Sunday, February 19, 2012

To Make Him Heavy

"Does your life make others desire God?"  Meant for the Converse and skinny-jean wearing teenagers, it was a question posed by the man who pastors the youth of our church--my eldest included.  But God meant it for me.  At first listen, the seven words were not unique, not something I couldn't have read in some learn-how-to-be-a-better-Christian kind of book.  But, The Still, Small Voice repeated them, droned them over and over, until my soul ached with their sound.
Does MY life make others desire God?
Does it?
And when honesty finally out-wrestled pride, I could admit the truth:  probably not. At least not all the time. I'm too busy, too quick tempered, too impatient, too proud.  Paul complained of one thorn in the flesh, and surely, when God fashioned me, he rolled me out first in some blackberry patch with a thousand thorns.  And though I know I am indeed a new creature, with a new heart, those thorns prick still.
Does my life make others desire God?
Isaiah told us why we were created:  for God's glory. (Isaiah 43:7)
For HIS glory.
God--the great artist's--intent when He molded this frame that would stretch and grow to 68 inches high with brown eyes, brown hair, and a cackle for a laugh, was singular. I am made for His glory, that's it.  But that word, glory, has always bugged me.  People throw it around too much--give the glory to God, honor and glorify God--and I'm left feeling the meaning is like weak depression tea. 
The Hebrew root word surprised me, confused me a bit at first.  A verb, its root means to make heavy.  To make heavy.
Other times in scripture, the same word is translated splendor or precious, and I think of gold.  Gold is heavy.  The more pure it is, the more dense it is, and the heavier it is.  That's what makes it precious--it's purity.  And that too, is what makes it heavy.  And this same root goes with my purpose--to glorify God--to make Him heavy. 
Earthly air stung my lungs some thirty-five years ago for a single reason--to make God heavy.  Somehow, I think I understand that.  When weight is placed on my value, I am to see that value's source and return it there. God.  Making Him the heavy one.  Making me light and Him heavy.  James knew where to place the weight of things when he wrote, "Every good and perfect gift is from above..." (James 1:17) All that is good, then, about me, came from the hands of a good and perfect God.  This must be the way to bring glory to Him--recognizing Him as the source, the giver of all that is good.
Paul himself counseled the Romans with these words,"  For by the grace given (It is all given, isn't it?  Even grace.) to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith."  (Romans 12:3)  God distributes.  I just receive.
Somewhere, though, deeply rooted in North American culture, there is this sense that we are self-made men and women.  If we work hard.  If we study hard.  If we try hard.  We can do anything.  We.  But there are those words in John and Philippians--apart from ME you can do nothing, and WITH GOD all things are possible. 
In his book, Radical, David Platt adds, "God delights in using ordinary Christians who come to the end of themselves and choose to trust in his extraordinary provision.  He stands ready to allocate his power to all who are radically dependent on him and radically devoted to making much of him."
Making much of him.  Making him heavy.  But when I think of placing the weight on God, I see I'm dancing near a precipice--a cliff, that stepping off of, may prove the greatest abandoning of my personal ambitions I've ever known.  What of His desires?  Do I place more weight on them, than my own?  Because let's just be honest, most of us are more interested in picket fences than going to Africa to share His love.  And there are the haunting words of James, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  And just how much weight will I place on God's clearly displayed heart?  Love your neighbor.  Turn the other cheek.  Give him your cloak.  Forgive seventy times seven.  Present your bodies as a sacrifice--alive, holy and pleasing.  God, grant me strength, grant me courage to trust that stepping from this precipice is not a foolish free fall, but a forage of faith.
 If I am about this business--if this is the motivation behind my living, then how could anyone not desire God?  Not because of something they see in me, but because in everything about me, there is God.  God is the forgiver and healer of the thorny places.  And there are many.  But look!  God's mercy is greater than those places.  He is the source of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  When they are evident in my life, they come from Him.  And when they are absent, forgiveness comes from Him.  Much of him, less of me.  John said it too, "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30)
In America, we are obsessed with losing weight, but what of losing spiritual weight and placing it all--the good and the bad--on God?  This, I believe is the key to a life that somehow, despite our humanity, causes people to say, "If it is God she has, I want Him."
Does my life cause people to desire God?
The answer lies in where I place the weight of my life.

Pray with me:
Father, teach me to make much of You.  Teach me to place the weight of my life on You.  When people see me, Father, let me just be an arrow that points to He Who is ALL, He Who is Good, He Who is Strong, He Who is Able, He Who Heals, He Who is LOVE, He Who is Enough, He Who is God.  Amen.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

Didge said...

I agree with the above.

I feel so rarely that I bring glory to God, as you are well aware from our talks.

Thank you for this reminder that our lives are to be about Christ and making much of him.

Anonymous said...

Is it just a conincidece that this goes with Kim's testmony this morning and Jerry's sermon? I guess there are those who were meant to hear this today.

jackie said...

Sarah, you are one of the saltiest Christians I know, making others desire nothing but the Living Water Himself! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.