What does it really mean to ascribe to the Lord Glory and Strength?
We sit casually in a circle full of loved ones - full after a Thanksgiving Feast and a genuine desire to be with one another. I watch Aaron's family as they display God's love in a way that always surprises me somehow. Taking it all in, I quietly observe as Aaron's Aunt Jenni's friend, a writer, slowly pulls out a notebook and begins to write what I can only guess are similar observations stored in my head. For a moment, I think she must be remembering something far away like me, and she is soaking in this family's love in a way that feels like someone is gently rocking her to sleep. I know the feeling, and I want to tell her, "isn't it unreal? Doesn't it capture your heart, the way time slows down and their words are so full and true? Doesn't it make you want to live differently?"
When I am with them, I am reminded how rich life is when we live out our purpose: To Glorify God. Every christian's purpose is to glorify God. [So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. - 1 Cor. 10:31] I think on this and realize how difficult it is to learn, especially when some days, the smallest tasks can be the hardest to accomplish. I am convicted of thinking in my heart, just get through this day... just get through this day that I miss the full, abundant life God intended for me to live. I begin to reflect on my purpose and calling as a daughter of God, and I write down tangible questions to help me assess what areas of my life are dead and need transformation. The questions were quite simple to come up with, it's the answers that can paralyze you with fear. But repelling into the downward slope of recognizing sin - my sin - is where we see Christ's work on the cross. We must see an overwhelming sense of our sinfulness to desire an overwhelming need for a Savior.
Every Christian's purpose is to glorify God. This includes:
what I say | what I do | my relationships with others | my use of gifts | the opportunities God gives me.
After diving into these areas, I come to find that it goes much deeper:
enduring adverse situations and human hostility | personal calling to please God | imitating His deeds
Have you considered the tangible ways you can look at how you are glorifying God? Sitting down and asking myself: Do I use my words to build up others? I find that I am susceptible to falling into self-pity when talking about my time and circumstances, susceptible to indifference and apathy when talking to non-believers, and harsh with my words toward my husband. His mercies are new each morning. I ask, do I use my time with diligence and a Christlike attitude? Am I persistent as I pour into my community to help my friends see Jesus clearly, do I take care of my home in a way that encourages an atmosphere of Christ's love and self-sacrifice? And in my relationships, am I making time to see them and ask real questions, asking Him to redeem my time and fill me up as I pray for my relationships, and to pray for patient endurance in pursuing hard relationships? Am I praying about my use of Gifts? Am I being encouraging to others, am I serving and imitating His deeds and works of mercy? Am I pursuing faith, praise, generosity, obedience and single-mindedness in service? He gives what He commands and delights in the result. The Holy one promises something miraculous in the every day life when we are seeking His face:
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. - 2 Cor. 3:18
Take heart, friends. I write these words not to bring you to a defeated place. I write these words to bring you, along with myself, to the Cross. Remembering that Christ came, lived the perfect life so that we didn't have to. Let us be encouraged that we've been rescued, and in obedience, let us ascribe to Him all Glory and Strength!