Last Sunday, launching our Summer All Age Series, we looked at Psalm 3 and asked what it would feel like if we grasped the true source of our glory. This is such a crucial idea that I want to return to the theme in this notes and news.
What is your glory? By that I mean what makes you valuable, what gives you worth and status? What is it about you that makes you lift your head?
Now we will respond to that question in many different ways. Some of us will want to say there is very little about us that is glorious, very little that makes you feel valuable. You might feel quite ‘down on yourself’. Others of us, in humble ways, will know there are things that make us rightly proud. Maybe your family? Maybe your career? Maybe your character or how you relate to others? These are all good things - reasons for a right sense of pride.
But here is the thing - if those things are not just a source of glory but the deepest source - we are living quite fragile lives that often are given over to deep anxiety. The source of our value and worth is quite vulnerable. If your family is your deepest glory then what happens if the family falls apart over some big argument? What if the career goes south or character is called into question? If those good things are the deepest basis for your value or worth, then not only have you lost the family or career, you have lost yourself - your glory and your pride.
This is what was happening to the great King David in Psalm 3, he has lost everything - his power, his children, he popularity, his character. Yet David can still sleep at night, he is not afraid. How can this be?
Put simply the deepest ground for his glory is in the glory that is given by God, not a glory he has had to earn for himself. His worth, value and identity ultimately come from the fact that God loves him. We know Christ died for us, has brought us into relationship with God, gifted us with eternal life. This is our ‘given glory’ and it is so secure and stable because it can never be taken away.
So might you take a moment this week to ask what is causing you to be fearful or anxious? Might it be you have ultimately located your deepest glory in something other than that glory given from God? What difference would it make to our anxiety levels and how we feel about ourselves if we increasingly located our glory in what God has given us?
“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the one who lifts my head high." Psalm 3:3