“Praise be to the Lord your God who has delighted in you…”
(2 Chronicles 9:8)
In the Queen of Sheba’s own words described above, she confirmed that King Solomon did something supremely right. We know this because after she visited Jerusalem, she praised God – not Solomon! Every time we direct a seeker’s attention away from ourselves to our Savior – He receives glory! In that knowledge, the Psalmist proclaimed,
“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.”
Any praise resulting from our personal relationship with the Lord should strictly belong to Him. This is why Mary’s son, James, never referred to himself as the Lord’s half-brother. He humbly identified himself as a bond servant of Christ (see James 1:1). Remember that conceit numbers among the shallowest of sins. James wisely avoided that temptation by intentionally pointing all future generations totally away from himself. If he had not been absolutely sure that the Lord Jesus was – virgin born, sinless, and miraculously resurrected, then the book of James would never have been written. For years he and the Son of Man lived together in the same house with Joseph and Mary as human brothers, so James’ faith was backed up with abundant knowledge.
Self-praise, which produces vanity, works directly against our spiritual maturity. Consider that it is only when we humbly choose to pursue our spiritual goals in the power of the Holy Spirit that our Savior is truly glorified. He alone provides our spiritual victories. The Bible reminds us,
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that He may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)
When you pray asking for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and you then make wise decisions, purpose ahead to give appropriate honor to the One who provided the wisdom. Symbolically, our ministry – is simply to function like the moon. Our purpose as believers is to reflect the Son’s beautiful light as brightly as possible! Just as the moon produces no light of its own, we produce no spiritual light of our own. We have no spiritual power or brightness apart from the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence. His ministry through us reflects our Father’s grace and that results in – His praise! The Bible presents this saying,
“let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and
praise your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
In His humanity, the Lord Jesus provided the supreme example of directed – adoration! He consistently pointed men’s attention toward His Father and we are to follow His example. He took no credit for His wisdom or power. Consider the way He explained His own teaching and miracles, “…anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father…the words I say to you are not My own, rather it is the Father living in Me who is doing His work.” (John 14:9 & 10)
As you pray for the opportunity to share your witness today, specifically ask that the peace, beauty, and character of the Lord Jesus will be reflected in your attitude and choices. Ask Him to control your spirit and refine your thoughts so all your friends and family will be attracted to Him by – observing His activity in your life. Meditate again on the meaning of His words, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
By Billie Hanks Jr.