I am pondering the silent but pervasive impact of FWG – Fallen World Gravity. This force is not only at work in unbelievers, but also believers. Not only do people listening to us preach live typically unaware of its impact on their perspective and life, but so do we as preachers! Yesterday we thought about the incessant self-centred pull of this fallen world on us all. Maybe we are only aware of 5% of this pull. If so, that should cause us to pray and ponder!
Here’s another effect of FWG:
2. The pull toward a fallen version of glory. Our fallen world makes a compelling case that glory is about the radiating gravitas of an individual. They could be a successful sports star, or a powerful business leader, or an impressive intellectual giant, or it could be God shining out his impressive knowledge, power and position. The fallen world makes us think that glory is about an individual impressing lesser beings either in some earthly sphere, or in the heavenly sphere.
But where is love in this picture? Where is the other-centred love of the Trinity that radiates in the perfection of loving holiness, not only impressing every creature, but inviting some fallen and undeserving creatures to participate in that loving community of other-centredness? Somehow FWG can cause us to bring a corrupted view of glory into our understanding of God and then we can miss much of the wonder of the Gospel.
At the same time we inadvertently pursue our sanctified version of chasing glory . . . and we are right back to elevating self again!
As before, this is not just the case with those outside of Christ. Our salvation does not immediately purge us of the presence or effects of fallenness. Maybe as preachers, or as listeners, we would do well to come before God in prayer and ask Him to search us and try us, highlighting where we may be pursuing a so-called sanctified version of self-centred glory-grabbing? Does this happen in our ministry? In our self-presentation? In what we write on Facebook?