This is a question that has popped up in my mind from time to time. Its also a question I find helpful in thinking through many issues we can face – from household arguments to denominational/theological differences.
Its the simple question of “What are we really after?”
As Christians, we can sometimes take it for granted that we are doing what we are doing “for the glory of God”, when instead what we are doing is pursuing some other agenda, some other end, and merely slapping a “God-approved” label on it. This is dangerous. Just look at several GOP Presidential candidates who all felt “called” to be the next President, only to bow out months later.
Job’s answer to the question (though it wasn’t put to him quite the same way) is convincting:
“In my flesh shall I see God.” – Job 19:26
This came up from my reading C.H. Spurgeon’s devotional reading for today in Morning and Evening as he reflected on the cry of Job’s heart after suffering immensely. I found it informative and challenging, and share it here with you.
“Mark the subject of Job’s devout anticipation “I shall see God.” He does not say, “I shall see the saints”–though doubtless that will be untold felicity–but, “I shall see God.” It is not–“I shall see the pearly gates, I shall behold the walls of jasper, I shall gaze upon the crowns of gold,” but “I shall see God.” This is the sum and substance of heaven, this is the joyful hope of all believers. It is their delight to see him now in the ordinances by faith. They love to behold him in communion and in prayer; but there in heaven they shall have an open and unclouded vision, and thus seeing “him as he is,” shall be made completely like him. Likeness to God–what can we wish for more? And a sight of God–what can we desire better?”
– C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, Day 10
*The graphic image is from Jason Edmond Beaird, who created the work with mixed media reflecting on his reading of the book of Job. I found it through a Google search and found his piece both visually stunning, beautifully simple and right at the heart, emotively, of what I hoped to convey in this post. You can see more of his work at: http://v5.jasongraphix.com/