Former Glory

In a conversation with a well-known Christian leader many years ago I began to think about something that I had rarely (until then) considered. As we age we often wish for the earliest, best times of our lives to somehow return. We sort of want to experience the simplicity, the innocence, perhaps the “former glory” we were blessed with.At some point I realized I had been hearing the same basic thoughts from a lot of people. Some were only in their very early 30’s, had great families, solid local church and ministry experience and quite fruitful lives on all accounts- and yet they had that wistful longing in their eyes as they spoke of earlier times.For myself, things seemed to get progressively better rather than mundane or worse. I don’t think there is any sure-cure formula for a die-hard sentiment- and in some cases it is not a spiritual maturity but rather a sentimentality and being a bit stuck on a mountain-top experience with God and others that we want to continually visit.When Jesus took the three up the mountain, Peter immediately wanted to erect tents -and I think it may have been as much to hold on to the experience as it was to glorify God and the prophets that he had seen there!We cannot go back, nor should we. Nor can we!What is God calling you (and I) to do now, today, this very week in loving obedience to Him?Give thanks for the high-points, the moments of bliss and immediate presence of God, the fruitfulness and outpourings and times of refreshing of His Spirit. There will be more, but they will come by HIS hand, in HIS timing, as HE brings them about.Though I am a Wesley guy, I truly think it’s a hyper-Arminian view that thinks we somehow must move from honeymoon to honeymoon and not be thankful and focused on our marriage!I expect God has seen plenty of wood, hay and stubble piled up as opposed to gold, silver and precious stones… sometimes due to people working far too hard trying to gain some sort of former glory.The immediate presence of God is HERE, NOW, REGARDLESS of how we feel, regardless of what we produce.By the way, what I am doing now is in my view (and I truly believe God’s view) absolutely as important as anything I have done in the past. I’m fully convinced of that. Why?Because “obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams”… simple obedience to the best of our faith and sense of spiritual hearing THIS DAY is where our focus must be.Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful and blessed with all the grace God has brought me (and perhaps sometimes through me) over the years of ministry. Really, I get emails near daily from kind poeple about all this, but The Deal is my walk and fruitfulness this day.Ha, some days it’s doing the laundry, taking out the garbage, rehearsing songs (not my fave thing to do) or simply enjoying my grandsons. Why? Because these are the places God is and has me serving at the moment.As for the BIG MOMENTs? I’ve had plenty and expect I’ll have many more- but many of what I consider to be such moments would often seem so mundane and lacking in fireworks to most reading this you’d likely be surprised!The will of God, nothing more or less.-Glenn

One thought on “Former Glory

  1. Glenn,Great insight and timely for those of us who have been around the mountain a couple of times.I so relate to all those who long for those glorious seasons of earlier times. We were young and crazy risk takers and amazingly, God actually used us! I often wonder, though, if I am only in a bit of denial about the aging process and simply longing for my own youth to return…This verse has always been a great reminder to me:Ecclesiastes 7:10 Do not say,"Why were the former days better than these?"For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.When we dwell on the past, either its failures or its triumphs, we may actually be neglecting the present and forfeiting our future! Thanks for the reminder, and for sticking with it! Hope to see you sometime soon.

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