DO IT FOR HIS GLORY.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).
The Amplified Classic translation puts our theme verse in a clearer perspective. It says, “Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance….” It brings to mind the confrontation between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18.
Some have studied that portion and ran off with the idea that what Elijah did was to project himself for others to applaud, but that’s not true. The prophet challenged King Ahab to gather the Israelites and the prophets of the false gods—four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of Asherah—at Mount Carmel. They were to prepare a sacrifice, and call down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice. The one who succeeded would be revealed as the true prophet.
Each group prepared a bull on an altar and called on their god to send fire from heaven. The prophets of Baal called on their god and cried and cut themselves, but there was no response from their god. When it was Elijah’s turn, he drenched the sacrifice with water; then he called to God and God sent fire from heaven. The fire completely engulfed the sacrifice.
Read Elijah’s words in 1 Kings 18:36: “…LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, LET IT BE KNOWN THIS DAY THAT THOU ART GOD IN ISRAEL, AND THAT I AM THY SERVANT, AND THAT I HAVE DONE ALL THESE THINGS AT THY WORD.” He was following the guidance of God’s Spirit. That confrontation wasn’t a show of his sense of self, or self-importance; it was solely based on the Lord’s guidance.
Observe the result: the Israelites lost faith in Ahab and followed Elijah’s guidance in trusting and recognizing God’s sovereignty. What Elijah did glorified the Lord God of Israel before the people. Whatever you do for the Lord shouldn’t be out of selfish ambition or conceit. It should be for His glory. You must learn to follow the Spirit in the Word, by the Word, and through the Word just like Elijah did. And your works, and your ways, will glorify the Lord.
Dear Father, your Word is the light that guides my thoughts, plans, decisions, and helps me navigate through life in glory. I follow your guidance solely, and my heart is devoid of conceit. Through your Word, I receive direction, illumination and insight into the mysteries and realities of the Kingdom, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
1 Kings 18:30-39 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD [that was] broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: 32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid [him] on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour [it] on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do [it] the second time. And they did [it] the second time. 34 And he said, Do [it] the third time. And they did [it] the third time. 35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. 36 And it came to pass at [the time of] the offering of the [evening] sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou [art] God in Israel, and [that] I [am] thy servant, and [that] I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou [art] the LORD God, and [that] thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that [was] in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw [it], they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he [is] the God; the LORD, he [is] the God.
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
1-Year Bible Reading Plan:
Mark 1:1-20;Leviticus 6-7
2-Year Bible Reading Plan:
Matthew 14:11-21;Genesis 45