Habakkuk 1:11 NIV
“Then they sweep past like the wind and go on– guilty people, whose own strength is their god.'”
When we give glory to super heroes
We live in a world dominated by hero worshippers. Where people give glory to super-sportsmen and women, popular movie stars, amazing entertainers, musical groups or bands, charismatic leaders, popular politicians and the like.
Some of my favourite television programs are those in which amazing talent is displayed for example, the ‘X factor’, ‘America has talent’, and ‘Britain’s got talent’ shows. It is mind blowing the things that people have the ability to achieve.
- What sort of television programmes do you enjoy?
- Is there someone you hero worship? Maybe a film star? Or maybe a grandchild, or a brother who has done amazing things.
- What attracts you to people?
- Is there any person whom you give glory to in place of God?
Many countries claim to be Christian. Yet both those in power and the people themselves do not live lives that give glory to God. They depend instead upon their own ability and strength.
The God is Dead philosophy
Perhaps much of this type of thinking can be laid at the door of the “God is Dead” protagonists.
- Have you encountered folk who do not believe there is a God?
- How might one counter their arguement?
One only has to spend some time on social media to see there is a large segment of society who believe either that God is dead, or that there is no God.
A short while back two films were released on circuit which countered this philosophy, entitled ‘God is not dead’ and ‘God is not dead 2’. I’ve just realised there is a third in the series. I plan to look for it on Netflix! These films provided sound evidence for the fact that God is still alive and active in our world today. You can see the trailer for the first film here.
Though the Chaldeans were God’s instruments of judgment, their confidence and excessive self-glory would ultimately lead to their own downfall (see Habakkuk 2:2-20). For in God’s sight they stood guilty of idolatry and blasphemy.
Who did the Chaldeans give glory to?
The only reason why they were permitted to be so successful was by God’s grace and his judgement upon his sinful people. Yet the Chaldeans arrogantly claimed the credit for themselves and insisted that their false gods had given them the ability to conquer.
- Is this not a danger we all face, of taking credit for some achievement when in fact it was accomplished through God’s grace? He gave us the ability in the first place.
- Can you think of an occasion when something amazing happened through God’s intervention for which you received the praise and failed to give glory to God the glory?
Who do we give glory to?
- Many Christians are guilty of pride. Is that perhaps a major obstacle in your own witness?
- Do you pray regularly for the ability to give glory to God for your achievements?
As a pastor, I face this problem regularly when greeted by folk at the church door at the end of a service. Many will express their thanks for the message. Some will even comment that they were personally blessed. My general response usually is ‘Praise God.’ But there is a risk of self praise. Perhaps a better response would be “I am so glad the Lord has blessed you.”
Paul’s encouragement to the Thessalonian believers was, “Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.” (1Thessalonians 5:18 CEV)
- Has the Lord blessed you in some amazing way recently? Who did you share it with?
- Do you perhaps realise now that you forgot to give glory to Him? How about stopping to do so now?
“Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle” (James 1:17 MSG).
Please join with me in praying a prayer based on Hebrews 13:21 (GNB)
“May the God of peace provide me with every good thing I need in order to do His will, and may He, through Jesus Christ, do in me what pleases Him. And to Christ be the glory forever and ever! Amen.”
Take time at the close of each day this week to reflect on your day and give glory to God the glory for His involvement.
Share with us one item for which you give glory to God.
P.S. If you haven’t yet read the background to the prophecy, please do. It will benefit you throughout this series of studies.