If God wanted to brag about His work in your life, what would He say?
It’s not a silly question. Scripture tells us that God loves to show off. Don’t let that phrase throw you – we’re not free to show off, but God is. It’s in everyone’s best interest for the only perfect being in the universe to make His perfection known. If you’re good with that, skip the next paragraph. If it sounds weird, read on.
He shows off through creation, which declares His glory (Psalm 19:1) in the same way that a beautiful painting brings attention to the skill of the painter. He shows off through the church (Ephesians 3:10), uniting Jews and Gentiles so that His wisdom would be made known. He shows off through people like Job (1:8) about whom God said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant …?” Christ prayed along these lines in John 12:28, “Father, glorify Your name,” a fancy way of saying “Make Yourself admired.” Bottom line: God loves to reveal His excellencies, and He saved us so that we could join Him in that mission. (1 Peter 2:9)
Now it’s time to make it personal. Of all that is true of you, what would God be most likely to brag about? If He were to say to the devil “take a look at my servant (your name),” what would He point to?
I think most of us assume that God’s top priority is what we do for Him. In my case, that would mean He is looking for powerful sermons, effective mission teams, evangelistic impact, strong and compelling leadership, and an overall “big splash” in public ministry, supported of course by integrity in my family life.
My pursuit of Sabbath rest has changed that assumption. On a recent Sabbath hike (the pictures are from that hike), it dawned on me that my ability to go for a walk with Him is more than enough, all by itself, to make Him look good. I could picture Him saying to Satan, “Have you seen my servant Mike? As a rebel, he deserved nothing but My judgment. But I loved him, died in his place, freed him, made him My child, changed him, and gave him a heart that delights in taking walks with Me. My fingerprints are all over him. He is doing what I created him for – and you can’t do a thing about it!”
I realized that day that even if I never preached another sermon, never brought someone to a new trust in Christ, never sent out a mission team or visited another country, I could bring glory to God simply by continuing to develop and delight in the relationship that He made possible. That’s what He created me for.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m still going to work hard, and will try to do all those other things as long as He allows it. There’s no monastery in my future. But my work for Him is now icing on the cake, not the whole cake. He is glorified when I rest in Him, walk with Him, and enjoy Him. That intimate relationship is a new priority for me. I love that, and I love the freedom and perspective that it brings me.
God loves to show off. I sure hope He is showing off about my walk with Him – and His walks with me.