(This is a final post about glory from the series “Why do you let them steal your….?” You can check out a full listing of this series at the bottom of this post. You can read glory part 1 here and glory part 2 here.)
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honor. Psalm 8:3-5 NLT
Did you catch that? God crowned them with glory and honor – the psalmist is referring to us ya’ll! Do you believe those words? Are you able to believe them? Like the book of Romans says, “since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory….” (8:17). So why do we live as if this is not true? Why do we continue to live a less than life – when God’s intent for us is to live fully alive?
When my husband was a newer daddy we had a running joke that he was not allowed to hold a sleeping baby during the church service because he would nod off. This isn’t just an issue for young fathers holding new babies. Men and women decades beyond newborn babes are nodding off in the pew, literally and figuratively. We aren’t living fully alive and awake. The drone of the message, or the comfort of the atmosphere, the lack of entertainment has caused our eyelids to become heavy and our hearts to drift into a lazy sleep. We have allowed many things to keep us from walking out a vibrant life of Christ-centered faith.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sleep through life. It has taken a bit of work to get my own heart alert and intentional about life. It hasn’t been all roses, butterflies and chubby cherubs either. When you start to live awake you are going to find that people will go to lengths to discredit your life, mock your choices, remind you of where you come from and attempt to get you to sit back down in that seat. They don’t want you to make them look bad.
“It’s an awkward thing to shimmer when everyone else around you is not, to walk in your glory with an unveiled face when everyone else is veiling his” (John Eldredge, Waking the Dead).
Our glory has been lost or stolen and it is going to take a bit of effort to take it back. It takes bravery to be OK with shimmering when everyone else around you thinks you are nuts. It takes strength to stand up when others are cozy in the nest. We don’t need more discussions, sermons, surveys, committees, or contractors to help us discern- we need more courage to live ALL in.
So what does this look like for me in my own life?
This summer I went through a blog identity crisis. I’m having a crisis of words. This blog is my attempt at “truth-telling” – I write the messy parts of me, where I’ve wandered, where I may be going and what God has redeemed in the midst. This is an account of the REDEEMED of the LORD Saying SO... but my story doesn’t make me look good and it frightens some people who have walked out life beside me. My story gives you peeks of my glory – a glory that I have literally witnessed people run from. I’m not being metaphorical here I mean LITERALLY.
They can’t get away from me fast enough. They can’t wait to refute my words, blame, ridicule, mock, gather folks who support their cause and can see my “dysfunction.” Religious people who just want to be right about me – not really love me. They literally run out the door. Maybe they don’t even realize what they are running from, but God knows. They run from an unveiled face – and it hurts. I’m not trying to be self-righteous or sound prideful like, “yo look at me my face is unveiled” – what I am saying is that living unveiled is uncomfortable.
Stripping off blinders, opening eyes, praying facedown, ripping off veils has taken a lot of prayer, pruning, binding, releasing, and distance. When you start to live the real you….People are going to talk about you behind your back, they are going to point, they are going to stare and they are going to blame. They are going to take notes. They are going to discredit your feelings and your perspective in favor of a view that leaves them looking good – untouched and without fault.
They will try to smother your life with their fear. They will try to snip out your tongue to silence your voice. They will clip your wings instead of allowing you to soar. They will suck the very life from you instead of allowing the freedom that God gives. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Most of what they are reacting to isn’t even about you:
Maybe they want to squash your glory – because they are afraid of their’s.
Maybe they want to destroy your glory – because truth hurts.
Maybe they want to annihilate your glory – because they can’t face the truth of God within themselves.
Maybe they want to diminish your glory – because it makes them wonder about their own.
Facing your glory means getting real, getting soul naked, getting facedown before God and being in a posture of submission. A posture of submission and humility makes us vulnerable. And if we get naked and vulnerable and real – we might have to finally face all the ways we have stifled, grieved, castrated the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
So in the midst of a blog identity crisis I’m asking myself… Why do you let them steal your glory?
Perhaps you can relate?
A complete listing of the posts in this series: