OBSCURITY vs PROMINENCE


I often wonder why man is consumed with the building of monuments. There are monuments of warriors to remind us of their conquests; monuments towards God which range from the building of cathedrals to the building of organizations.  Not all monuments are made of hard substances as brick or mortar. Some are as ethereal as labels but yet durable as any other monument.

Biblical history is replete with man’s monuments which point towards his own heart while God’s monuments are towards His own heart. In both of these cases there will be recognition gained; one brings light and prominence to man while the other to God and God alone.

Examples of monuments pointing toward man’s heart:

Tower of Babel – reflects on man’s efforts to reach toward God

Peter’s tabernacle – reflects on man’s efforts to contain Glory

Temple built by man – reflects on man’s ability to build large, tall and ornate buildings that lack eternal value and will be destroyed

Monuments pointing toward God’s heart:

Tabernacle – a tent. A simple place to simply be in God’s presence

O.T. Temple according to God’s plan – The only building God designed and it was flat. This design suggests that only He is the highest and not the structure. It also conveys that no other hierarchy is needed.

His people – fitted together as living stones into a spiritual house

I feel that a point of clarification must be made so as not to be mis-labeled as one who is against buildings. I am not against buildings. What I am adversely against are buildings that become monuments to the efforts of man rather than buildings that have utilitarian value. Buildings with utilitarian value would, for example, be buildings used as hospitals, schools, orphanages, safe-houses for battered mothers with their children, and warehouses for goods. However, these buildings should not be warehouses of people under the misnomer and guise of being a church.

The more I reflect on the buildings of man as monuments to their own endeavors the more I cringe for they tend to steal the Glory from God. What would be the result if every endeavor of man was to glorify and point unmistakably to Father God?  What would be the result if every man would truly position themselves to places of diminishing prominence so that the prominence of Christ would be seen by all? Should we not have John the Baptist’s attitude of decreasing as He increases (John 3:30) or as read in The Message that we are to move to the sidelines as Jesus moves to the center.

In the past week I have had a phrase ringing increasingly ever more loudly in my spirit: that all of our God given ministries (assignments) are to be great and flourish past our time here on earth. Furthermore, and while “our” ministries increase we should become increasingly obscure more and more. Can we do more than just imagine a ministry that is flourishing generations after we have long been gone and yet our names not even be remembered? That ALL the Glory would truly and rightfully be given to Father?

Why do men name “their” ministries after themselves? Name colleges, websites, “churches” etc. after themselves? I am more and more convinced that obscurity and not prominence is a legitimate place to be if we truly recognize that all is for the Glory of the Father and that all can only be accomplished by and through His grace.

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