What Do Planes Have to Do with Glory?
Updated: Oct 21, 2022
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4
This is a verse that I hold dear. I know that God gives us the desires He is talking about in this verse. When we delight ourselves in Him, He places His desires in our heart and then He fulfills it. Staying close to God in prayer and daily conversation, obeying his commands, abiding, etc., all have a great impact on our thinking. Like the saying goes, we become who we surround ourselves with.
But what happens when we don’t get the desires of our heart? Does that mean we are not delighting enough in God?
God always has a good reason why He doesn’t answer our prayers. What He does or doesn’t do for us, is always for our good and His glory. As Paul tells us in Romans, And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. (8:28)
Comforting? Not always in the moment.
So, I have been looking for plane tickets for my husband and I to visit my youngest daughter in Florida for her 18th birthday in October. Normally, this is a cheap time to travel. I have seen round trip tickets from Dallas to Orlando for around $100. But this year is different. I have been looking at tickets for over a month and the least expensive is 2-4 times than that on the cheapest, barely-gets-you-on-the-plane (and maybe not), price. Normal carriers have been averaging around 7-9 times higher round trip. I have been praying for God to make a way, let me just happen to check the prices when they were at their lowest, give me some vision or insight. And here we are with 3 weeks to go, and I can’t find anything decent for under 4 times the amount we expected to spend.
My conversation with God went like this over the course of the last several weeks:
Me: God, you know the desires of my heart. I haven’t been away from her this long. Her birthday is the exact midpoint of her coming home for Christmas. You know I will be missing so many other things in her life, please don’t let me miss her birthday, too. You know how much this means to me and to her.
Me: Lord, I am trusting You. I am waiting on you. Let me check again to see if You have opened any doors for me.
Me: LORD, the prices are going up not down. Lord, you know how much this means to me. Please Jesus make a way for us to go that won’t cost us an arm and a leg between the flight and hotel.
Me: Lord, I am now asking everyone I know to pray. I will give you all the glory when we get those tickets. I will tell everyone how YOU made it happen when we all prayed.
God: And what if I don’t? Will you bring me glory even if I don’t?
Me: Stunned Silence
Wow, I didn’t realize how much I was making God my genie! I thought I was so good in giving Him the glory when He answers my prayers, but isn’t it still me pulling all the strings? By no means am I suggesting you do not ask God for the desires of your heart. But does giving Him glory rest on that answer?
The question I propose to you is the same: Will you bring Him glory even if He doesn’t answer your prayers?
What if this was more dire than plane tickets? Like getting pregnant, asking God to heal or save someone you love from dying, getting your dream job, house, car… Giving God the glory for answering your prayers is 100% the right thing to do, but should our glory-giving be dependent on it?
So far we have not made a decision about tickets. We can just forget God altogether and use frequent flyer miles, we can bite the bullet and pay full price, or we can stay home. But either way, do we wallow in the “should have beens”? Do we blame God for not opening up cheaper flights? Or do we claim the glory because we did it our way? Is that the right thing to do? It’s the worldly thing to do.
No matter what choice we choose, God cannot be forgotten and He is worthy of glory. But, can we give Him that glory? That’s when we have to dig deep. Is our glory giving conditional? CONDITIONAL GLORY? “Do what I ask, and I will glorify you!?”
On one hand, after all, I am not taking the credit for the answered prayer, which is good. But on the other hand, my glory, honor, reverence is dependent on God doing something for ME! I may love Him either way, but do I glorify Him?
Head knowledge may say, “YES, He is the King of kings Lord of lords, of course He is worthy of glory despite what He does! God always knows best!” But what does the heart truly say? Is He worthy of praise by you? Can YOU do it? That is a heart issue…a belief issue…a trust issue.
It’s okay if today your answer is “No, I can’t.” Acknowledgement is the first step to change. If it is no, then you have a new prayer to pray, like I did with my reality check. Please Lord, help me glorify and trust you IN ALL THINGS.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the conviction today. You tell us, Abba Father, that we can come to You with ANYTHING. Nothing is too big or too small for You to handle. You know the desires in our hearts and the motivations behind our prayers. I pray that Your Holy Spirit will help us when Your will does not align with our will. Help us to glorify you even when Your answer is no or not now. Help us to trust that Your bigger plan is better than anything we can imagine by our small brains with the limited information we have. I ask that when we pray, even when we pray BIG, that we will remember our love for You and Your honor and glory do not rest on Your answers, but on WHO You are. Convict us, then guide us, on to a better prayer that really does honor You and the people and things we pray for, so that we see You in an ever bigger and more real way. I pray all these things to truly bring You Honor and GLORY in the precious and holy and honorable name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth;
1 Chronicles 16:28-30a
Addendum: We did finally purchase tickets using Frequent Flier Miles as we found a date and time that used much less miles than we had originally found, which we had available. We are praising, thanking, and glorifying God. But the Glory was already His either way. I pray You see Him at work in the prayers you are praying also.
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