We will not and cannot drift into intimacy with God!
Most of the time when we talk or write about the glory of man, it is in a weak, temporal or negative sense and rightly so. Here are some examples.
“Surely men of low degree are a vapor, men of high degree are a lie; if they are weighed on the scales, they are altogether lighter than vapor,” (Psalm 62:9).
“As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes,” (Psalm 103:15).
“The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever,” (Isaiah 40:7,8).
“But the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits,” (James 1:10,11).
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us,” (II Corinthians 4:7).
It’s easy to see we are mostly grass, vapor, clay pots. However, man does have a glory that no other of God’s creatures possesses. In fact, it is his greatest and most powerful ability. It is the ability to engage God in conversation, worship, and relationship. Of course, that relationship was broken at the fall of Adam but was reconciled through the finished work of Jesus, the second Adam. Therefore, because man is created in the image of God (mind, emotions, will) through Christ, he is able to engage God through the fellowship of Christ (I Corinthians 1:9). He has made us accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6) and has made us alive together with Christ, –and raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5,6). He not only created us in His image (Genesis 1:26), but also brought us close to join His love and oneness and glory!
While the outer man is compared to grass and vapor and clay, the inner man is offered a permanent, glorious seat in the heavenlies. He then invites us to come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain the mercy, grace, and help we need in the time we need it (Hebrews 4:16).
This whole study began when I noticed these words in Psalm 57:8, “Awake, my glory!” As you can imagine, David was running from Saul, hiding in a cave, pouring out his heart to God. In this cry to himself, David was sounding an alarm to his inner man to rise-up and engage God in this difficult and oppressive situation! There is a glory of man, but it must be engaged by choice. We will not and cannot drift into intimacy with God!
He follows his statement with “Awake, lute and harp!” which has the idea of waking up our song. Then he says, “I will awaken the dawn.” He cannot wait until morning to praise the Lord for all His blessings.
The words “my glory” also appear in Psalm 16:9.
“Starting back at verse 7, the psalmist referred to his core of being as literally ‘my kidneys,’ then ‘my heart,’ now ‘my glory,’ and next ‘my flesh’ and ‘my soul.’ These terms stand for the whole person, so it’s best to consider ‘my glory’ as referring to that distinctive way in which man is created in the image of God, i.e. his intelligence and ability to speak,” (MacArthur Study Bible)
So, my question is: Why don’t we take advantage of this wonderful “glory gift” more? It is at the center of man’s deepest longing yet is mostly replaced by the cheap substitute of instant gratification. Even those of us who are qualified to engage this ability fully do not as often as we should.
Awake your glory!
Awake your song!
Awake your day!
Joe Humrichous is the executive director of Paradigm One and Bible Prayer Fellowship. The message of the sufficiency of Christ for both the pastor and the local church was birthed during a time of brokenness in his early ministry. Now after 50 years in ministry, Joe is passionate to share this reality as it applies to corporate prayer and church leadership. He recently served as a pastor at First Baptist Church in Covington, Indiana. He and his wife Teresa have 5 children and 13 grandchildren.