The Lack of Glory

Sometimes I ponder what Carl dreams about. I have to wonder if he is dreaming about receiving the glory that he thinks he deserves. Are his dreams full of rescuing people from danger or doing good deeds and being put on television for everyone to pay him homage? Every once in a while I will look over at this cream colored Frenchie and sense his need to be recognized.

I can relate to Carl and the deep seeded desire to receive glory for doing something spectacular. Every once in a while I have to catch myself thinking about being acknowledged for an outstanding accomplishment. After I remember how God deserves the glory for everything, I pull my thoughts back onto Him and off of myself.

There is a story in the Old Testament that demonstrates how God loves when we do what He calls us to do for his glory and not our own. It is one that you probably don’t remember due to the fact that it doesn’t get a lot of attention. It is about a man mentioned in Hebrews 11 as having great faith. His name is Barak and more than likely you don’t even know his story and why he would have been mentioned beside the great men of faith like Abraham, Moses, and David. And upon hearing his story, you probably will question like I did, why is he mentioned at all in the  Hall of Fame of Faith?

The Israelites had sinned and done evil in the sight of the Lord. Because of this, God had sold them into the hands of the Canaanites. After twenty years of slavery, the Israelites cried out to God and He heard them. Deborah was a prophetess and also the judge God had put in place to judge Israel. She had a word from God to call Barak to lead the Israelites into battle against Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army. But Barak refused unless Deborah went with him.  Because of his unwillingness to follow the Lord’s command, Deborah told Barak that she would go with him but he wouldn’t receive the glory for the victory. Instead, a woman would receive the recognition for the death of Sisera.

It came to pass just as Deborah had spoken. Sisera escaped death and fled to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber. After Jael provided Sisera warm milk and a thick blanket, he fell into a deep sleep. Once he was asleep, Jael took a tent peg and hammered it into his temple. Soon after Sisera had died, Barak showed up to find that his enemy had been subdued by a woman.

Again, I have to ask why in the world does this man receive a place in the Hall of Fame of Faith?  It definitely doesn’t have anything to do with his refusal to follow God’s command. And surely Barak is not noted for the victory. So what does God want us to learn from this man?

Could it be that God found favor with Barak because he was willing to go to battle with the knowledge that he wouldn’t receive the glory? And if God found favor in Barak because of his willingness to fight without the glory, how does God feel about us when we worship the work of our own hands?

Isaiah 2:11 gives us a clear picture of what will happen when we seek our personal glory. It states, “The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.”

Instead of feeling like we should get recognition it is a good thing when we don’t get the acknowledgement that can lead to arrogance and pride. Which leads me to think that God is intentionally keeping us humble by leaving us out of the limelight.

If this is true, than I need to be grateful for the lack of glory and attention that I have received in this lifetime. And instead, be focused on giving God the glory. As for Carl, I will let him keep dreaming of the great rescue and hope that he will be content just being the little dog that we have come to know and love.

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