“The haughty looks of man shall be brought low,
and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled,
and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.”
“The LORD alone will be exalted.” By nature, we like to receive praise. It makes us feel good when others recognize a job well done. We may even begin to see it as our right to receive some sort of recognition. Which means if we don’t get it, bitterness and frustration start to define our perspective. Tension rises as we look for others to fulfill our expectations. Relationships become strained and we become unsatisfied.
It seems that the more we allow ourselves to focus on the praise of others—whether it’s attention we’re receiving or attention we feel we deserve—the more we’re consumed with it. It becomes a craving we never can fill.
Scripture tells us that the pride of men will be humbled. The Lord alone will be exalted. All praise, all attention, all glory will be His. He is the only one truly deserving of it. All that we have, all that we are, is solely due to our benevolent God. He formed us. He strengthens us. He leads us. He sustains us. He pours out grace. He forgives our sin and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. He doesn’t have to do any of that. He is the King of glory, clothed in the splendor of majesty. And at the end of days, all will see clearly that He alone is to be exalted.
So what happens in us when we start living with that perspective now? In our every day? At work, at home, at church. In our relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances. Looking always to our God whose greatness is unsearchable and whose glory fills the skies. Remembering that He is the one in charge of every detail, every outcome. Giving Him praise for all that He has done for us, in us, and through us. We are mere vessels of clay, and the only good in us is Jesus. Our successes, our failures—all of it is in God’s hands and ordained for His purposes. So we look to Him and trust Him with all of it.
What we find is that the more we fix our eyes on Christ and give our Lord all the praise, the less we concern ourselves with the recognition we do or don’t receive. Satisfaction is found in knowing our God and believing that He is good and does good, and He will take care of our every need. Our heart changes and we want only His exaltation. We want others to see His glory and praise Him, and for anything we do to simply point back to the One who gives us life.
“Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness…
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty…
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.”
Psalm 29: 1-2, 4, 10
“Thus says the LORD:
Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool…
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.”
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!…For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Romans 11:33, 36