All Glory to God
I'll admit it. I'm not very good at giving credit to God.
I know in my head that God is the giver of every good gift (James 1:17) and that He is the one that makes all things happen, but it has always been incredibly difficult to verbalize things like, "Praise God for what just happened" or "No, it wasn't me. It was God who worked in me."
When I was younger, I used to make these silly deals with God: "Lord, give me this and I will give you all the credit for it to my friends." Sometimes He would grant my prayer...other times He wouldn't.
I never followed through on my end of the deal. Never.
And it makes sense...I want the glory. I would never say out loud that I want to rob God of any glory, but it shows in my actions that the reason I don't give Him glory is because I'm afraid it will mean less glory for me.
Even when Paul writes to other people, he doesn't thank them for things. He thanks God for what they have done.
- I thank God in all my remembrance of you. (Philippians 1:3)
- I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you. (Romans 1:8)
- I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:4)
- But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. (2 Corinthians 8:16)
Even in thanking people, Paul is giving credit to the One to whom it is due.
But this has always been hard for me. It seems like not a big deal. I'm not doing anything wrong, specifically. It's more that I'm not doing what I should be doing (giving credit to God), and that just doesn't seem like as big of a deal. But it is. I neglect to give God glory around Christians, which is just crazy, but worse - I fail to give God glory in front of unbelievers. It's like I'm intentionally hiding what He is doing from those that would benefit most from it.
But thanks be to God that He is changing this in my life.
We can't help but give the credit to God in all of this. He has been so clear and gracious to us. There is no way to explain what is going on besides that God is the one doing it.
1. No one plans to buy a house, sell it a year and a half later, and make a profit. It's just not wise financial planning. But that's exactly what God did for us. He brought a buyer to us that we knew. We were able to sell without a realtor thanks to some good friends that walked us through paperwork and such. And in the end, we made enough of a profit to pay off our camper, our truck, and make some upgrades to the camper. It turns out, money is not a big deal to God. Praise the Lord!
2. In November, I started driving dumpsters for a friend in our church who has a disposal business. This was simply an "in the meantime" job as we figured out what was next. But God made it abundantly clear that He had orchestrated even this. When our main septic line broke in the house, I borrowed the excavator from work and saved $2000 by repairing it myself. When it was time to get rid of so much stuff in preparation for the camper, I just loaded up one of my dumpsters. When I was short a car, the big rig got parked in my driveway to get to work. And on top of that, my new boss had a lift in his garage and helped me make repairs on my truck. That alone saved me over $3000! I look back now and it is undeniable that God provided this job. Praise the Lord!
3. God has moved Lindsay and me all over. It has always seemed like we weren't able to put down roots and really settle in to any one place. That has been tough, but God knew what He was doing. Now, as we begin to develop a team of partners in our Wycliffe ministry, we have had connections all over the country that are wanting get on board with what God is doing in our lives. Not only can I not take credit for His preparation in our lives, but I'm positive I would have messed this one up if God had given me control over my family. Praise the Lord! (Lindsay wrote another post on this topic that dives a little deeper into how God has been preparing us for this: Preparation for Ministry)
I don't know how to explain all this and not give credit to God. So it is not that I'm getting better at giving God glory. I don't deserve any credit. The Lord is choosing to be so blatantly obvious to us that I can't help but point to Him when we tell our story.
Praise God for His goodness to us!