The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world (Psalm 19).
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Romans 1).
Changing My Perspective
Scripture communicates that the heavens announce God’s glory and the skies reveal his work. Since the beginning, since the creation of the world, God’s eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen. God is continually worshipped through all creation, who bares witness to his divinity and lordship in a continual way. It will never stop. So, in it’s most overarching sense, humans are not necessary for the displaying of God’s never ending glory. His glory already emanates from the whole of his creation. We are not a hinge point in this process, the job will get done. It is already being continually accomplished.
This perspective is helpful for me. Not because it removes responsibility, but because it really helps me put the first things first and everything else after that. To try and relate to God in friendship under the pressure of work for me or else, in my experience, stifles the cultural nutrients necessary for friendship to be cultivated. If our relational connection to God begins as obligatory carriers and conveyers of God’s glory to the world around us, then there is no margin left for us to carry and communicate his glory out of creative, authentic love for Him. Obligatory pressure leads to fear or guilt based reaction to carry out procedures, rules, and laws. But there is another way.
Because of Love
We must begin with love and our natural response to that love. We must allow the reality of the manner of love the Father has bestowed on us to reorder our reality. We must allow him to come and love us, while we were still sinners, while we were [his] enemies, while all we had to offer him was our very selves. Because this truly, even now, is all we have to offer him — weakness, normalcy, brokenness.
Our unique and appropriate response
To carry his glory must become an act of love joining in as a new member of the continual orchestra of creation — our response to his love, his moving on our behalf by the pouring out of his precious blood that we might live and not die. We realize that to carry and communicate his glory is what we were made to do. We were created to emanate his glory, through every aspect of our created being — experiencing his love, we give the most natural response.
Sharing the gospel is not limited to a rehearsed speech or a five step presentation, but rather at its roots, it is the act of communicating and radiating his glory in the midst of those who have not yet known that he is glorious (as well as among those who have).
As I’ve begun working out these thoughts practically — and I have by no means worked them out to fullness — I have come back into quietness with God. This path leading me again to him. It has led me to repentance. Forgive me for doing before abiding. Forgive me for working apart from the experience of your love. Be near to me. Remind me of your worth, again. Show me your beauty, again. Bring me back to you, my first love.
Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember