“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”
This morning I had an epiphany while reading in Paul David Tripp’s significant book Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishers, 2002). He writes, “Personal ministry…involves exposing hurt, lost, and confused people to God’s glory, so that they give up their pursuit of their own glory and live for His”!!! (p. 184).
That is a massively profound statement, leading to a huge worldview shift. All of our lives we have been taught by our culture that the goal of life is to be independent, fulfilled, successful and comfortable—living for our own glory. And we’ve unconsciously absorbed this message.
In contrast, as we spend time in personal worship (giving God glory for who He is), our focus can shift away from our own little plans, problems, hurts and fears to the bigger picture of who God is and what He is doing.
We can begin to see the major themes of the Scripture that Mr. Tripp points out: the Glory of God, the Greatness of God and the Grace of God.
Mr. Tripp goes on to say that personal ministry is “embedding people’s personal stories in the larger story of redemption, so they approach every situation and relationship with a ‘God’s story’ mentality.”
In God’s plan, He calls us to a partnership with Himself, giving us significant roles and responsibilities: He prepares situations for us, then waits for us to obey His directions, given primarily in His Word.
If we willingly choose to obey, our foot can still slip, we can still fall, we can still suffer difficulty, but as we continue walking in obedience, we are lifted up again and again by His love and power.
Prayer: “Lord, I confess that my glory has been my goal, not your glory. Forgive me for pursuing personal comfort as my goal and idol instead of your glory.
Help me today to live instead with the desire to bring you glory and honor through my motives, thoughts, words and actions, trusting you to carry me along in your great plan to end history, eliminate evil and bring in the new Heaven and Earth. Amen.”