December 3, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: Putting His Glory on Display

Brother-Aaron-236x300In our Christian experience we do everything within our power to follow God’s leading as closely as possible.

In his book, The Red Sea Rules, which is the foundation for this column today, Robert J. Morgan quoted A.T. Pierson saying, “To go as I am led, to go when I am led, to go where I am led, is that which has been for twenty years the one prayer in my life.” Shouldn’t this be the prayer of every Christian?

When we pray as A.T. Pierson prayed we must be ready to experience whatever it is that God wants us to experience – however He chooses.

Sometimes He leads or allows us into places we do not understand – hard places – scary places – hurtful places – places of indecision – places of disappointment in ourselves and others – and places that cause us to call into question all we have ever learned or known about God.

The Children of Israel found themselves experiencing exactly what I’ve just described when God instructed Moses to lead them to a place where they would have the Red Sea in front of them, the wilderness on either side, and Pharaoh’s Army closing at warp speed from behind. (Exodus 14: 1-3)

However, it was in this most untenable position and undesirable situation that God chose to put His glory on display. And so it is with us. Sometimes it is in our most confusing, hard, scary, and hurtful places of indecision, where are questioning all we have ever learned and believed about God, that He chooses to put His glory on display in our lives.

In John 12:27-28(KJV), facing the darkest hour humanity has ever known, Jesus said, “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

I want you to hear how The Message version of the Bible translates that passage, Jesus said, “Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’” A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.” Wow! Catch what Jesus said!  He said that “Right now” He was storm tossed. There was immediacy to His statement.

And if Jesus was storm tossed, we will be also!  But He did not pray for the Father to remove Him from His situation. Instead, He simply prayed for the Father to put His glory on display in His situation. Wow! How woefully inadequate I feel even writing these words for this column!

I spend 99% of my prayer time praying for God to change, give me victory over, or remove me from some situation in my life. Seldom do I ask God to simply put His glory on display in my life situation. It is much easier for me to play “the victim” or “poor pitiful me” than it is to realize that God wants to put His glory on display in my life situation. And I have a feeling I’m not the only dog named Rover running in this pack!

As I begin to close this column, I do so by encouraging you that when, as the Children of Israel, you find yourself in a most untenable position facing a most undesirable situation, that as a child of God, you are there: 1. By God’s appointment. (Remember, God told Moses to lead them where they were) 2. In His keeping. (The same God Who leads you in will lead you out) 3. Under His training. (There are teachable moments in every situation) 4. For His time. (Even when he’s four days late (Lazarus) He’s still right on time!)

Here is the truth for the Child of God:  God is still in the business of delivering His people. However, He does it His way, in His time, for His glory!

Almost too numerable to count are the various ways God chose to deliver His people. He parted the Red Sea for Moses, had Noah build a boat, gave Sampson the jaw-bone of a donkey, gave Shamgar an ox goad, spat in the dirt and made mud for a blind man’s eyes, and called Lazarus forth from the grave, just to name a few. Now, I don’t know how He will work in your situation or mine.

However, I do know He will work. Our duty is to make sure His glory is put on display in our situation!  God help us to do this!

 

Brother Aaron

 

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