Kingdom Principle: Kingdom Servants are to seek the Holiness of God, not the Glory of God.
Humility & Confidence open the ears of the servant to hear their calling into Service.
|Job 38:1-7, (34-41) Psalm104:1-9, 24, 35c||Hebrews 5:1-10||Mark 10:35-45|
When I feel insignificant or overlooked (due to shame, guilt, fear, anxiety), I am tempted to ease my pain and feed my ego. When I see my insignificance in relation to God’s Power and Majesty, I have passed a test that invites me into a God sized transformation. God’s will is that I will be fulling conformed into his image, that reality takes place as His Holiness fills me. However, as Holiness fills me, it does not ease my pain and feed my ego, in fact holiness draws my pain and ego to the surface so that it can be surrendered to God. This is why I fall into temptation, seeking a quick fix of “glorification” rather than the transformation of “holiness”.
Our view of God and His power & majesty CANNOT be too high or too lofty. We must let God be LORD over all things. When we attempt contain all the mystery of God in our minds, then we have foolishly made God – subject to our own mind and our creative power. This shall not be so – and for the most part – those who have truly come to know God, do not assume themselves to be more powerful, more wise or more anything than God. However until we are tested and tried, we are not fully aware of the foolish attitudes and perspectives that reside in our heart. While the situation Job found himself in, may seem extreme to many … but how much more might we long for this test (having God consider us blameless) rather than assuming that God would not “do” that to us.
Job – was not in sin – but he was in error. While Job sacrificed daily for the covering of sins, it was God that declared him blameless. Job assumed that his holiness was on par with God’s or at least beyond the comprehension of his friends and such that justice was do him based on his righteousness. Therefore, Job declared his right to question God and demand an account for justice. This week we see God’s response to Job’s cry for justice. We also see that God is not concerned with Job’s questions or his demand for justice. It is God’s Rule & Reign overall all creation that demonstrates and pronounces a response to Job. The response does not solve the question of evil, why, or what’s next, only that God is sovereign.
It has been said, in life we take three steps with God.
Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification.
Justification is the first step and it is taken on our behalf by God the Son to completely wash our sins white as snow and make us right with Him. Sanctification is the second step taken in the power of the Holy Spirit so that our lives might be transformed by God’s holiness renewing us completely. The final step is glorification, where we come face to face with the Father, and the things of this world have fully passed away.
Sanctification is the means by which the Holiness of God is transferred unto us. 1 Peter records that we are to be Holy as God is Holy. When we seek the Glory of God (glorification) without the Holiness of God we are out of step with God. Job’s error was to equate holiness with glorification, not realizing that both are a gift of God.
Holiness is the Otherness or Separation of God from the Creation.
Glory is the expression or revelation of God’s Holiness being given back to the Creation.
The disciples clearly demonstrate their hard-heartedness and ignorance when it comes to the purpose of Christ and his calling to display strength through weakness. The disciples were patiently waiting for Jesus to arrive in all of God’s Glory and to take the rightful place of victory over the Roman rulers. They awaited a Messiah to be the Savior the Jewish People from the oppression and tyranny of the world. What they missed was the tyrant from whom they were being saved was the one whom bears the name of “tempter” and “deceiver”. Jesus’ very life and death paid the ransom, crushing the enemy of God. The way to follow in the steps of Jesus, entering the Kingdom of Heaven is not by the wisdom of the world. Rather through the submission of one’s world unto the only one who can save them from this world – The very Spirit of God.
God is to be glorified in every aspect of our lives, glorification is not relegated to after our physical death – but it ruled by His work, His way and in His time not ours. (1 Cor. 10:31) Our first death and resurrection (baptism) is the means by which we move unto God’s glory. Jesus himself cried out that the Father would glorify His Name through Jesus’ life. Jesus did not assume or take the glory of God by his own; rather he gave it up and over unto the Father – in his life of suffering and sacrifice. This is for us as well. We each have a calling to receive from the Father. This calling is received when our ears are opened to the calling of the Holy Spirit. It is through the process of humility that we hear this calling and response is made confident through testing. As we saw last week – Testing provides the necessary means for humility and confidence to be produced in us. And this “testing” is all at the hand of God. When we seek to by-pass suffering and service as a means bring Glory of God, we are confronted with our own limitations and demons.
We cannot contain God’s holiness unless we are made perfect through suffering. It is His holiness that separates us from the world. The Glory of God is Holiness revealed. Thus for Holiness to be revealed it must have a means… We are God’s chosen means for His Glory to be revealed, yet as the Psalm and Job point out this week – there is no shortage of means for God’s Holiness to be revealed by His Creation. Yet God has chosen us – humanity alone bears the image of God to reveal His Glory.
When we seek God’s glory, it often becomes our own stardom and splendor. When we walk as servants in submission and separation, His Holiness fills us in such the way that His Glory is hence revealed to all around through us. This is not a lowly path, or an undesirable place of being. This is the path of purpose and calling guided by humility and confidence. When God chooses to lift you up, and place you in the role of king or leader in this world – may it be so. If not, we are not passive victims, rather being more than conquers and confidently we pursue a life of submission which results in the death of our own will and aligns us with the Will of the almighty. May we be servants, even slaves unto the will of God.
A couple of thoughts to assist in your re-sizing:
Where do you find there is a hunger to be needed, valued or identified as important? (this is the temptation of Stardom/Splendor as well as a test for Submission/Separation) In what ways might God be calling you into Submission and Separation so that as He lifts you up, it is clearly His Hand and not by your own doing?
The enneagram can help you discover your limitation and “demons”. Use this free app to take the test and I’m happy to follow up with you regarding the results.