It could’ve been the nice day, being outside and sitting comfortably in the hammock, but I was beyond delighted with the chapter from The Pleasures of God – John Piper that I tackled today. It’s odd really, that I’m actually making myself take time to read it this slowly. The chapter was about ‘The Fame of God’ or ‘The Name of God’, however you care to phrase it. Alas to show myself up as a non-genius, I’ll admit that I’ve stolen the post title from page 101 for this. The Glory of God gone public. It’s nice, I wish I’d made it up.
“For the LORD will not cast away his people,
for his great name’s sake,
because it has pleased the LORD
to make you a people for himself.”
1 Sam 12:22
So I lay there after reading through some of this stuff about God making his name known, from creation through the Exodus story and on and on and it just got bigger and more wonderful and exciting but in a daunting kind of way.
When you start looking at how much of life should be about who God is and why, well it blows so much of the ‘this is my life and I’ll do with it what I want to’ out of reasonable living.
I’m not good at the whole typical evangelistic thing. I’m not sure many of us are. Frighteningly enough, sometimes I simply don’t get it enough to even think about bothering. When you start looking at the why – the ‘proclaiming’ just how good and true and awe blinding God is, because he is. The interplay of how life looks like as a Christian just makes a heck of a lot more sense, however you define and go about evangelism.
Why do I want to live a good life? Why do I bother loving someone? Why do go out of my way for…? Why do I want my life and actions to speak loudly? Why do I want to be conformed more and more into His likeness?
Some of it seems extremely simple. I thought I had a good grasp on it. I’ve ploughed through lots around humility and why I should change and how that fits with pride and personal ideals and yet somehow I’d missed something. I know God is as good as it gets, I know he is why I am who and what I am, yet sometimes I think I live as a Christian simply because that’s what I do. I do my best to ‘love’ God (However the heck that works) and I have a deep desire to honor/worship him, but as paradoxical (which I doubt is a word and hey it’s nearly 12:30, so probably used incorrectly even if it was a word) as it seems, I don’t think I stop to consider the why.
If you think about it, and ask the senior Sunday School question, “Why did God make us”… you’re probably best off answering it, ‘To bring glory to who God is’. (Which is an idea I’ve gleaned from somewhere, but for the life of me don’t have any references just at the moment and now that I say it, I realise that I can’t pack what I want to into one very very incomplete sentence, so maybe you should just ignore it a little or hope to guess at some of what you think I’m on about.)
So little is about us.
I thought and I thought some more and the more I thought the greater the realisation about how little really is about who we are, and who we are growing into because it’s the good Christian thing to do. How much of who we are should be in letting go of what we strive for (as good as it may be) and simply be on about glorifying Him whom we were made to glorify. God is so big!
What could be better than living our purpose?
And I’m sure there’s the other part to this, God’s profound interest in our individual lives… and I’m sure God is big enough to somehow cover it all and deeply love us in those small moments (because of who he is) and I’m sure I’ve come across this before, but it’s gold to strike it at a different angle. I also think that this is some of the reason I’ve tentatively gone out before on a limb to say that when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter so much what career (or other thing) we launch into, the finer ‘application’ details aren’t what it’s really on about – which often creates a bit of controversy, even within myself. These are partial thoughts and there is loads more to learn and to expand on,
but for His names sake hey?