Thursday, 16 July 2009

Glory Junkies

24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.'
Acts 17

In some way, every one of us is a “glory junkie”. There is within each of us a deep desire for something better, something glorious. The sports fan longs for his team to win the play-offs. The Father wants his children to excel at something. The Mother wants to be told what great kids she has. The ambitious politician seeks status and recognition. The business man strives for fat profits. Each great deal struck along the way becomes a foretaste of the ‘glory’ to come. The American Idol wannabe longs for fame and adulation. The adrenaline junkie dreams of his next big ‘rush’.

Even in ordinary, everyday life, the party or leisure trip planned for the weekend is awaited eagerly, the vacation / new car / new gadget cannot arrive soon enough. We desperately need something to bring meaning and hope to our lives. Yet the disappointment that follows isn’t far behind. The excitement wears off and the next ‘project’ enters onto the drawing board. We spend hours dreaming and planning how the next piece of ‘glory’ will be better.

If only ... then life would be better.
If only ... then I would be happy.
If only ... then I would really have ‘arrived’.
If only ... then people will like me.
You fill in the blanks. We all do it.

Our dreams rarely come true yet even when they do we soon move to the next dream because they never really satisfy the deep longings within.

It is no surprise really, we were made for glory. But that glory will never be found in ourselves, our friends and family, our jobs, our possessions, our vacations or even what others think of us. That glory can only be found in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. God incarnate. Even after a tiny glimpse of His glory we are never the same again. When we have “seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) all other ‘glories’ lose their appeal. Sure, we may be tempted back occasionally. Indeed, except for the grace of God we are like a sow washed clean who returns to wallow in the dirt (2 Peter 2:22). Yet the appeal of the things of this world has been broken. They’ve lost their sheen compared to the glory of God.

All because the only One who is spotless took all our ‘dirt’ on Himself so that God could declare us clean. Jesus set aside His glory and endured the cross so that we could enter in to that glory. All the obstacles have been removed. Now, He says, you can find me and I will welcome you. The glory you long for is found only in me. Seek me. Why spend your efforts on what does not satisfy? Seek my glory and your soul will be satisfied with the richest of fare (Ps. 63).

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