"How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” (John 5:44, NASB). If we are displaying our spirituality to impress men, still seeking honor from others, still living to appear righteous or special or “anointed” before people, can we honestly say we have been walking near to the living God? We know we are relating correctly to God when our hunger for His glory causes us to forsake the praise of men.
Does not all glory fade in the light of His glory? Even as Jesus challenged the genuineness of the Pharisees’ faith, so He challenges us: “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another?”
What a weak comfort is the praise of men. Upon such a frail ledge do we mortals build our happiness. Consider: Within but a few days after the Lycaonians attempted to worship Paul, they were congratulating themselves for having stoned him (Acts 14:11–19). Consider: Was it not the same city whose songs and praise welcomed Jesus as “King ,,, gentle, and mounted on a donkey” (Matt. 21:5–9) that roared, “Crucify Him!” less than one week later (Luke 23:21)? To seek the praise of men is to be tossed upon such a sea of instability!
We must ask ourselves: Whose glory do we seek in life, God’s or our own? Jesus said, “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory” (John 7:18). When we speak from ourselves and of ourselves, are we not seeking to solicit from men the praise that belongs only to God? To seek our glory is to fall headlong into vanity and deception.
“But,” Jesus continued, “He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (v. 18). The same quality of heart that made Christ’s intentions true must become our standard as well. For only to the degree that we are seeking the glory of God are our motivations true. Only to the degree that we abide in the glory of Him who sends us is there no unrighteousness in our hearts.
Therefore, let us give ourselves to seeking the glory of God, and let us do so until we find Him. As we behold the nature of Christ, as our eyes see Him, like Job we “abhor” ourselves and “repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6, KJV).
As we are bathed in His glory, we shall be washed from seeking the glory of man. If we truly find Him, no one will have to tell us to be humble. No one need convince us our old natures are as filthy rags. As we truly find God, the things that are so highly esteemed among men will become detestable in our sight (Luke 16:15).
What could be more important than finding God?
Take a day, a week or a month and do nothing but seek Him, persisting until you find Him. He has promised, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). Find God, and once you have Him, determine to live the rest of your life in pursuit of His glory. As you touch Him, something will come alive in you: something eternal, someone Almighty! Instead of looking down on people, you will seek to lift them up. You will dwell in the presence of God. And you will be holy, for He is holy.
Francis Frangipane is the founder of River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has traveled throughout the world ministering to thousands of pastors and intercessors from many backgrounds. His heartfelt prayer is to see established in every city Christlike pastors and intercessors, united before God, revealing the love of Christ to their communities. Since 1985, Frangipane has written 14 books plus a number of study booklets. Over the past decades, he has served on a number of other ministry boards. However, in recent years he has gradually resigned from these various boards. As of June 2009, he has also retired from his position as senior pastor of River of Life Ministries. In his more simplified life, Frangipane is devoting himself to prayer and the ministry of God's Word. This article was excerpted from Frangipane's book Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God.