Your Glory Story

by Andy Wood on October 24, 2008

in Esteem, Exploring the Possibilities, Life Currency, LV Cycle

Somewhere in the back story of the drama that is your life, you are rehearsing a Cinderella story.  One that transforms you from zero to hero, from reject to regal.  You imagined it as a kid in ways that were unique to you.  This dream may have been fed by caring parents, or it may have been an escape from the harshness of your world.

Simply put, you dreamed of glory.

Not vainglory, mind you.  Something more.  An image that said you mattered.  Belonged.  Were wonderfully adequate for the role you’d been chosen – for your quest.

Then came the collision.  Dreams were broadsided by disappointments.  You never quite figured out how to translate that high school stardom into a career or a destiny.  Or worse, you actually found your place in the world, but stared in the mirror at a fraud.  Maybe you got what (or who) you’d always wanted, and you bombed.  Maybe you just settled into paying the bills and keeping house, and woke up a generation later wondering what happened.

Sometimes I think our greatest fear or vulnerability isn’t the evil we’re all capable of.  What we most dread or most grieve is that we’re just so ordinary.

Thigh Meat?
A few years ago I wrote in my journal that if I was a piece of chicken, I’d be the thigh.  I don’t know why.  Sometimes, I just have weird thoughts.  But let me explain.

The breast is powerful and stately, the wing elegant, versatile and dainty.  The leg, a favorite of children, is meaty and playful.

Then there’s the thigh.  Not white enough to satisfy the dietary purists.  Not as meaty as the breast, not as pretty as the wing.  But a fine flavor.  Plump, juicy, and pleasing for the moment.  But it falls in the cracks – it’s an also-ran in the race with its neighbors.  The wings have their own industry, courtesy of Louisiana Hot Sauce and Bleu Cheese Dressing.  Drumsticks will always be the favorite of kids.  And breasts rule the sandwich, boneless, and nutrition worlds.  Thighs?  They’re just proud to be here.  Or anywhere, for that matter.

God Had Other Ideas
But God, dare I say it, had other ideas.  He looked at me, and you, if you’re a believer, and gave us a radically different identity and destiny.  “These whom He justified, He also glorified,” Paul said (Romans 8:30).

Let that sink in.

You, who most likely are painfully aware of your clay pot housing, are glorified.  Made beautiful.  The truth of that is settled.  It’s just that we’re living somewhere between the anointing and the crowning.  And even here, we are called the temple of God, the Holy Spirit.

Sounds pretty glorious to me.

We live in a kingdom and a world full of glories and ascriptions of honor.  This is magnified in a media-rich, money-hungry generation.  It’s virtually impossible to compete with the glamour and glitz that we’re constantly exposed to.

What do you do when you feel so ordinary?  So plain?  So “nothing in comparison?”  I suggest you learn the lesson of the Latter Glory.

Is there anyone among the faithful few who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Doesn’t it seem like nothing to you? … Everyone in the land, be strong,” declares the Lord. “Work, because I am with you,” declares the Lord of Armies. “This is the promise I made to you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains with you. Don’t be afraid… Once again, in a little while, I am going to shake the sky and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the one whom all the nations desire will come. Then I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of Armies. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of Armies. This new house will be more glorious than the former, declares the Lord of Armies. And in this place I will give them peace, declares the Lord of Armies” (Haggai 2:3-9, God’s Word Translation).

What applies to the temple building applies as well to Holy Spirit temples.  Don’t let today’s appearances deceive you.  The end of the story, Glory, hasn’t been told about you yet.

1.  Take courage.
Summon up whatever is within you, with God’s power, to keep on doing the next right thing.  Fulfill the mission.  Finish the job.

2.  Don’t lose heart.
The writer of Hebrews speaks of “looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).  That’s the goal.  When we start comparing ourselves with the glories of the people around us, it’s easy to accept what we see as true and final.  But what we see as true is often not true, and hardly final.

3.  Recognize God’s presence
The presence of God in the midst of His people, even when it looks dull and plain, is teeming with life and possibilities.  Give me Jesus and a shack any day; He’ll take care of the glory.

4.  Rest in God’s promise.
He said the latter glory of this house will be greater than the former.  When we seek to glorify ourselves or be glorified by men, we end up on an ash heap of humiliation.  But when we humbly, simply fulfill the calling of our God, HE takes care of our glory.

Once we (mankind) were a glorious, radiant creation of God.  But destroyed by sin, we now have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.  And lives redeemed by Him are inhabited by the Holy Spirit.  Externally, we may look plain and dull – a cheap imitation of our former selves.  But as the chosen, redeemed Bride of Christ, we are eternal reflections of His magnificent glory.

What I’m trying to tell you is that you’re stunningly beautiful.  Get used to it.

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