In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.37                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

The emerging interest in Christian mysticism among so many believers today reflects a long tradition. The Cloud of Unknowing and The Book of Privy Counseling are the first explorations in the English language of the soul's quest for God. These 14th century writings appear in a good edition edited by William Johnston (Image Books, 1973: 176pp).

Hope Happenings

This Saturday evening, the music department of Hope International University will present Emmanuel: God Is With Us - a celebration of the coming of the Lord. It will be a free performance at 7pm in the Pacific Auditorium.

Current Series

This week concludes our series on the Lord's Prayer. Next week we shift gears as we head towards Christmas with a 3-part series entitled Taking Back Christmas.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

Pray then in this way: "Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen." (Matthew 6.9-13)


The Power & The Glory

Henri Nouwen described the three great temptations for all humanity as power, fame, and success. They lure us like bees to honey.

We spend much of our lives striving to dominate others or avoid domination by them (power issues). Additionally, something within us yearns for significance. We want to think that our lives matter and count for something with others, perhaps many others (fame issues). And we vigorously pursue success, in part because it gives us power and fame.

Every day we wrestle these demons. These gargoyles come at us with the silky song of the sirens, seducing us in subtle ways. Like the Tempter of old (see Genesis 3.4-5), inner voices coax us to desire personal power and glory. The call feels irresistible.

It's not that we crave lots of power and glory -- just a little. A little authority over others; a few accolades and bouquets. But the little quickly becomes insufficient and our lust for more becomes insatiable.

Our pursuit of power and glory inevitably produces conflict and discontent. Most of us discover that whenever we feed this longing, we nourish a cutworm.

The prayer of Jesus slices straight to the core of such corruption.

"For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever."

Only as we relinquish our own pursuit of power and glory, can we know the freedom of the kingdom and the richest blessings of the Lord's Prayer. True liberation comes when we surrender power and cease striving for it. Real release happens when we give up the dream of personal fame and glory. It's counter-intuitive; but it's the Kingdom way.

The competitive rivalry in marriages, churches, and workplaces makes it obvious that power and glory remain destructively attractive among us. As Jesus draws his model prayer to a close, he shines the light on our corrosive quest.

Our hearts find healing when we lay down our passion for power and give up our grasp for glory. How else shall we be subject to one another (see Eph 5:21) or practise piety in private, without mentioning it to others (see Matt 6:1-6, right before the Lord's Prayer)?

None of this comes naturally or easily. Perhaps all the more reason to hand it all to the Father, as Jesus suggests. After all -- His power and glory is all that matters ultimately.

"For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever."

May we learn and live this Kingdom way.

In HOPE -

David

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For back issues of "In HOPE" (2005, 2006) go to http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.