Speaking to the Soul – January 14

Glory to God

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1

It is said that William Wilberforce marked the passing of the bill to abolish the slave trade by meditating on this psalm. However great our human successes, it is always our first duty to worship God and to praise him for his greatness and provision. The reason for that is simple. Everything we have and are comes to us as a gift from God, and so we need to make sure that he is the first one to get the praise. This is not to ignore the massive amount of hard work, fiery determination and sheer courage that Wilberforce put into the campaign to dismantle the slave trade. From our modern perspective, the slave trade appears so obviously evil that it is hard to believe that the struggle was so great. However, the grim reality is that it was a very long and bitter battle during which Wilberforce and his friends struggled against huge vested interests including, not least, within the Church itself. He deserves much credit, but he knew that it was God himself who really deserved the praise.

I don’t want to detract from your successes in life. If you are an amazing pianist, successful business person, fine painter, loving parent, excellent church leader or talented dancer, I would like to congratulate you on what you have achieved. It is right that you are recognised and that you receive some praise. But I still believe that there is one who deserves recognition and praise in advance of you. Without God, you would be nothing and have nothing.

Giving glory to God is always the right thing to do; it gives us a proper perspective on the whole of our lives. As we look to God as the giver of all that we have and are, we learn the kind of relationship that we should have with our possessions and achievements. We need to live with a continual attitude of gratitude and humble dependence upon God.

In what way do you seek to give glory to God day by day?
Lord God, I praise you for all that you have given me. Forgive me for those times when I have accepted too much credit for what I have done, and have failed to give you the glory that is rightfully yours. Amen