By Bruce Green
I’m convinced that when we see God one day, we will be absolutely and utterly overwhelmed by His glory. It will be like nothing we have ever seen or imagined. There are plenty of texts that nudge us in this direction: Moses request to see God’s glory (Exodus 33), Isaiah’s vision of God in the temple (Isaiah 6), the transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17) and others like these. If that is the case, shouldn’t we learn from Moses and do our best to see God’s glory (to whatever extent we can perceive and understand it) now? I have to believe that it would make a huge difference in our lives.
What I am especially after here is developing the thought John the Baptist expressed when (speaking of Jesus) he told his disciples that, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). In the context, he was addressing their concern about Jesus’ increasing popularity. It’s not hard to see their insecurities leaching through and their alarm at John’s relative passivity in regard to his “competition.” Of course, John didn’t see it that way. He acknowledged God’s activity in the ministry of Christ (v. 27), how he had testified to them of Jesus’ coming (v. 28) and how now that the bride (Israel) and the bridegroom (Jesus) were together (see 1:31), his job as a friend of the bridegroom was done and he was full of joy. To this he adds, “He must become greater; I must become less.”
Even the best of disciples can become preoccupied with self. (It’s sort of what we do as humans). Moses had a bad case of it—think of the excuses he made to God in Exodus 4-6. Peter certainly fell into it at times as did the rest of the disciples. The simple and obvious answer to this problem is to stop focusing so much on ourselves. However, that is only a partial solution that may or may not be healthy depending of what we chose to focus on in place of ourselves. Our culture provides lots of unhealthy black holes that can swallow huge amounts of our time, energy and focus (social media, sports, binge-watching, etc.). We may no longer be directly focused on self, but we haven’t necessarily found something better.
However, when we turn our focus upon God and His glory, healthy things happen. As we ponder and celebrate His wonder and majesty, we naturally become smaller. We shrink in lots of ways: we don’t need as much attention (from ourselves or from others), our problems become less significant and our anxieties lessen. We begin to see ourselves in a healthier, truer perspective. As He becomes bigger, we become better.
Of course, none of this is an accident. To see God in His glory is like turning on the lights in a dark room. All the vague, confusing outlines and shapes are suddenly seen with great clarity.
When Jesus was giving His disciples a model for prayer, He instructed them to begin with, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). To hallow God’s name is to honor and revere God. It is to recognize His glory and majesty. Good things will happen in our prayers and in our lives as we do this. We’ll lose and then find ourselves in the glory of God.
Bruce has written a book on the model pray called Praying in the Reign. It is available through 21st Century Christian.