"Glory, It's What You're Talking About"

As I was transferring files from my old iMac to my new Macbook, I ran across this essay (below) by Louie Giglio, which I had downloaded from the Passion website a couple years ago. Deciding to read back through it, I felt compelled to share it with you all as well. It's a message that isn't spoken very often and is attended to even less often, but one that desperately needs to penetrate the hearts of God's children. Soften your heart, take a read, and let God do as He pleases in you. I guarantee you won't regret it.

Though Louie's journal entries were removed from the website once they overhauled it, you can still find it in Matt Redman's book Inside-Out Worship: Insights for Passionate and Purposeful Worship.

For His Glory,

mts

Verse Text: Psalm 16

1. Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You. 2. I said to the LORD, 'You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.' 3. As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. 4. The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips. 5. The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. 6. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. 7. I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. 8. I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. 10. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 11. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.


Nobody likes exams. At least I never have. They stress us out, make us cram and cause us to be anxious when it’s time to see the results. Why? Because tests show us, and unfortunately those around us, what’s true about you and me.

And that’s the way it is with glory. We know what is supreme in our souls by what comes out of our mouths. That’s the true test of our devotion and affection. In other words, what we value most is what we talk about. Whatever we’re talking about is what we value most. It’s one thing to say the words “I want to glorify God with my life” or “God, be glorified in me,” but at some point we have to break these wonderful, spiritual sounding phrases into practical terms. And to do that we have to ask the question, “What am I talking about most?” Because whatever it is that we talk about most is what we are glorifying with our lives!

The reason is simple—we all have been made in God’s image, housing mirrored souls designed to reflect His glory. We are created to worship and that’s what we constantly do, declaring the praise of whatever our heart’s affection is riveted on.

Imagine carrying around a huge mirror everywhere you go. It’s going to reflect to you, and to those around you, whatever you aim it at. If you turn it away from yourself, it will reflect the objects or people that you point it towards. If the mirror is facing you, it will reflect your image back to you and others.

It’s no different with our souls. They reflect whatever we point them towards. Our souls give glory to whatever they are fixed on. But since we cannot see the soul, how do we know what we have aimed it towards? By what comes out of our mouths. The truth is, we talk most about what we love, what we think about, what we’re impressed by, enthralled with… what our hearts are set on.

That’s why I love the declaration David makes in Psalm 16:8 when he says, “I have set the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken.” The scripture tells us that David was a “man after God’s own heart,” and we know that to be true because of his actions AND his words. All through his life, in good times as well as in difficult places, David keeps on telling of the greatness of God. In all kinds of varied circumstances He always ends up glorifying God.

And you know how he pulls it off? As verse eight tells us, David was “always” setting the Lord before Him. David knew the secret of aiming His gaze (his thoughts and affections) towards the Almighty God at all times. Another translation says David set the Lord before him “continually.” The result—God’s praise is continually coming out of his mouth.

Listen to some of the things David says about God in this Psalm:
*Apart from You I have no good thing. (v. 2)
*You fill me with joy. (v. 11)
*I love being in Your presence. (v. 11)
*My pleasure is being with You. (v. 11)
*You are my refuge. (v. 1)

Once David’s heart (mirror) is pointed at God, amazing things happen. For one, his heart is glad. Aiming our souls toward an unshakable God brings us “inside joy” in any situation. As well, his tongue rejoices. Oh yeah! There it is. His tongue (some versions interestingly say his “glory”), or the core of who he is, tells God’s praise. And to top it all off, his body rests secure.
So, what are we talking about? As followers of Jesus, worshippers and lead worshippers alike, we must examine ourselves, asking the hard question about what we are glorifying with our lives. Is it the songs? Is that what we talk about most? Our ministries? The hottest band? The latest conference we attended or the latest CD we listened to? Or what “so and so” said about whatever? Or what book we read? Or the latest ministry strategy?

Or somewhere in the midst of it all are we talking about Jesus? Is His name often on our lips as we go about our lives… as we are hanging out with friends over a Starbucks or lunch? The degree to which Jesus is the center of our conversations is the true test of how much we really have found our delight in Him.

Think about how much glory we give to sports teams, pop stars, ourselves, the clothes we wear, other people, possessions, events, experiences (the stuff our souls are aimed at most) everyday as they fill our mouths and dominate our conversations. And yet we claim to have an intimate love affair with the God of the universe.

The life that glorifies God is not easy, but it’s not complicated either. Such a life begins with little intentional steps as we moment by moment turn our attention to the living, loving Lord of All. The point is NOT that there’s anything wrong with enjoying the life around us, but that these “lesser things” are no match for the God who has made us… and they never fully satisfy our souls. So the answer is NOT that we stop talking about them, but that we more consistently take time to redirect our souls towards Him. Soon, His joy will satisfy our hearts and shape our words. And even our flesh will rest secure.

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