Isaiah 40: 3-5 “The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”. Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to make that highway for God in my life. Can He find the nature of His Son living through me?
Haggai 2: 7-9 “And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts…………The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the Lord of hosts, and in this place will I give peace…….” The house is the many membered Body of Christ…the lively stones, prepared in God’s quarry of circumstances in order that we may be fitly framed together in God’s final plan. In this quarry of preparation we learn to face challenges and difficulties, seeing God in everything, confident and assured that the plans God has for our lives are firstly for His purposes, for His glory. As we walk in humility in all these trials we receive His blessing in every situation, secure in the Shaker.
What is this preparation the Isaiah scripture speaks of? It is the work that God is doing in each of us through circumstance and relationships to bear this tremendous power, presence and glory of God, refusing all credit for it and attributing it to God alone, not to you, me or any man.
Isaiah 42:8 declares that “ God will not give His glory to another“. In John 17:22 Jesus declares while praying to His Father: “And the glory you gave Me, I have given them….”, speaking of His disciples. The apparent contradiction reveals I need further revelation: The Isaiah text speaking about the “glory” God will not give to another, is the credit and honour that is due to His holy name and character. The “glory” that Jesus spoke of in John 17:22 is the awareness of His power, presence and anointing which He has given us to fulfil His call on our lives – the Shekinah glory. The Shekinah glory will not be my experience unless the former, “My glory will I not give to another”, is the foundation of my believing. God’s power is for the extension of His kingdom for the glory of God. If He cannot trust me to credit Himself for the power, enablement and enduement, then His glory is not safe in my hands. I must learn to bear it, to His glory. In actuality His glory, or credit due, is quite safe because it never leaves His hand. “Thine IS the kingdom, Thine IS the power, Thine IS the glory, forever. Amen”, Matthew 6:13. What I am guilty of is attempting to rob God of His glory in my heart, seeking the credit and the praise of men for myself. When God anoints a man it is for His divine purpose and plan to extend His kingdom, not to elevate the man, but man must learn to bear that anointing to the glory of God.
It is a dangerous place to put honour on a man being blessed of God. There are no wonderful men, only men used as a conveyancing vessel by a wonderful God. To God be all the glory. We were only meant to be an open channel to be used of God. Romans 11:36 “For OF Him, and THROUGH Him, and TO Him are ALL things, to whom be glory forever, Amen”.
God has put a safeguard around His glory to protect us. Satan attempted to steal God’s glory and was banished from heaven for it, (Isaiah 14: 12-15). God is not an unstable tyrant in His jealousy for His glory, He is our loving, heavenly Father. Many a man at the height of blessing has thought it was something to do with his own person and character, has taken the credit to himself thus touching the glory, and has fallen from grace. God removed the anointing in His safeguarding policy. But……there is always a way back to restoration if we repent and walk in humility where the Holy Spirit directs. The Lord Jesus can make our crooked paths straight again, Isaiah 40:4 can be our personal testimony to the glory of God.
Learning to recognise I cannot do anything unless God enables me is a lesson I must learn. Jesus, our Pattern Man, declared “I can of mine own self do nothing”, John 5: 30, but then He did everything, healing the sick, raising the dead, many miracles – but ALL through the power of Another, His Father. Jesus refused to take the credit/glory to Himself, declaring, “It is the Father IN Me, He does the works”. The Father’s glory was safe in His hands. How safe are my hands? Am I learning to bear all things to God’s glory?…..or do I still seek the praise of men for myself, my contributions, recognition in whatever form, the gifts God has graced me with? It is right to give honour and thanks where it is due to people, but it is wrong for the person to take that credit to themselves. God gives the ability, equipping and enabling power and it is required of us to give God all the credit for it. The apostle Paul declared “What do you have that you did not first receive? And if you received it, how can you glory in it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).
Whilst ever we cling to the smallest semblance of self, we limit God’s work of preparation in our lives. Have I learnt to be happy with “nothing” while observing others being blessed, and rejoicing for, and with, them?
God has called and equipped us with the nature of His Son to live, and move, and have our being in, for His purposes. Our lives are not our own to please ourselves, we belong to Another. The sceptre we have held in hard and selfish grasp, pride, we must lay it down, give it up, relinquish. 1 Corinthians 3: 11-16 declares how the house should be built. We are God’s house. Wood, hay and stubble will not stand, or be acceptable, as building materials on the foundation of God’s house, the Cross. Only the lively stones, representing silver and gold, those things deemed precious to God, the character of His beloved Son, will be used to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ. To God be the glory, forever, Amen.