To God Be the Glory!
To God Be the Glory!
by Lonnie Lane
I remember hearing that God can do great things with a person who doesn’t care who gets the credit. What would you say if God asked you, “Do you care who gets the credit?” We’d say, “No, Lord. The credit and the glory goes to You.” But what if someone else gets the credit for something you did? Or what if someone else is chosen when you’re not? Or what if no one ever notices you and what you have done? Will it be enough for you that God knows? I’m sure we’d all like to say, “Yes, Lord.” I remember hearing a story about Billy Graham, that he keeps on his desk a plaque that says, “Touch not the glory.” Yes, Lord, it belongs only to You.
Did you ever notice that periodically there seems to be a theme in what God is teaching you during a given season in your life? Well, there seems to be this issue for me recently, the issue of God receiving all the glory. One where “because of your good deeds, as (people) observe them, (they) glorify God” and not you (1 Peter 2:12). It’s related to my …uh, shall I say, concern as to whether we’re really in the end times. If we’re not, we sure seem to be living in times that increasingly look like it. Predictions abound, prophecies persist and preparations for difficult times permeate various sites on the Internet. Certain TV commentators are doing their commenting on how things are changing in America. When things change, some like what’s happening, others don’t, unless it comes to a place where no one likes it. Then someone gets blamed, though rarely are they the ones at fault.
But what about the Kingdom of God in the midst of change or difficult times? Many would say that the Kingdom is unaffected by what goes on in the world, that it doesn’t respond to nor is it affected by the world’s events. But I’m not sure I entirely agree with that. Oh, surely the world doesn’t dictate policy to the Kingdom of God and most assuredly the Kingdom does not bow to the world’s ways. For satan is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4) and he has no influence on God or His Kingdom. But we who are God’s live in the world even if we are not of the world and we still have to deal with worldly matters. What I do believe is that in times of trouble those who are truly God’s will rally to be agents of change and lights in the darkness. The Great Awakening was a revival that came in the midst of terrible moral decline in America and in England in particular. But the Kingdom made itself known and so impacted both nations so as to rescue them and turn them around so that millions were saved and society as a whole benefited greatly. (For more, see: Revival and the Destiny of America.) This was accomplished by humble and obedient saints. The world boasts, but we of God’s Kingdom know only He is worthy and our boasting is in the Lord.
Every period in history has had its spiritual heroes and heroines, but they are not always known. Heaven knows, but here on earth they may go unnoticed. They may not get any credit in this life, but oh, how much better to receive the reward from the Lord of hearing from His lips as He looks into your eyes, “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matt 25:23). I long to hear those words from Him more than any reward here in this life. I’m sure I’m one of very many of you who share this desire.
Some of my prayer questions are asking God what does He want to say through these articles to you folks who read them. (He speaks to me through them as well so in that sense I’m also a reader.) What does He wish to say that will address what we need to hear at this time? It’s not that He gives me the definitive word for the day. Mine is but a very small part, but a part nonetheless. The present theme (or maybe it’s always this theme) seems to be one of humility, of deferred gratification, of being satisfied with God’s approval, and with desiring that He receive all the honor and glory. And it is one of love which extends to not participating in the lovelessness should we find ourselves in the time when “the love of most will grow cold,” (Matt 24:12), as Yeshua prophesied it would in the end times. Not that this hasn’t happened at various times in history. It has. So it could happen again, end time or not. The concern on my heart is how are we who are Born Again, Spirit-filled Believers in Yeshua going to live in this world and not be of it in times of increasing immorality and what may be increased violence? It seems that to be immune to becoming fearful or vulnerable to those same spirits, we would do well to immerse ourselves in the love and sufficiency of God now.
When Yeshua prayed to His Father just before He gave His life for us His friends, He prayed, “I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). The love of God is within us, both to love us as Abba loved Yeshua and also that we might love as He loves. We can stay secure in His love for us and extend His love to others. No matter what! We are “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph 1:6 KJV) which means “in Yeshua” who is also our Beloved. Yeshua told us, “Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). With all that faced Him, of what He was to endure, He was able to take one day at a time and not worry about tomorrow’s trouble. He rested in Abba’s love and care for Him each day. He knew He would be given the grace to go through even such a horrible time as was ahead for Him when the time came. As difficult as it was (and we cannot even imagine what He experienced) without the grace of His Father He could not have made it through. But He did, and so will we by God’s great grace, should we be called upon to go through hard times. With God living within us by His Spirit, His Life within us is sufficient for all we will need, both for our own lives and to be God’s instruments to give hope and wisdom to others. History weaves a tapestry of good times and harder times, but always God’s people make a difference.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture is found woven through some very difficult passages in the middle of a prophecy about the end times and the anti-Christ as recorded by Daniel. He is being given the vision by “a certain man dressed in linen whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold…His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult (margin, roaring).” If this is not the pre-incarnate Lord of Lords and King of Kings coming to Daniel, then whatever angelic being he is, he surely carries God’s authority and His glory.
Daniel falls on his face as if in a dead sleep at the sound of his words. He says to Daniel after touching him to enable him to endure the power of his presence and hear what he’s saying, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard…. Now I have come to give you understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days (margin, end of the days)” (Daniel 10:5,6,12,14). He goes on to speak to Daniel many words (chapters 10-12) and in the midst of it he tells Daniel of the anti-Christ: “By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but (and here’s the part I love) the people who know their God will display strength and take action. And those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many…. At that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued…. And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (11:32, 33a; 12:1, 2). He draws toward the end of the prophecy by adding, “those who have insight will understand” (12:10).
As I finished writing this, a word from the Lord came to me. I offer it to you here.
“Those of you who read this are hearing what I told Daniel many years ago for the times in which you now live. You have been chosen for such a time as this. You were not born in this time by accident or caprice, but I have very deliberately created you for these days. You are anointed for these days. That which has been your greatest weaknesses shall become your greatest strengths for where you are weak I will be strong in you and you will know that it is I who do the work through you. It is true that the Kingdom of God responds to what is taking place in the earth in that there is a greater impartation of Kingdom power and Kingdom wisdom and insight when it is needed. I have said that in a time of great darkness there would be a great light upon My people and so in this there is a greater number of angels working among you than when the need is not as great. There are angels of different spheres of influence and they bring the light of the Kingdom as it is needed. While it is true that there will be suffering and lack, My people need not fear. Fear is of the world and the devil. Put not your faith in lack or powerlessness. Do not be as those who do not understand. For you do understand that I am dealing with evil in an ultimate sense and will overcome it entirely. I am putting an end to the power of evil by letting it run its course. Evil may look like all is out of control, but My hand is firmly upon My people to do good unto them in the end and to see them through.
“Now is a time to prepare your hearts to trust in Me. Now is a time to put aside your distractions and doubts. Now settle any issues between you and Me. Put aside your petty resentments where you may still hold on to them or they will turn against you. You cannot be immune from a spirit of anger and violence if you are harboring any resentment or bitterness toward anyone or even against Me for what you think is unfair. Humility is your greatest armor and forgiveness your greatest defense against the accusations of the enemy. Remember he is the accuser of the brethren. It is the brethren, that is the Believers, whom he wishes to accuse most.
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. (1 Peter 3:12). Worship and praise will protect you and you will find that you are able to rejoice when the rest of the world is in turmoil. It is my grace that will enable you to live above what goes on around you in the world. For the Kingdom will become more real to you than you have ever known it to be. The Kingdom draws closer to you as the days draw nearer. Spiritual reality will overpower the troubles of the world and you will rejoice in My presence for I am with you. You are safe in My hand. No one can pluck you out. I have ordained you in this time according to My purposes.”
He showed me that He has for us greater things than we would ever have expected. Things that you may have feared or even fear now will turn out to be the greatest source of blessings and wisdom in your life as you look to the Lord for His insight and understanding. He will impart it to us instance by instance. He will give us the wisdom that we need as we need it. Come to Him for it. Never think that the wisdom is resident within you or of yourself. Without Him we would be as those who do not know the Lord. It is His grace upon His people that will keep us in His ways.
“As Adam was good until he sinned, so you can be “good” and pure and holy if you refuse the lies and insinuations and instigations of the enemy of your souls. Beware of being instigated to retaliate or justify yourselves or even to try to bring about what you think is justice by your own hand. Vindication is Mine, says the Lord. Justice is My purview, just as righteousness is Mine, says the Lord.”
When I received this words from the Lord I did not know what the word “purview” meant. I didn’t recall having ever heard the word before. I had to look it up. It means the range or limit of authority, responsibility, concern or intention. Justice, then, even ultimate justice, is His purview indeed.
We cannot hear a “voice” or a “tone of voice” in words on a page generally. May I suggest that if you didn’t “hear” the Lord’s love for you personally in the words I believe came from Him, please go back and reread them “hearing” His tenderness and care for you. May they aid in giving you understanding and insight. For He has allowed us to know the truth of what’s happening in the world. God is restoring the earth so that His Kingdom is established, so that Yeshua reigns as King and “the whole earth is filled with His glory” (Ps. 72:19). On the Kingdom side, it is always victory, and we are of His Kingdom. To that we say, Amen. Kol ha kavode l’Adonai. All of the glory to God!
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2009.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.