Competing with God for His Glory

“If we insist on being achievers, seeking God so that others might admire our faith, our commitment, or our dedication, we become God’s competitors, trying to steal some of His glory.” (Gary Thomas, Thirsting for God, eBook loc. 272)

I doubt I rarely, if ever, do anything from a pure motive.  As a pastor I want to promote Christ in my ministry, but sometimes there slips in an element of self promotion.

This is one more reason, a personal reason, why I must preach a message of grace.  God chooses to love me and use me in spite of my mixed motives in ministry!

Defining Our Calling

Henry Drummond wrote, “The end of life is to do God’s will. . . . That is the object of your life and mine – to do God’s will. It is not to be happy or to be successful, or famous, or to do the best we can. . . . It is something far higher than this – to do God’s will.”

Most of us won’t be called to live in a way that’s larger than life, in exciting places, doing exciting things. Drummond wrote, “We are neither intended to be apostles nor missionaries nor martyrs, but to be common people living in common houses, spending the day in common offices or common kitchens, yet doing the will of God there, we shall do as much as apostle or missionary or martyr – seeing that they can do no more than do God’s will where they are, even as we can do as much where we are – and answer the end of our life as truly, faithfully and triumphantly as they.”

He went on to say that a healthy Christian life “is not defined by how happy we are, by how prosperous or healthy we are, or even by how many people we have led to the Lord in the last year. Christian health is ultimately defined by how sincerely we wave our flag of surrender, how earnestly we want to do and be exactly what God wants us to do and be.” (quoted in Thirsting for God, Bary Thomas, ebook – loc – 1748 & following, by Gary Thomas)

Our Heart Needs Work

Gary Thomas, in his book Thirsting for God (eBook, loc 2879), quotes Brother Giles.

“If a man were to live a thousand years and not have anything to do outside himself, he would have enough to do within, in his own heart, nor would he be able to bring the work to perfect completion – he would have so much to do only within, in his own heart!”

Cited in Brother Ugolino di Santa Maria, The Little Flowers of Saint Francis, trans. By Raphael Brown (New York: Image Books, 1958), p. 283