Giving God the Glory; November 21, 2017

Psalm 115:1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.

This Psalmist had his head on straight! Human beings tend to be “glory hounds,” seeking credit not only for what they’ve done but even for things they haven’t done, but this Psalmist wants to get that straight right from the beginning. He writes various important truths about the sovereignty of God and the futility of idolatry, but he starts with this, and that shows where his focus very rightly is. We tend to think that when God blesses us it’s because we are so wonderful, when actually God blesses us in spite of ourselves. His love (the Japanese says “grace”) and faithfulness are magnificent indeed, but they are His, and we can take no credit for them. The better we have that straight, the more available we are for God to pour His blessings through us. God told Isaiah, “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” (Isaiah 42:8) When we try to take credit for what God does, we are on dangerous ground indeed.

I have done far too much boasting over the years, at times even trying to get glory out of poor performance, so the Lord has had to drive this point home to me. He has blessed me with various abilities, but every one of them comes from Him and I am responsible for my stewardship of them. When He enables me to do something well, I must recognize that is what has happened and give Him thanks and praise. I am not to practice false humility and pretend that whatever it was wasn’t good, but I am to direct the praise to God who enabled it. Right now He has us on a major project with a lot of potential, so I’ve got to be very careful I don’t derail things by trying to take credit for them. I do need to apply myself fully to each task involved, but remember that it is His power that works through me, and not my own. (1 Corinthians 15:10) Likewise, I am not to resent anything He calls on me to do, but do each thing faithfully unto Him, regardless of who might be the direct recipient of my efforts. I need to pray this verse sincerely and consistently, to that I won’t get in the way of what God wants to do through me.

Father, thank You for the lessons You gave me in this area just yesterday. Thank You for Cathy insisting I do something I didn’t feel like doing, but which obviously was Your idea once I’d done it. Thank You for enabling me to choose joy in doing something else I initially resented. Help me do that consistently, particularly throughout this busy season, so that I won’t allow the devil to steal any blessings You intend for me or for those around me. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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