Our church frequently sings the popular song “Worthy of It All” as we praise God on Sunday mornings: “All the saints and angels bow before Your throne. All the elders cast their crowns before the Lamb of God and sing, ‘You are worthy of it all, You are worthy of it all, For from You are all things, and to You are all things. You deserve the glory.’”
It’s one of those songs that engages our hearts, but do we really believe the lyrics?
That question crossed my mind a couple of weeks ago as we sang.
I had spent the previous Friday at an all-day conference designed to help the church live out the oneness that Jesus prayed for us (John 17) in a very divisive time. We were reminded that humility, selflessness, and understanding are essential to bridge any divide. Can I act on what’s best for others instead of myself? Can I put aside my personal causes and really listen to those with different backgrounds and experiences long enough to better understand?
Then that Monday I was attacked by belittling, name-calling, and dismissal simply because I responded with simple statements of truth and suggestions to research it to a false report online. In my friend’s mind I proved to be in the wrong tribe and an enemy of his, and by his suggestion, God’s agenda.
As I processed it, I’m more convinced than ever that doing what is right before God involves speaking truth to lies in kindness, responding to ugliness without rancor, and not acting on the desire to defend myself—all exemplified by Jesus. It requires trusting that it is Christlikeness that draws people to Jesus, not argument. And being Christlike is worth whatever the consequences to me personally because it brings him glory.
I’m asking God to show me my own heart in every issue and situation. Am I more concerned about my easy life or the extension of God’s kingdom through the way of the cross? Do I really believe that Jesus is worthy of it all, even if it brings hardships or persecution? Does the way I live and speak reveal that I’m seeking God’s kingdom and the unity of the body or protecting myself? Do I trust God with my fears and needs, willingly sacrificing my safety and prosperity when his kingdom is of more value than whatever I might lose in the process?
What did Paul say?
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:7-12).
If he is worthy of it all, the gospel, the character of God, and his kingdom purposes override our political and national purposes. We are God’s people, aliens here. Maybe we need to reassess our loyalties. It’s been difficult as God has shown me how so many of my choices and views arise from self-protection and fear instead of faith that the One who is worthy of it all is the One who holds me in his hand.
Thank God for his forgiveness.