We live in a world that has accomplished great things. We’ve put a man on the moon, we’ve built vehicles that reach speeds far exceeding legal limits, we watch movies in three dimensions. It’s an exciting world and we are blessed to be a mere bit-player on the stage of life.
But it’s also a dangerous world.
A renowned preacher tells the story of the scientist whose head had grown far beyond God’s purpose. This scientist had developed cures for diseases the world had yet to catch. He had conceived life in a test tube and was convinced there wasn’t a thing that he couldn’t accomplish. On his own. Without help from anyone or anything.
The day came when God invited this extraordinary scientist to test his skills. God challenged him to create a man.
With a wry smile, the scientist set about clearing off enough space in his lab for the finished product. He arranged his workspace with an array of chemicals and assorted vials of mysterious stuffs and carefully selected just the right tools for just the right recipe. When everything was readied, he stepped back and studied the effort. Pleased with himself, he went outside and scooped up a handful of dust from the ground.
“Hold on a minute!” God thundered. “Use your own dust!”
Sometimes we think we are so smart. We forget that without God, we are nothing. It all begins with Him and it all ends with Him.
The Bible tells us that with God all things are possible. The danger comes when we forget that everything created was created by Him and for Him. We are not the creator, but the steward of that which He has already created.
From the beginning of time, man has tried to elevate himself to the level of God. It happened with Satan, who was cast from heaven and took one third of the angels with him. It happened with the plains people of Shinar who ambitioned to built a tower up to the heavens. It happened with the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel whose every act was evil in the eyes of God.
It happens with us, just about every day of our lives.
We are constantly in danger of claiming credit for what God has already done. We witness to a friend and convince ourselves that we “saved” him. We complete an academic degree to land a good job and are proud of how we studied harder than everyone else. We make a huge sale, we preach a good sermon, we host a wonderful party—these are accomplishments in which we take great satisfaction for a job well-done.
But where is the praise for the One who made these things possible? Without Him, we accomplish nothing. Paul said it and Paul lived it out in his life: “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” [2 Cor 10:17] Why? Because God is the author of all things good.
Scripture tells us that we are to have the mind of Christ, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing. [Philippians 2:5-7] If Jesus did not compete with God for the glory, why do we? Why do we feel the basic need to claim credit for the work we do—when actually it is the work that He has done.
To God be the glory! In all that we do and in everything we say.