That is hardly something Tiger Woods, or any other created being, would know.” Yet, the core of that question reveals a deep, terrifying longing that stirs within us. Whether or not we recognize it, it lingers in our thoughts and often guides our decisions. It is the longing for glory.
The Encarta World English Dictionary defines glory as,
“the fame, admiration, and honor that is given to somebody who does something important; something that brings or confers admiration, praise, honor, or fame.”
When God created mankind that longing was pure and meant to awaken our souls to how much we hungered after God. Since the Fall, however, it is sinful pride that often drives our longing for glory.
So what does this concept of glory have to do with eternity? Let us first recall,
“that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5.11).
Now listen to John’s description of what will be going on in heaven:
“And they sang a new song, saying,
‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth’…And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’” Revelation 5:9-10,13 (emphasis mine).
No matter how much praise and admiration Tiger Woods may receive, when the tournament is over people go home. The praises cease and the applause quickly fades.
Once again we remember the words of Isaiah through the Apostle Peter,
“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of the field. The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
Church, the glory of our God NEVER ENDS!! Never. It endures to all generations,
“and…shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it” (Isaiah 40.5) His glory He will not give to another. All nations will fear Him (Psalm 102:15).
All nations will worship and glorify Him (Psalm 86.9).
The heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19.1).
As if plumbing the depths of His everlasting glory were not enough, the writer of Hebrews makes a statement that we, the Church, should never be able to get over:
“He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Hebrews 1.3
That means that the glory of God came down and dwelt among us; literally made its habitation in our midst! For thirty-three years the radiant energy of God’s eternal, ceaseless glory walked around in a sin-stricken world.
It is no wonder that demons fled, the dead were raised, the lame walked again, pretentious religious leaders were condemned, and sin was exposed.
My intent in attempting to extrapolate tiny glimpses of truth from a deeper understanding of glory is two-fold. It is first a reflection of my desire and prayer,
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.” (Eph. 1. 17)
Then it is because I am wholly convinced that this truth must change our reality. It must affect life as we know it, for we have been called sons and daughters of the Most High God in Christ alone.
That is to say, that it is in the very radiance of the glory of God- Christ Jesus- that we have been given eternal life such that,
“the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2.20).
Solomon said that God has put eternity in man’s heart, and, as we have seen through Scripture, glorying in God through Christ and by the Spirit is what will go on for all eternity. Weak beings though we are, we walk around with eternity in our hearts. Deep calls unto deep.
It is in our very nature to live in light of eternity. Satan has asked and will continue to ask to sift this generation as wheat. His methods are not new, but don’t be fooled- he is good at old tricks.
You will surely be tempted to place your trust in man- that man often being yourself- rather than in El Shaddai. The word of the devil will come as surely to you as it did to Eve in the garden, “God cannot be trusted.”
Once the seed of doubt is planted in your heart the door is open for the evil one to wreak havoc on you personally. Brothers and sisters, the calling to which we have been called is one full of hope and of an eternal Kingdom which cannot be shaken.
I exhort you to not be led astray by the lusts of the flesh for mere things of this world. The pleasure is fleeting and will not satiate the groaning of eternity in your heart. C.S. Lewis put it this way:
“I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Jesus also has something to say about the insatiable hunger of the human heart and the relentless thirst of our soul.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5.6).
The Spirit is stirring in our generation all over the world. Let us make it our prayer that through pure, unhindered devotion to Jesus we might be the forerunners for the return of Christ; the John the Baptists of our age.
Standing firm in the faith, knowing that Jesus has prayed for us that our faith may not fail (see Luke 22.31-32) we will overcome. The prince of this world may have power, but he does NOT have authority over you.
Therefore, in light of all the things, feel the relentless ache in your soul and let it remind you of eternity. Let it remind that this world is not your home. Rather,
“the eternal God is your dwelling place” (Deuteronomy 33.27a).
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3.5