Soli Deo Gloria
When we get to Heaven we will be given crowns by the Lord, which we will quickly cast at His feet. This is not an act of rejection of the crowns, but of supreme and sincere worship. When I was a child I didn’t understand this. I wondered why I would give back to God something He had given me. But as an adult, I began to realize just how much I owed the Lord in everything, and that I not only had so little to do with my salvation, in fact, I was totally indebted to Him.
The Scriptures tell us that we were dead in our trespasses and sin. Dead people can do nothing. They have no power to help themselves whatsoever. Until the touch of God’s hand resurrects us, we are powerless, without hope and without God. He alone deserves all the glory for our new life.
Jesus tells us that the Father does the drawing to Him (Jn. 6:44-45). God is always the initiator in relationships. We are responsible for our response, and will be held accountable, but Scripture tells us that, left to ourselves, there are none who seeks God (Rom. 3:11). He alone deserves all the glory for drawing us to Himself.
Say that we feel God’s drawing, how then do we get saved? We couldn’t do anything to make ourselves worthy of His forgiveness. We can’t cleanse ourselves. Once again, we are fully dependent on Him to pay the price of our sin and cleanse us, giving His own life for us. He alone gets the glory for our salvation. “Nothing in my hand I bring, only to Thy cross I cling.”
And, lest we think that after our salvation we then make our own way in the Christian life, we are quickly disabused of that notion by Paul who says that we continue in God’s power in our walk of faith, just as we began in His power at our new birth (Gal. 3). Peter tells us that it is God’s own divine power that gives us everything that we need for life and godliness (1 Pet. 1:3). It is His work, through the application of His Word through the Holy’s Spirit’s power in us that sanctifies us (makes us holy), and into the likeness of Christ. We can take no credit for our spiritual growth (although, once again, we have responsibility to apply and obey). Here too, the Lord deserves all the glory for our walk of faith, and our growth in Him.
Faith is His gift, not something we possess on our own, so faith too is to His glory. He gives us grace and mercy. He loves us because of who He is, not who we are. No matter where we turn in our relationship with Him we see that He is essential, foundational, and the Source—that He is driving the blessings and enabling the wonders of our life in Him. So, the glory is His.
If we see that in part now, we will see it in full when we are in His presence in Heaven. We will know without doubt that He alone deserves all the glory for our eternity in union with Him, and we will gladly fling our crowns from our heads and at His feet in rapturous worship and say, “Soli Deo Gloria”—to God alone belongs all the glory.
But we needn’t wait until that day to begin the worship of giving Him glory. In fact, we should not wait. We are called to live lives that glorify Him now—that all we do and say, or eat and drink are done for His glory alone. How would our lives be different if we got up each morning with the intention of living for His glory alone? What if our prayer before our feet ever hit the floor was, “Lord, help me to live for Your glory today. Help me to see Your glory today. For You alone deserve the glory”? I truly believe a growing consciousness of this truth, and a growing desire to live it out would be transforming, not only in our lives, but in the world around us.
It is good for us to grow in our understanding of our dependence on the Lord for everything. It is human nature to think we are in control (even if it is a complete illusion), until we hit some wall that is bigger than us. When we can’t find our own way over, under, around or through, then suddenly we need God’s help. Up to that point we may not have given our dependence on Him much of a second thought.
A quick glance through the Scriptures would change our attitude when we begin to realize that He is our Source for everything. He gives us understanding (1Jn. 5:20), strength and presence (Is. 41:10), fruitfulness (Jn. 15), endurance and encouragement (Rom. 15:5), reveals Himself (Jn. 15:15), the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-26)…the list goes on incredibly longer, and would be an interesting, worshipful study.
Essentially, we come to what Paul says: What do we have that we have not been given? (1Cor. 4:7)—To God alone be the glory! Soli Deo Gloria!
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