By Xiaocao, China
As Christians, it is very important for us to exalt God as great in our belief in Him. As for how to exalt God as great, my co-workers and I, after communicating and discussing with each other, summarized three principles, which I’d like to share with you.
First, we must have a place only for God in our heart, not for any man, and neither should we worship nor look up to any man.
God’s words say: “People whoshould obey God and worship Him. You should not exalt or look up to any person.” God’s words tell us that we believers in God should worship God and put God first in our hearts. No matter what we encounter, we should seek God’s will and think about how to satisfy and glorify God. If we can act like this, it proves that we have a place for God in our heart. But if we don’t seek God’s will when encountering things but always consult others, attaching much importance to others’ opinions, then it means that we see people as greater than God in our hearts, and that we are actually worshiping man and looking up to man. Just like when the came to work, many Jewish people went to ask the chief priests and Pharisees whether the Lord Jesus was the Messiah; when the Pharisees denied the Lord Jesus’ identity and even judged and condemned His work, those Jewish people blindly listened to them without any intention of seeking the way of the Lord Jesus, thus losing His salvation in the end; meanwhile, there were some other people who, unlike those Jewish people, chose to listen to the Lord Jesus’ words and utterances with a humble heart when the Lord Jesus was preaching and thus got the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Take Peter as an example. When he heard that the Lord Jesus was preaching the of the heavenly kingdom and could bestow the way of life to man, he abandoned everything to follow the Lord; finally he was enlightened by the Holy Spirit and recognized that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah. Although during that time, he also had heard the condemnations and slanders against the Lord from the Pharisees, he didn’t blindly listen to them but still wholeheartedly followed the Lord Jesus. This is truly exalting God as great.
And now look at us believers today: When faced with problems or difficulties, some of us prefer to rely on the people we admire and worship. The most obvious manifestation is that we worship and follow the pastors and elders who are familiar with the Scripture and can talk about some profound theological knowledge. When faced with big events like getting married, having kids, buying a house, or finding a job, we tend to seek the pastors for advice; yet there are also some who can pray to God and rely on God when they are faced with the same situation, because they believe in the Lord’s words, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8). They would also explore and seek with their brothers and sisters until they resolve the problem. Such practice is exalting God as great.
Second, in serving God, we should exalt God and bear witness for God in all things, put God first and let God reign in our heart.
God’s words say: “Man should not magnify himself, nor exalt himself. He should worship and exalt God.” From God’s words, we know that in our service to God we should exalt God and bear witness for Him in all things, and try our best to guide our brothers and sisters to obey and worship God. If someone brings the brothers and sisters in front of himself, he is definitely not the one who exalts God as great. For example, some people, when preaching sermons, don’t communicate the truth to witness what God has and is or His intentions, but like to make others follow rules and tell others what to do according to their own conceptions. As a result, after their years of service, the people they lead, instead of gaining some knowledge of God, actually are close to them and even worship them. Obviously, they have become the idol in the hearts of their brothers and sisters. Isn’t it the service that resists God? Let me take an example that might not be very appropriate. A mother has to go out for work in order to raise her child, so she hires a nanny to look after her child. Unexpectedly, after a period of time, the nanny actually says to the child, “I’m your mom and you should call me mom. The woman you called ‘mom’ before is not your real mom. She is pretending while I’m your real mom.” Don’t you think this nanny is rather despicable? Similarly, if we don’t exalt God and bear witness to God in all things, but rather bring the brothers and sisters into our presence, then we are definitely the people who don’t have a place for God in our hearts and who are not serving God but are managing our own status. But if we exalt God and testify to God in all matters, it can be said that we are serving God and fulfilling our own duties. And only such fulfillment of duties and service are after God’s heart. Peter, as we all know, never asked people to worship him during his service, but only focused on communicating the Lord Jesus’ words and his own experience and knowledge, by which means he hoped to lead all the believers to know the Lord’s salvation and love for us mankind. Just as Acts 10:25–26 recorded: “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.” From these two verses of Scripture, we can see that Peter was not willing to be looked up to and worshiped by others. In order to prevent others from worshiping him, he made it clear to them that though he could work for the Lord, he himself was still a corrupt man. So in our service, we should imitate Peter, making our brothers and sisters gain knowledge of God through our fellowship and know how to rely on and look up to God in difficulties. This is also a practice of exalting God as great.
Third, faced with the things we don’t understand, we should have a reverent heart for God and never speculate at will.
As God’s words say: “Your heart should be ever reverent before God, you should be moderate in your words and actions….” God’s words tell us: No matter what we do and what we say, we should have principles and act according to the truth; we should seek the truth and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit with a reverent and obedient heart for God; when we can’t understand God’s work thoroughly, we shouldn’t judge or speak carelessly, but should just say what we have understood. As for the part we don’t understand, we should pray to God and seek the truth instead of blindly analyzing and judging according to our minds. Just like when Job lost his livestock that filled the mountains and all his children and his body became covered with sore boils, although he didn’t see the trials clearly, he had a God-revering heart and didn’t sin with his lips. His three friends, however, didn’t have a reverent heart for God; they made judgements about Job randomly and finally provoked God’s wrath. The Pharisees are another example. When they saw that the Lord Jesus’ work and words didn’t conform to their conceptions and imaginations, they didn’t treat His work with a reverent heart but arbitrarily judged and condemned it, and even conspired with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus, offending God’s disposition in the end. Therefore, we must not jump to conclusions about things we don’t understand; especially at the crucial moment for the Lord’s return in the last days, we must have an attitude of fearing God and never define the appearance and work of God according to our own will. Only in this way can we see God’s appearance and welcome His return.
I do hope through what we’ve shared today everyone can be inspired and put these three principles into practice, and strive to be a person who honors God as great. Just as God’s words say, “Start practicing the way of fearing God and shunning evil from this point forward; manage to honor God as great in all things; don’t use your own personal fancies, viewpoints, or beliefs to define yourself, define God. And instead, you seek out God’s intentions in all respects, you achieve a realization and understanding of God’s attitude toward humanity, and you use God’s standard to satisfy God—that would be wonderful!”
All the glory be to the unique God!
Dear brothers and sisters, if you have any understanding or enlightenment from God, you’re welcome to share with us via:
1. The online chat window at the bottom right corner of the screen.
2. Send an email to [email protected].
We sincerely hope we’ll grow spiritually through sharing with each other.