When I was in High School I won a national poetry contest. Not exactly the same as winning the hockey league championship or the regional football trophy. So I was a bit surprised when the school announced my achievement and had the local paper out to take a photo for an article. What I didn't understand at that time is that whatever you achieved as a student was achieved for the school. It wasn't that the school was robbing me of my glory but it saw me as part of what made up the school so whatever I did also reflected on the school.
Makes sense. The school is not a building but instead is made up of the students and the staff. A company may produce a certain product but it is often also judged by its employees. Consider Walmart, as much as you may judge the store on its products what will impact you most is how you are treated by the cashier. When the cashier shines, the company shines. When the cashier fails, the company fails.
The same could be said for the Church and God. We are the Body of Jesus and what we do and say either adds to or takes away from the glory of the Father. The difference is, we are not talking about our ability, strengths and weaknesses. Nothing we can do in ourselves can add any glory to our Father. What adds to it is when we allow the Father to shine through us.
Each of us is capable of great and small things, significant to the Kingdom, of far greater worth than we can imagine, and we are capable of these things because of Jesus in us. That is our potential, our responsibility to be filled to the measure of the fullness of God. Our achievement is not measured in what we can do. Instead it is measured in how little we do and how much we allow God to do through us. As long as we live by our dreams, ideas and opinions, God cannot use us. The more we surrender and allow the Spirit to have control, trusting Jesus with our life and our days, the greater glory our Father will receive.
This is what Paul was saying to the Ephesians when we wrote:
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1)
Often these words have stirred my desire to do great things and just as often I designed the blue prints of those things. A life worthy of the calling is a completely surrendered life where we are heard to say, "not my will but yours be done". Not what I want but what you want Lord. Not my blue prints Lord but whatever you have designed. Wherever, however, whatever you desire with me Lord. Here am I, send me. A messenger dispatched by the King goes where the King says to go, he does what the king says to do, he says exactly what the king said to say. His life is not his own.
You have received a calling from Jesus. It is a calling that brings glory to the Father. It is a calling that requires you to allow the power of God in you freedom from your limitations to operate. It is a calling that asks you to be a vessel of God's glory, to allow him to shine through you, to allow the world to see and know him. It is a calling that requires you to be a temple of the Holy Spirit and to do what Jesus did. Now ask yourself, are you living a life worthy of such a calling? Don't run the risk of being ashamed of this life you are living when the King returns and demands an accounting for how you have spent this it. Live for the glory of our King. Let the world see Jesus not you.