Toward the end of May, we were looking at John 7:1-24. You can listen to that sermon here if you are so inclined. In verses 17 and 18 Jesus says,
“If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.”
A marker of true belief is that we will want God’s will and we will seek God’s glory more than our own.
But that leaves us with the question, even if I want to want God’s will and wished that I desired God’s glory more in my life, how do I do that? How do I cultivate a taste for God’s Glory? Let’s be honest. After all, we don’t always want God’s Glory and His will is too often the furthest thing from our desires.
What are some practical steps to changing my tastes so that God’s will becomes more and more my will and God’s glory becomes more and more my chief and driving desire that sets all other desires in their proper place?
Maybe an illustration would help us.
When my son came home from school this Spring he announced to us that he wanted to learn to play the piano. At first I thought, “Sure. Don’t we all?” But when his older sister also came home from school he told her the same thing. He asked her if she would spend time with him teaching him the basics of piano. Now, full disclosure time. My oldest son and daughter are like any other brother and sister. They do not always see eye to eye on things. And when his sister points out things that he ought to be doing my son’s response is not always the most mature. But she agreed, and they have been spending time downstairs at the piano side by side many nights. She has been showing him some basics from old piano books she has, and he has also been spending about a half hour every day at the piano on his own.
My son wanted to develop a taste for the glory of the piano. He sought out someone who already had that taste and asked for help. He also began spending his own free time seeking to develop that taste on his own.
If you wanted to develop a taste for fishing you would spend time—well, fishing. You would read articles and books on fishing techniques and you would find a group of people who either already had a taste for fishing or who, like you, wanted to develop a taste and appreciation for fishing.
Why is it that when it comes to our desire to grow more and more delighted in God’s will and God’s glory we expect that desire to miraculously (magically?) grow in us? How do you develop a taste for God’s glory? You spend time with others who also want that same taste cultivated in themselves. You spend time with others who already have a taste and delight in God’s will and God’s glory. You spend time reading God’s word and reading articles and books by others who have shown that they delight in God’s will and God’s glory.
There are so many opportunities at Hope of Christ for just such cultivation. Our vision at Hope of Christ is to help one another know Jesus Christ, grow in grace, and go into the world with the hope of Christ. Sunday morning worship is the first of those opportunities. It is the one day of the week God invites us to set everything else aside and just rest in his glory and grace. Are you making Sunday worship a priority in your life? Care groups and Bible studies are another place where you can begin to cultivate your taste for God’s will and God’s glory. Even our new classes, Theology Thursdays, are an excellent place to begin developing your tastes for God’s will and God’s glory. After all, it is hard to truly know a person’s desires when we don’t really know much about that person. Theology Thursdays are a great place to be reminded of who God is and why it is essential to our well-being to desire his glory and his will.
If you want to start wanting God’s will, if you want to begin to be delighted in what brings God glory, you must seek out places and people where that is being cultivated regularly. Make Sunday morning worship a priority in your week. Make Bible studies and care groups a priority in your week. Spend time on your own in prayer and in God’s word. And watch as the Holy Spirit begins to change your desires and correct your tastes. Soon you will find the glory of God your goal and the desires of God your desires.
I love you all. Enjoy the Journey!