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Understanding the Heart
Isaiah 40:5, The Lord's Glory, is the last of three points in the journey of discipleship that our LORD takes His people on in Isaiah 40:1-5. God only receives glory when His work is made manifest in our lives.
We must strive as our life's goal to bring glory to His Name. This means we allow Him to do His work in and through us the way He desires. This begins now on earth but is perfected in His presence.
Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 40:1-5, NASB).
The LORD in Isaiah 40:1-5 highlights the overall means by which He redeems and uses His people. These three stages perfectly correspond with the three New Testament teachings of Christian living. The Lord justifies, sanctifies and glorifies His people. This last point helps us carefully distinguish the reason God is doing these things. God has a goal higher than making us feel troubled. This is discussed below in the third point.
The goal of our faith is to bring glory to God. There is clearly no higher call than to glorify His Name by recognizing what He wants and in order to please Him complete it. Construction sites have their purposes and goals. They always have something greater in mind than the project itself. A person might have a building or a road built.
They are elated when the project is finished on time and within budget constraints. But they are more eager to see the building or the road to be actually properly used. There is no sense in having an empty building or deserted road!
So it is with God's construction in our lives. We find that the goal of forming a level road is important, but it is not the end goal. The larger end purpose is that the glory of God might be revealed. His revealed presence is what makes all the construction hassles, detours and waits worth it all.
Many people have not at all thought about the purpose God has in mind for their lives. They are thinking what they want of their lives. What a shame they miss out on the fulfillment of their lives! Let's try to better understand this concept of God's glory in our lives from the New Testament.
"Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:2).
"And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him". (Romans 8:17).
"And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory," (Romans 9:23).
"To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen." (Romans 16:27)
God's goals for our lives are life long, but they have immediate implication
Many other verses share with us the way the glory of God wishes to operate in our lives. He chooses to exert His glory in our humble and broken vessels.
We must then come down from our neatly planned thrones. Allow God to build one that is great for Him. From what I understand, this means our original dreams and visions will need to die in the dirt of time before His more glorious plans can be built. His plans will come into being as we live in humble obedience before Him. In this way, He gets the glory.
The more you humble yourselves, the more room you make for Him. If you want to keep pushing your way, your knowledge, your experience, your wealth, your abilities, then you will have yourself. Not much glory there. Man's glory is nothing (Isaiah 40:6-8). We are like a withering piece of grass there for a day. But if we can gain an eternal glory in these frail vessels, then we will be forever awed.
"Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made. (Isaiah 43:7, NASB).
I have chosen to deny myself. I choose to work myself hard in denying myself and seeking God's presence in my life. I have no greater good to work for than to have God live in me. There are costs but by His abundant graciousness, I will bear them.
But think a moment. If we can trade in that which has little or no value for that which is eternal and glorious, will you do it? When we fix these goals clear in our heart, God will work with us in yet a more special way. He is looking for that man to stand in the gap. He is looking for that man who will live uprightly. Will you be that man?
For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars. (2 Chronicles 16:9).
Isaiah 40:5 describes the third level of discipleship where God amplifies man's adoration and understanding of His glorious nature.