True worship that blesses the heart of God is much more than words. What thrills His heart is when sons connect with the desires in their heart, so from the heart, they co-labor with Him to build the Kingdom.
2 Sam 24:24 – I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing. NASU
Ex 23:15, 34:20, Deut 16:16 – And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.
Good marketing copy is bait that triggers our deepest wants, not needs. In the world these are thought to be money, sex, and power. We all trade money for aspirations. Since we’re created in God’s image, we naturally gravitate to a glory list of things we dream of becoming and doing (authority, wealth, wisdom, strength, esteem, fame, and favor). We all aspire to be good at something and to be recognized for it. That naturally leads to trying our best and spending our money to satisfy those deep-seated desires of our heart. Instead of pretending that list is entirely sensual, it’s time to realize how to handle glory, dreams, and aspirations correctly.
Glory, the wrong way – When personal development or self-actualization becomes the goal, we start to worship our own glory and elevate our own plans and they become dead works. We develop the mental models, the goals, and the self-discipline to become recognized as a wealthy, accomplished figure esteemed for our wisdom and works. It all becomes a sadly introverted exercise in futility that sounds like Haggai 1:6:
Hag. 1:5-6 – Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.
- You have planted much, but have harvested little.
- You eat, but never have enough.
- You drink, but never have your fill.
- You put on clothes, but are not warm.
- You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
Sound familiar? Many good people have spent lifetimes chasing aspirational rabbits that lead to failures or wealth without meaning (also failure). Both are a tragic waste of time and talent.
Glory, the right way – Purpose is the true foundation for a satisfying life. That entails knowing that Father is fulfilling your book by building His house, not yours. God will help you align with what he wrote in your heart and gain your deepest aspirations when you co-labor with Him. If we work against Him or apart from Him, the favor and the glory lift – it’s that simple!
Hag 1:7-11 – This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.” NIV
When life doesn’t work – We have all experienced setbacks and troubles on many fronts. Not everything will go perfectly, even when you align with your Father’s heart. Real personal development comes from those fiery trials. People who are laying up treasures in heaven carry the fragrance of brokenness – it smells like Jesus. In this life, we follow the Lamb wherever, and the mid-course corrections getting to a larger plan are normal. Our book always remains intact, and we simply give up on perfectionism and keep walking in faith toward our book. In reality, we are all touching aspects of Kingdom vision that extend beyond our lifespan.
Phil 3:12-15 – Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude NASU
Wine or whine – This morning, I was complaining to God about my list of disappointments, and the Lord said this, “John, let your eye be on me instead of your works. I am counting your heart, not your money or accomplishments. I’m leading you through places that will not fit your definition of success – It’s OK. Just follow me and store up treasures in Heaven (Mt. 6:19). Measure your ability to hear my voice and see my works. Just do what I am doing, and you will be fine. I will take care of my son. I’m pleased with you!”
Matt 6:31-34 – So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. NIV
What’s ahead? – Father is building His Kingdom (House), and sons are working with Him to bring heaven to earth. I love this verse from Hag 1:8 – It defines worship that honor’s God (by His definition). Can you see the connection Mt. 16?
Hag 1:8 – Go up into the mountains (Council of Heaven) and bring down timber (Initiative of sons) and build the house (Kingdom on earth), so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored (workship).
Matt 16:19 – I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. NASU
The frustration of current events like election fraud, the decline of the nation, and the vaccine mandates are oppressive; they weigh on all of us more than we realize. It’s normal to feel the heaviness of spiritual warfare in the world and translate it as a personal failure. They feel very similar. We don’t feel successful if God’s plan for our lives, families, businesses, and nation are under attack and stalled. Nothing can separate us from the daily experience that we are His sons who are more than conquerors (Rom. 8:35-39); much more!
What is ahead is a great victory. It’s probably imminent, but even if it’s not sooner, it will be later. Regardless of the timing and whether it’s easy or hard, sons enlist in Ezekiel’s army, and they fight to win. (So run your race to win, 1 Cor. 9:24). Some have already died (spiritually and physically), but the promise remains that not a hair of your head will perish. You won’t even smell like smoke! But, you probably will be tested. If you’re in the Kingdom, you will be in the fray.
Luke 21:15-19 – For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 All men will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By standing firm you will gain life. NIV
Our dreams and aspirations will come true, and on the journey, we are continually experiencing the seven glories listed in Revelation 5:12. At the end of the day, we can cast those same seven crowns before the throne. That is the worship from sons that blesses Father’s heart – it’s much more than words.
Rev 5:12 – Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. KJV (and Rev. 7:12)
In my own morning devotions, I’m recounting the Glory my Father has allowed me to taste from the works we have shared and the glory I’ve carried. Then, I’m giving Him all that glory so I can get a refill and allow my cup to overflow again. Kingdom is fun and fulfilling. The linked graphic is a helpful download.
We help businesses with a heart for people ‘see’ their book and live their dream. More here:
- Nail your Purpose Field Guide (A place to start clarifying your heart’s desires)
- Intentional Reformation Intro (A diagnostic you will enjoy along with our purpose & Values)
- OnlineHeartPlan.com (Our web site, Courses on Zoois m)
- The USA Book (proof we can get our arms around the books of people, businesses, and nations)