The Glorious Grace Giver
(A 4th post from The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference)
You know, there’s a lot at stake as we live this one short, earthly life. Speaking at The Gospel Coalition Women’s conference, John Piper shared thoughts from Isaiah 6. John spoke about the power of gazing upon the Lord, to know our glorious Jesus as the one who is exalted and holy, yet, who has ‘bent down’ to come near to us so that we can have a taste of his majesty. Too often, we have a view of God which is way, way too small!To miss him, is to spend the fleeting life we have been given on what is fleeting and passing away.
Seventy-five years from now, none of us will regret the decisions we made which flowed from love for Jesus. If we
have gotten a taste of the majesty of God, then we will delight to give glory to God in who we are and what we do. We will not regret the ‘inconvenient’ and painful obedience that faith demands; the courageous confrontation and turning away from our favorite idols; the letting go of even good gifts that may not be good for us; living in singleness which left a dull and painful ache at times; being faithful to our spouse in a tough marriage; persevering in love toward wayward and rebellious children.
Many women I’ve gotten the privilege to journey with have gotten tripped up in their calling to be glory-givers, because their view of God was too small. A small view of God makes people become big, too big than they should be in our lives. We become hungry for them, and we feast at the banquet table of emotional cravings. That’s certainly been true in my own life. A growing worship and awe of our Lord Jesus leads us away from people idolatry, to truly love others rather than use them or be controlled by or obsessed with them.
The Holy One upon the throne, so beautifully described in Isaiah 6, isn’t meant to drive you to a fearful retreat from a Holy God! No, this throne is owned by the Grace-Giver, who is glorious and who welcomes needy, glory-robbers like you and I! We come to this throne, “…to receive mercy and find help in our time of need.” Read Isaiah 6 in the context of the mercy of Jesus Christ for you, and prayerfully examine your life to see how mercy shapes your life for him.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
How is God calling you to be a living sacrifice for his glory? For His purposes? How is he inviting you to love him by letting go of an unholy relationship which is eclipsing the Lord’s presence in your life? How is he inviting you to fix your gaze on him, rather than trying to figure out how obedience will “work” in your favor. How is he calling you to courageously confess to a friend regarding your online addictions?