Today many people think life is all about me. They compare themselves with others and they push others down in order to try to pull themselves higher. Quotes like, “Look out for number one; if you don’t no one else will”, or “Be the you that you want to be” or “Don’t try to be useful, try to be yourself” are common.
I doubt we’re in this group, but let’s bring this closer to home. Do we take credit for success in ministry? Do we compare ourselves with other team members and swing back and forth between “I’m pretty good” to thinking, “I’m a failure”? Is this focus on ourselves biblical? Is this life really about us or were we created for something greater?
In Scripture it tells us that this life is not about us but we were created for Christ and for His will. Revelation 4:11 (NKJV), "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."
How can we get to the place where we can really say, “It’s not about me; whatever happens in my life has been allowed by God and is ultimately to bring glory to God”? I see at least three things that must be part of our daily lives if we are going to respond in this way.
Worship – Falling at Jesus’ feet and recognizing Him as Lord of our lives. I have been reading through the book of Job recently and have been impressed again with the whole dialogue and “contest” that was going on in the spiritual realm of which Job had no idea. At first glance, it seems that Job was a helpless pawn caught in the cross-fire between two battling opponents. Without warning he was stripped of his wealth and his children. His response? He fell to the ground and worshipped (Job 1:20). He recognized that this life really wasn’t about him. His position and wealth were given to him by God and He had the right to take it away if He so chose.
For Job, when bad things happened, his worship wasn’t an unusual response – it was what he normally did. I don’t see him trying to twist God’s arm to get himself out of this situation. He worshipped when things were going good as well as when things were going bad. He recognized that this life really isn’t about us – it’s about God.
Reflection – Realizing that we were created to reflect God’s glory to those around us. This life isn’t about us but about the one who created us. John Piper says, “The great sin of the world is not that the human race has failed to work for God so as to increase his glory, but that we have failed to delight in God so as to reflect his glory. For God’s glory is most reflected in us when we are most delighted in him” (Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Reader p. 66). Do I delight in God? Am I reflecting His glory the way He desires?
Praise – An unwavering commitment to praise God regardless of our situation. It is easy to praise Him when things are going well. It is altogether different to praise Him when things are difficult. When Paul and Silas were unjustly accused, beaten, and thrown into the inner prison they sang praises to God. The result? God brought them out of prison; the jailor and his family became believers, and they gave a tremendous testimony of praise in the midst of adversity.
May God help me to recognize this life is not about me. I want my daily life to include worship, reflection and praise.
Written by: J.Y.