Wednesday, 20 July 2005

do all to the glory of God

God has made us in entirety: bodies with all the senses. We're used to the idea that music is used in our worship of God, but what about everything else? I resonated deeply with Piper's commentary in 'When I don't desire God' on C.S.Lewis' account of a beam of light in a tool shed, which I'll summarise as: if you merely look at it, you don't use it as it was intended - it doesn't illuminate but shows only dust particles moving seemingly at random. But if you step into it and look along it through the hole in the roof, you see the glorious source. So we use engage our senses in using (looking along) the world around us to perceive God's glory and worship him. As God has made us physical beings, in a physical world, all originally good (and not irredeemable), and all to his glory, we should be seeking to look along all things to see God's glory - to actively seek to be pointed to worship him.

I haven't explained it well, but my question is this: to what extent should we seek to surround ourselves with what will be of use in this? I'll ask living-specific questions, but could also think of time/money/energy spent on music, art, physical activity, garden, location etc. Should we seek to live in an area where we'll see more things of beauty and so be pointed to worship God? Is it wrong to be happy to live in a dump (eg most student digs) which doesn't stir you to worship God, or wrong to want not to live in a dump for the same reason? Or is it socially conditioned (ie a middle class definition of beauty)? Biographies abound of Christians who have lived in poverty for the sake of giving money away. To what extent is to do otherwise selfish and storing treasures on earth? Is seeking these things in order to use them to stir us to glorify and enjoy God denying/fighting the 'rare jewel of Christian contentment' in whatsoever state?

I'm aware that this is undoubtedy something on which an individual needs wisdom and a conscience sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and I'm not expecting rules. But any thoughts shared on the matter would be appreciated.


étrangère said...

An update on that thought. I suppose that Philippians 4, to which I referred in the post ("...I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me") would point to pursuing God and his righteousness, not pursuing the helps to that. I can say that last year in God's amazing grace in provision through his people I learned delight in God in abundance, and in whatever comes I must be content because I can delight in God through him who strengthens me - there will always be sufficient help to do so. I think we're to take opportunity to make use of it, but not pursue it. Thoughts?

PS Most questions seem to come down to trusting God.

étrangère said...

PPS sorry about the time format problem - I can't find how to change it in comments. I'm not posting at 05:anything!