It's odd how we claim so many promises from the bible about our own blessings. The first one that comes to mind is how He would "open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing" Malachi. 3:10. We claim healing, we claim prosperity, we claim strength, we claim wisdom, we claim FOG even ("Favor of God") in our relationships and dealings with people we want to do things for us.
In my many years of church-going I've also learned that at the end of all those requests, you're supposed to state that God would do all these things so "HE" would be glorified. Because it's certainly not about us wanting more things, an easier go of it, or anything like that right? Yeah, it's not about us. Really. We just want God to be glorified by doing nice things for us. That's certainly the only reason I would ask. Really. -- Have I dripped enough sarcasm onto these sentences yet?
The other day, my brother had gone to the library and come back with some videos with the intent of making his children watch them thus gaining substance, and slight education over this education-less summer break. That evening, they sat at the kitchen table and were asked to tell us what happened in the movie.
The first story, was about a man named William Tyndale. You may have heard of this famous name if you happen to own a Bible. Well, according to our brief book report Mr. Tyndale translated the Bible into the English language, but the church didn't like it, and the king didn't like it, and they found out he did it so they burned him.
The second story, was about a man named Jim Elliot. If you're not a reader or you just haven't read "Through Gates of Splendor" by his wife Elisabeth Elliot, perhaps you've seen the movie version called "End of the Spear". The kids watched a short animated version, and according to our mini book reporters Jim (or Sam as he was accidentally called) went to preach to the Mexican people, and they didn't like him because he had weapons and so they killed him.
That one report is a little less than accurate - you can click on the names to get the fuller, far more interesting stories of these two men - but the one thing that stuck with me through the two recitals was - both stories ended the exact same way. Both men were killed.
While we're praying God will bless us, (while we do little to nothing to further His Kingdom except for the "letting our Godly lives speak for Him") these men took on specific missions from God and if I compared myself with either one of them, I'm pretty sure between the two of us they are the ones that deserve the blessings. Or one might imagine they could gain at least the blessing of protection so they don't get killed doing what God has sent them to do.
But no, God was glorified in their work, in their lives, and even in their deaths. God uses glory, and takes glory from situations that we would least expect Him to. That - THAT is the glory that is really about God and not us.
Our lives are meant to glorify God, to be in a blessed relationship with Him that brings Him glory. But those blessings are rarely blessings of prosperity, except in the fact that we have ALL things of Christ at our disposal and so because of that our every need is supplied.
We Christians tend to get cranky when our needs aren't met but it's typically because we spent our "need" money on other things, we spent our "need" health on other hobbies. We spend our "needs" on "wants" and then wait for God to bless again for the need. I think God sometimes just wants to get our attention concerning how little we really need.
But our blessings still run deep and pure, and in over abundance. And perhaps we'll all see that when we begin to try and see things Gods way, rather than according to our flesh.
God is good.
William Tyndale knew God was good even as he was tied to the stake.
Jim Elliot knew God was good even as he was murdered by the Auca Indians.
Perhaps we can find it in ourselves to know God is good even if we don't have a new car.