Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wielding Shamrock Shakes for the Glory of God

1 Corinthians 10:31
“Whether, therefore, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

“To the glory of God” or “magnify God” simply means “to make God look big…to make God look more like He really is.” The goal of my life, both in the sight of others and myself, is to make God look more like He really is. In my life, where before God was simply a passing thought, a tiny speck in my consciousness, I want to see Him as He is—more loving, more holy, more kind, more sovereign, more good, more just, more merciful, more faithful. I want to infuse this consciousness into the lives of others as well.

I’m finding that the things in life that I thought would bring me joy do not bring me joy. Shopping, sex, chocolate, money and television cannot satisfy me. Of course, this is true because these things are not God. When I worship them as God (love them, give my time and affections to them, desire them, sacrifice for them), I find them lacking. They cannot meet my needs. They are not ultimate things. I find myself saying with David in Psalm 73:25, “…there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” In my times of suffering and joy, I cling to the One who will satisfy me eternally. “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” (Psalm 3:3)

So then, what am I to do with shopping, sex, chocolate, money and television? Am I to despise these things? Am I to feel guilty when participating in these things? Am I to make rules for myself against these things? No. I am to wield these things in my fight for joy in God. I am to recognize that these things are good gifts from my good God. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:17-18) I am to worship the creator, not the created thing. “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:24-25) When God gives me good things I am to enjoy the thing because I enjoy the creator. While eating a McDonalds shamrock shake (which I know does not ultimately satisfy) I say, “Oh, God, You are so good to give me this delicious food!” While enjoying a sunset, I think, “What a marvelous God you are to have created such beauty!” While having sex with my husband, I wonder, “What a God you are to have planned for this intimate part of marriage?! You truly are a God whose thoughts are far above my thoughts!” This is how I fulfill the command of 1 Corinthians 10:31 to make God look big in EVERY area of my life. The minute I start to find my joy in these things and not in God, I have stopped bringing glory to God. But as I find my contentment in Him, these things can be enjoyed in the way that He created them to be enjoyed.

(I give John Piper the credit for most of these thoughts, but this is how it has “connected” for me.)

No comments: