“Don’t you want heavenly glory to settle all over your little life?” I was dumbstruck by this question from the author of a book I am re-reading. It was just one sentence among so many but it was as though it jumped out of the page and caught me unaware. Since it was just me and God in that moment, I had to be honest that I didn’t know how to respond. Yes, of course, is the expected answer but I had to spend some time digesting the question it seemed the Spirit of God had asked and was now waiting for my honest answer.
Let’s go back just a bit. I was reading a book entitled “Deeper” by Dane Ortlund. He was writing about how pain is a necessary ingredient to growth. Not a surprise to me or you how suffering plays a significant role in knowing and following Jesus. Yet, this question of glory and the fact I hesitated on answering, needed to be explored.
I began with the end of the question where he referred to my life as a “little life”. Quickly, I resolved it was true. My life, which I spend so much time worrying about and striving to live well, is a “little life”. Being familiar with humility when it hits home, I recognized the truth about the smallness of the life I am currently living. It may be a big world but my world is amazingly small and deserving of little glory.
Secondly, I asked what “glory” really means. Every time I step onto a pickleball court, I am thinking of glory. I want to have fun and get lost in the game, but I want to play in such a way that I am noticed. I want to hit shots that others may notice, or at least I am so pleased with that I will tell Brenda all about it when I get home! Just as I am familiar with humility, I am also wise enough to know this type of glory-seeking in my little life is not a good thing, nor what the question is asking about. Glory that makes me look bigger to others is not the glory I want to settle all over me.
The glory that I most desire must come from outside me. It must come from God. Glory reflects who God is in all the ways He has revealed Himself to us. Glory comes from heaven and rests on us. This is good glory, not bad self-seeking glory rooted in what others think of me. I know enough to know this comes to me in Jesus and immediately reflects back on Him.
Glory reflects who God is in all the ways He has revealed Himself to us.
Why wouldn’t I immediately say yes to the question? I am not sure, but I suspected it has something to do with the pain and suffering connected to glory. 1 Peter 4:14 says, “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of Glory and of God rests upon you.” I know we wait for our glory to be revealed when Jesus comes but this is right now. It is while I live this little life that the Spirit works in me. And He works through pain. I know we know Jesus better when we share in His sufferings. But this question pushed me towards an answer I still hesitated to answer.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of Glory and of God rests upon you.
I have suffered in this little life and fully expect to suffer more. I want Christ to be glorified in my sufferings but I am not sure I want more pain. If blessing and glory are manifested in this little life right now by the Spirit, then pain and suffering are headed my way. I am afraid of more pain. This fear is at the root of my hesitation on wanting glory to settle on me.
As I walked through my answer, I felt as though the Spirit was waiting for me to answer honestly from my deepest heart center. In the end, an honest desire began to sprout as a seedling breaks through the dirt for the first time. I desire glory to settle on my little life, more than I desire to live in fear of more pain and suffering. Even this desire was birthed by the Spirit, not my flesh. Paul says to the church in 2 Corinthians 4:16-17, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being revealed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond comparison.”