A Heart like Achilles: The Pursuit of Glory

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2: 9-11

The apostle Paul is clear. The Scriptures are very clear. They state that God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him, Jesus Christ, the name that is above every name. Such was the exaltation that at the name of Jesus, every knee–in heaven, on earth, and under the earth–should bow before him. And all this done, to the glory of God the Father. Game. Set. Match.

At times in my life I look at this passage from Scripture in which the name of Jesus is lifted up above all others peoples and things, and I stand in awe of God’s glory. At times, I look at this passage and stare at it in futile weakness wondering where I fit in the greatness and wonder of the glory of Jesus Christ. He is so great and worthy of honor and glory–I am so small. So weak. So flawed.

Awhile back I learned that my life is unique and that most people think differently from me. This isn’t supposed to be a pat on the back or a moment for me to stand out. It’s quite the opposite. I mostly feel like the mentality and worldview that I grew up with through middle school and high school led me to this moment in my life where I have smacked into a wall–a wall called God.

This isn’t a venting session at God or at my fellow saints. No, I have learned that venting sessions are red flags that we should shut up and pray for more wisdom. However, when you have lived your life expecting glory and honor and prestige for who you are, the reality of God can be a pretty tough and rough wall to crash against.

You see, my goals were never to have a regular nine to five full-time job and then head home–not at all. My goals didn’t include having to acknowledge that I had weaknesses, shortcomings, and that I would one day face failure. Failure was never an option but apparently it was a forced side-item to the formula. Unlike the career and job dreams of other people, mine included glory and recognition as essential elements to the formula. Glory and recognition were at the core of my future. To some extent, I am still fighting the truth of the Scripture.

I understand Paul. I understand the Scriptures. At the end of the day, we are broken beings that pursue glory and pleasure in ourselves and in all that we are. The thing is that, unlike God, we aren’t worthy of that glory. Only God is for only God is worthy of honor, worship, glory, and power. I am aware of this, and it’s all cool, until part of God’s plan for my life includes adding things to my life that I didn’t planned. I didn’t plan on failure, on mistakes, on shortcomings, and stumbling along the way. However, God did. Where do I go from here?

Whether through the military, academics, sports, or extracurriculars, a side-goal to my whole life has been the pursuit of glory–the pursuit of self-worship. I just assumed that God loved me so much that my glory would tag along with His, and we would buddy-up all the way to Kingdom Come. Not the case. Not the plan set out by the Deity. So, what then?

At the end of the day I know that God, that Jesus Christ, is the only one worthy of glory and honor. I know that. I get it. I understand it and when I raise my hands in worship, when I read my Bible before I go to sleep, and acknowledge the sovereignty of God, I am absolutely embracing and loving all that God is. However, I can’t stop thinking that given the fact that I am not worthy of glory, I have been wired to pursuit it. The truth is that my life is a constant struggle between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the gospel of Achilles. Jesus and Achilles go all-MMA over my heart until it gets ripped in two multiple chunks that only Jesus can heal.

I don’t have the practical answers to this. I just don’t. I am trying and praying that God either transforms my heart to no longer pursue my own glory and honor or that He makes me understand why I am made this way–why the gospel of Achilles is so ingrained within my heart.

God, I love you. I know you are passionately in love with me. I know you are sovereign. I know you are truth and You are above all things. So I pray that if it is within your will to help me understand the madness of my own heart and mind, then Your will be done. Your will be done, always, for Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory. So be it.

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