I want to share with you these words from today’s devotional in the book, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young: “Meet me in the morning stillness, while the earth is fresh with the dew of my presence. Worship me in the beauty of holiness. Sing love songs to my holy name. As you give yourself to me, my spirit swells within you till you are flooded with divine presence. The world’s way of pursuing riches is grasping and hoarding. You attain my riches by letting go and giving. The more you give yourself to me and my ways, the more I fill you with inexpressible, heavenly joy.”
The first thing that struck me in this passage was the incredible imagery that drew me into the message. It was as if Jesus’ own voice was speaking with such love and care, painting a picture filled with God’s Presence. I felt compelled to breathe deeply and slowly; to try to experience the presence described. I hope you can also get a sense of the power of these words and that they will lead you to a deep sense of presence within and around you. These words do not come from Scripture, yet they seem as if they could.
The next step is to see how Ms. Young connects her reflection to Scripture. Psalm 29:2 above offers one perspective. It reminds me of Jesus’ words to “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Mark 12:17) I realize that the psalm is not about paying taxes, but I also believe that Jesus is talking about more than just money in Mark’s gospel. It seems to me that this is all about giving God glory for everything.
The same images that drew me into this devotional demonstrate the reasons why God deserves the glory for everything. God’s presence is in and around everything. Nothing we have or can ever hope to gain is possible without the graciousness of the One who gives us the knowledge, skills, and aptitude to do the things that cause us to share in God’s abundance.
That brings us to 1 Peter 1:8. As we uncover the beautiful images from Psalm 29, we are then reminded that, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” As vivid as the picture of God’s presence is, we have not seen him; yet we believe in and love him. I want to give God the glory for offering us the skill of the biblical writers and the talent of other men and women who can paint such wonderful pictures for us.
Through scripture we are drawn back in time to visit lands and peoples where God’s power was evident and noticed by the people. In ways we will never understand, God was able to inspire these writers to preserve the epic images that point us to God and show us how to be God’s people.
Then we find that women and men throughout modern history continue to be inspired to write wonderful words that point us toward God and remind us of the people God wants us to become. It is evident that God is still at work in the world and that God’s power is noticeable, if only more people would look.
Maybe that is now our role, to point people to God; to make sure they look in the right direction and notice that God is still alive and well and calling us to Him. Maybe that is why it is so important that we give God the glory for everything; we must not take credit for that which God is responsible. Let’s give to God what rightfully belongs to God – all that are and all that we have. Then we will be filled with, “inexpressible, heavenly joy.”
Give God the glory!