This is part 6 of a study looking at the book “Anything” by Jennie Allen. Click here for an index of all the posts in this series plus other posts on the topic of Surrender.
As Jesus prepared to go to the cross, he had one desire overriding everything else- that God would be glorified. “Nothing mattered more to Jesus before he died than God showing himself through him and through us.”
It’s easy to have moments when we see God and we glimpse his glory, and know that in those moments we would do anything for him, but then to forget and become caught up in the responsibilities, pleasures or distractions of life.
Jennie Allen challenges us: “What if we wanted what God wanted most? What if we wanted, like Jesus, God’s glory above every other thing? What if the true motive of my life and my heart were to make God known for a few years on this earth?”
In John 17, Jesus prays to his Father. He has already brought God glory by making him known, and by completing the work God had given him on earth. He prays for his disciples- for protection and unity as they live in the world, but do not belong to the world. As he has been sent, now he is sending them.
And he goes on to pray for us: “for all who will ever believe in me through their message.” (John 17:20) Jesus’ time on earth was almost at an end, the disciples were about to have their time, and now this is our time, but the task is the same- glorifying God and making him known.
What if we lived for this? It will be tough. Jesus said the world would hate us because we do not belong to the world, but if we keep our focus on God’s glory we will have strength to endure, just as Jesus did. “Because of the joy set before him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” (Hebrews 12:2)
This week has changed a lot for me as I think about surrender. There was a moment where I experienced something of God’s glory and he called me into something I did not expect, something I had resisted and struggled against, something I will not share the specific details of just yet but may do in a few weeks.
Before, I had been focussed on my own desires and comfort, but instead he turned my attention to the need for people to hear about him, and the potential there is for him to use me in that, if I am willing to step out of my comfort zone.
And, after that moment, I find I am more willing that I would ever have expected to be if you had asked me a week ago. I know that following through on this decision will not be easy- it will mean sacrifice and dying to self, it will mean dealing with some scars from the past that still cause pain, it will mean opening up to other people on a deeper level and letting them in.
It is likely to lead to conflict at times. There will be people who disagree or don’t understand. It will mean surrendering some preconceptions and giving up control. It will mean stepping into something that is largely unknown.
It is not going to be easy.
But there is something about glimpsing God’s glory that makes it worthwhile. If this really is our moment, our short time on earth to play our part in God’s plan, then shouldn’t we be all-in? Shouldn’t we be willing to put aside our fears and our comfort and our selfish desires to serve him and be part of what he is doing?
This is what I want above all, and this is where my focus must be.