“Ok, the idea that I possess a glory, splendor, strength, brilliance that is extraordinary seems a little farfetched. It’s not my personal experience. I think my effect is pretty small. I can only do the best with what I’ve got and that ain’t much.”
I’ve heard this thought many times – within myself and from others. The truth is that if it was YOU ALONE that might be true, but it isn’t to be YOU ALONE.
“Now what we can do by our unassisted strength is very small” Dallas Willard wrote in The Divine Conspiracy. “What we can do acting with mechanical, electrical, or atomic power is much greater. Often it is so great that it is hard to believe or imagine without some experience of it. But even that is still very small compared to what we could do acting in union with God himself, who created and controls all other forces.”
Our life was never designed to be “unassisted.” And yet, that is how we, ok – I, live most of the time. Partly because I believe the lie that I’m on my own. Partly because of my fear that God won’t come through. Partly because “it is hard to believe or imagine without some experience of it.”
Jesus said repeatedly, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Matt. 4:17
Dallas told the story of growing up on a farm in southern Missouri where electricity was not available. Then, one day, it was announced that power lines would be brought in. It was an opportunity for a different way of life if they if they chose to tap into them. “The comparison, you may think, is rather crude, and in some respects it is. But it will help us to understand Jesus’ basic message about the Kingdom of the Heaven if we pause to reflect on those farmers who, in effect, heard the message: ‘Repent, for electricity is at hand.’”
I often need to repent of my disbelief and non-reliance on God and His Kingdom, which usually comes only after an acute discontent with my ineffective words or actions. I must choose the assistance of God throughout my day as I am listening, speaking, deciding, creating, offering, completing, etc.
Many times, as I follow my heart into helping a person discover their glory, I find myself without a clue. No scent, no sign to follow. Then the desire to help turns into regret as I find myself facing my incapability – my unconsciously chosen unassisted life. During that moment, I start to pray for the Kingdom of God to come over the conversation. And then, bingo, something comes up; one of those “ah has” that surprises us both. As Dallas says, it is “the striking availability of God to meet present human needs through our actions.”
You possess a glory, a splendor, a brilliance which is unique to you but a part of the glory of God. As Paul says, “we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18
We are to live an unveiled, divinely assisted, every-increasing life. This is the normal Christian life.
With the assistance of God,
I sometimes think that one of the primary things I need to repent for is when I doubt it is possible that “I possess a glory, splendor, strength, brilliance that is extraordinary.”
Isn’t that always the attack? To lie about who God is or who we are?
Thanks for the word. Now, I just need to believe it.
What a nice message:) you are wonderful!
It’s like we’re the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. God shows up, does incredible miracle after miracle, and how quickly they forget. Quite soon after being delivered from Pharaoh, they have a short-term memory relapse and start grumbling about not having any food.
How quickly we see God’s hand at work, utilizing our glories for His glory. The next moment, we’re back into do-it-ourselves mode, forgetting that God is more than capable of utilizing us if we’ll allow Him to be a part of each moment.
Yep, hopefully that cycle gets shorter and shorter for us.
Just went through a tough battle, and God showed up to help. My wife then asked me — will you remember this next time and not panic? At that moment I thought of the Israelites too! I pray I will remember!
Oh man, I’m will you. I hope my “remember” time get quicker and quicker until is instantaneous.
That is a stellar perspective, “The truth is that if it was YOU ALONE that might be true, but it isn’t to be YOU ALONE.” Thank you…I’ll use that.
Your welcome Kevin. We’ll learn and borrow from each other.
I find it easier to relate to God’s glory, strength and splendor by the things I don’t do. Like not becoming angry or unforgiving or impatient which is more natural in some situations. Only the glory of God’s grace in me allows me to place in check actions that would otherwise tarnish his indwelling.
The times of premeditated grace, love, or creativity towards others that involve his splendor are fleeting. Yet the desire to reflect his splendor and discover ways of living more fully indwelt persist.
I do honestly relish though the times when I can reach far down the well of the indwelling Spirit and offer a timely cup of grace to another man that is not my own in thoughts or deeds.
Jim, I have a feeling that the God-given splendor, strength, weightiness of your life is not that far of a dip down the well and that you have far more to offer another than you realize.
I always get tripped up by John 14:12 – “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Even greater?!? The glory God has for us is beyond anything we’ve even begun to imagine. Thanks for being faithful to your call, Gary.
Great reminder Scott. Thank you.
Scott, that’s a good reminder. I would love to go one step further and have a discussion on exactly what those greater things are.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Thanks for your life dude… It weighs alot.
Eric, you are so encouraging to me. Thank you.
Wow Gary! Sooo right on target. Thanks for writing this. Your blend of transparency coupled with the truth is transformational. Just what I needed to hear this morning.
If I have done something to encourage and help your weighty life, Im thrilled.
We need to attempt big things for God or we’ll never see His power though. Just sitting back and saying “OK God, Show me your power!” won’t work. Have to stick the toe in the water first.
Good word, Jason.
Once again you cut straight to the heart (mine) and make me feel less alone, less isolated. Thanks for your obedience, your heart and your courage to reveal what is in it.
Mark, your words thrill me: “make me feel less alone, less isolated”.
Needed this today. Thanks brother.
Your welcome my friend.
Just a thought about how I see your glory.
You make frequent trips to the “tent of meeting” as Moses did. A place set apart from the camp. You do it, by taking the time to go there, repeatedly, for other men, and seek God’s guidance for thier direction out of the wilderness and into the promised land of thier calling.
Gary your a guide!
That’s a part of your splendor!
Great reminder! I think this probably one of the things that most hinders my ability to step out… When I think I’m in it alone. I pray that more and more I will keep this on the front of my mind.
Thanks for keeping it up front!!
I’m with you my friend in this. Great being with you this past weekend at the Base Camp Gathering.