The story is not about us; the story is about God!
We, as humans, tend to think in individual terms. It’s not because we are egotistical, it’s simply the way we are wired. We see the world through our own eyes, and our own perspective. Because we are finite, it is difficult to see the world through another’s perspective. Thus, we tend to place ourselves in the center of the story. This happens not only in life, but even in scripture. We at times tell the story of scripture through a personal lens. We have a sin problem that needs to be corrected. We are hoping to someday make it to Heaven where life is good. This story is not wrong, although possibly not complete. However, the story is not about us, the story is about God. God is the center of the story. God created because God wanted to share love outside of Godself. God chooses to be on mission seeking restored relationship with the creation because God is a Missional God. God ultimately defeats evil and brings about the new creation, so that all knees will bow and all tongues will confess. The story is about God and God’s glory being revealed.
Once we accept this truth as central, we start seeing it throughout scripture.
Consider the Exodus story, and the Ten Plagues against Egypt. Israel is in slavery in Egypt, and God can bring them out in any way God chooses to bring them out. God doesn’t have to send plagues. God doesn’t have to go through the process of sending Moses to Pharaoh and slowly wearing Pharaoh down from plague after plague after plague. God can snap a finger and bring Israel out from Egypt in an instant, but God chooses to use the plagues over and over again to reveal God’s glory to the nations. God even makes it clear before the Seventh plague. “I could have brought Egypt to it’s knees easily, and rescued Israel easily, but I’ve done it this way so that my name might be proclaimed throughout the entire world so that the nations will know the glory of God.” It’s about God’s glory.
Consider the David and Goliath story. Goliath is taunting Israel and no one will stand up to him. David hears the taunts, and volunteers to fight. Remember, however, what David says when he volunteers, why is no one standing up to this Philistine who is defying the armies of the LORD. Goliath is not taunting Israel, Goliath is taunting God. Thus when David goes out to fight he reminds Goliath, I am not coming against you with sword or spear, but in the name of the LORD God of Israel whom you have defiled. The LORD will win the battle today.
Consider the story of Hezekiah when Sennacherib has surrounded Jerusalem. Assyria has overthrown nation after nation, and Sennacherib has made the slow march across Judah destroying fortified city after fortified city. Before attacking Jerusalem, Sennacherib encourages those who are left to surrender. Do you really think your god can save you? Has any other god saved them from the army of Assyria? You will be no different, so surrender. Hezekiah’s choice is not to surrender to Sennacherib, but to surrender to God. Hezekiah calls on God to defend God’s name, and to save Israel so that the whole world will know that the God of Israel is God alone. Sennacherib’s threats are against God, and it’s time for God’s glory to be revealed.
The story is about God’s glory being revealed. Our story is about God’s glory being revealed. Which means that our desire should not be about what we can accomplish or achieve, but what God can do through us for God’s glory. It also may lead to another prayer, a dangerous prayer. Perhaps our prayer needs to be for God’s glory to be revealed in our lives in whatever way God deems necessary. That no matter what happens to us, our desire is for God’s glory to be revealed. That’s a dangerous prayer that requires great courage. It requires great courage because we are telling God that we are willing/ready for any action, both great or catastrophic, in our lives that will lead to God’s glory. It’s a prayer that will require unwavering faith. Yet it also will place us in a position of complete surrender.
The story is not about us. The story is about God, and whatever leads to God’s glory being revealed.