God Is To Be Glorified
"Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 15:5-6)
God wants us to glorify Him, and He wants us to glorify Him a certain way!
Imagine you are part of a little league team in your home town. Every single kid on that team wants to win the league championship. The coaches are excited, too, because this is the best team of little league ball players they have ever coached! You have had a great season working together. A few minutes before the first playoff game begins, you grab your glove, sit down on a bench in the dugout, and look around at your teammates. There is Jerry – what a throwing arm he has! And Sam has got to be the fastest runner in the league. His legs move at the speed of light. There are some great hitters. There are some focused thinkers. Your team even has its share of wily base-stealers. This championship, you decide, is in the bag. No contest.
Once you get on the field, however, things go haywire. Jerry is pitching, and he picks today to try all his experimental trick pitches. What is he doing? Showing off? He walks two runners and lets five hits through. Out in the field, your players are not communicating. They are overthrowing bases or running infield with the ball rather than throwing to the nearest basemen. What is going on? The situation does not improve when your team gets up to bat. Sam gets a double, and you do your best to hit a home run and knock him in. Unfortunately, the right fielder catches your hit and goes after Sam, whose fast legs have gotten him almost to third base. The third base coach is yelling at Sam to stay at third, but Sam is not going to listen. You watch in shock as he plows toward home base and gets tagged out. By the time that Jake, the team's strongest hitter, gets up to bat, there is no one left on base for him to hit home.
Everyone on your team wants the same thing: to win the league championship. But they all want to win it their own way and to get as much attention for themselves as they can. The problem is, no team can win a championship unless they operate as a team – pooling their talents and working together to accomplish the goal.
The apostle Paul's prayer that God would help believers be likeminded is an important prayer. Every believer would say "I want to glorify God!" But God wants us to glorify Him with one mind, in one accord. He wants us to agree together that He is Who He shows Himself to be in the Bible. He wants us to agree together that He is worthy of honor and glory forever.
Your imaginary little league teammates would tell you they all wanted the same thing – to be a league championship team – but they wanted to draw attention to their own individual skills and abilities on the way there. They were seeking to get glory for themselves, and in doing so, they stole the team's chance for the championship trophy.
When you play baseball, your brain has to communicate with your nervous system and your lungs and your hands and your legs and your heart and even your stomach (especially if you are a little nervous about playing against a tough team!). Almost every part of your body has to cooperate, or you will fall apart on the field, worthless as a ball player. In a similar way, when your imaginary team began to play as individuals rather than as a team, they fell apart. They could not pitch or field. They could not load the bases or make a comeback when they were up to bat. They fell apart.
When we worship God, we need to have something like a teamwork mentality. Your local church is supposed to operate as one body with many parts. You cannot say you glorify God if you are not loving other believers. The Bible teaches this clearly in I John and in other passages. Jesus says that people will know we are His disciples if we love one another. Are you trying to worship God your own way? Are you trying to honor Him in a way that causes people to notice your own talents and abilities more than they notice the God you say you want to honor? Romans 15:5-6 says we ought to glorify God together, with one mind and one mouth. If you know you have something against another believer, or if you know someone has a good reason to be angry with you, but you still think you can worship God with a clear conscience and a pure heart in a way that is glorifying to Him...you need to think again.
God's people worship Him rightly when they live out love for Him and for one another.
» Am I drawing attention to myself or to God?
» Is there anyone I need to make things right with so that we can glorify God together?
Truth In Real Life