Acts 12:21-23 “And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.”
Whether or not you are an avid sports fan, much has been made of the ‘celebration dance’. Whether it is a goal in soccer (football), or a touchdown, a timely basket or a home run; the chest-thumping, finger pointing and shenanigans that go on after that, reflects solely upon that one who made the tackle, struck out the side or intercepted a pass.
From the time we are born, most of us seek the acknowledgment that we did a good job or that we satisfied what was asked of us. It is one of the core needs in man.
To know we are loved.
Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
To know we are accepted.
Ephesians 1:6 “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
To know we are secure.
John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
These three appear first at birth and continue with us until we die. WIthout any one or all three, we are out of balance. Fear, depression, and manic behavior are just some of the manifestations of the lack of any one of these being absent.
The other balance in our life as a child of God is knowing our place. The Word of God reveals much of our place in relationship with God, with man and with this world. One of the greatest and most effective of Satan’s weapons is pride.
When you and I are used of God to lead a soul to become a child of God; when our words of comfort, counsel or correction bring about fruit that helps someone to break the bondage of sin and self, we have the opportunity to rightly give the praise and glory to the One who is deserving.
Colossians 1:27 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
When the spotlight comes to shine on what God has done, we must allow Him to get the praise and glory He so rightly deserves. Paul knew…
Romans 7:18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”
When you and I are out of balance; unloved, unaccepted or insecure, we long to step into that light thinking it will satisfy those desires. What we fail to see is that those needs can only be met in our personal, one-on-one relationship with our Heavenly Father. Then, and only then will I see who I truly am and what God has done in and through me.
When a child of God is working in concert with the Holy Spirit, there is so much that can be done. From a timely word of encouragement to a life-saving feat that stops a suicide attempt, you and I can be used of God to do things we never thought possible. It is only right that He should get the praise and glory for whatever good that is done in my life.
Accepting the praise for something God has done in my life, is like a blocked artery. The very flow of life-giving blood is restricted when I step into the light God so rightly deserves. The flow of the Holy Spirit’s power and presence is hindered.
When the other parts of my body do not receive the right amount of blood, they will not function properly and ultimately die. When I fail to give God the praise for what is done in and through me, the closeness of our relationship and His ability to use me dwindles.
We don’t see this happen right away. Our enemy is there to give us a pat on the back. He speaks to our heart that the need for love, acceptance and security comes from man instead of what only God can give. We fall in and out of favor with man. As a child of God, I can never lose my title or His love for me.
Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
So, when we preach that message, teach that truth, sing that song or complete that task; look only to Heaven for the praise for what we’ve done and allow God to be the one in the spotlight for the praise that may come.
I have learned to say thank you if I have been a blessing to someone. In my heart, I simply tell God how wonderful it was to be used to be a blessing. I have also had to get on my knees and confess my pride when those same words came and I stepped into the spotlight to think I was truly something.
We all struggle in this area. The defense against it is settling my heart in the knowledge that I am loved, accepted and secure in my relationship with my Heavenly Father!