Avoiding something that we should take responsibility for is not an admirable trait, so why do we celebrate it in the context of our faith? Why do we affirm religious rhetoric that diminishes the value we have as we speak of the purpose Jesus has for our lives? We wear false humility and self-deprecation like a badge of honor but Jesus didn’t die for us to be contradictory with how He sees us. The Kingdom is about the King’s glory, and according to Him, He wants us to experience His glory for ourselves.
The most explicit reference to the impartation of glory may be in John 17:22, where Jesus is praying and says, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them . . . ” There are other references to the fact that a glory beyond our own doing is available to us as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:7, “But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.” If you’re like me, the initial thought of receiving glory seems wrong, yet as I read the text it appears to be part of the deal.
I am increasingly beginning to see and believe that we are designed to be glory carriers. We are invited into a Father/son relationship with the Creator of the universe who set His Son in place as a King. The King Himself defers and submits glory to the Father, recognizing the Father as the source and purpose for His glory. As sons and daughters of a King, the impartation of the glory that is inherent and indicative of a Kingdom is available to us. At the same time, the only appropriate thing to do with it is to offer it back to Him and the only way to receive it is when He is the source of it.
If we don’t recognize that He has commissioned us to carry out Kingdom business on earth as it is on heaven, there is no way for us to appreciate the need or availability of the glory of God in us as evidence of that Kingdom. If we walk in anything other than the glory of the King we claim to represent, how in the world is our message of the Kingdom authentic and/or attractive?
The glory that God intends for us is not a glory that we can accomplish. It is His glory and while we can reflect His character, the humility of Christ going to the cross is the model for sons accessing the glory of the Father. If we’ll humble ourselves in relationship to Him, the glory of eternity can be put on display through the sons and daughters of God here and now, on earth as it is in heaven.