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Greater Glory


I live in and worship in a fairly diverse community of faith. Our statement of faith was written from a primarily Reformed theology point of view, and there is a core of probably a solid quarter of the congregation who would self classify as Reformed or Calvinist.

Over the years, and in fact right from the very initial incorporation of our church in 1968 or 69 there have also been some Charismatics in the mix. This number by percent was at the outset very small, and in the 70’s and 80’s there was some pretty intense disagreements between the two.

Currently I would say that Charismatics make up a solid ten percent of the mix.

I grew up in the former group and am now a part of the latter. That is to say, I believe in, and move in spiritual gifts. I have experienced supernatural gifts that were undeniable and I see these expressions of faith in my experience as wonderful demonstrations of what the Bible declares.

I have often seen God move in healing, but not by any means the majority of the times that I have prayed asking for it. Of the times I have seen God heal in apparent answer to my prayer, it has often been undeniable. I also see this line up clearly with scripture on many levels. It would be pretty difficult for someone with an argument to talk me out of what, in whom, I believe.

There have been times when each of these groups made it their main mission in life to educate and enlighten the other. The strongest of each group would pull together their most poignant and pithy arguments and try to out talk the other “side.”

Sadly this would usually end in folks drifting further apart, rather than drawing closer to Jesus.

One place these differences manifest on a regular basis is the way we pray for one another.

Just for fun, let’s pretend someone in the congregation is sick (yep – it happens.)

Folks on the Charismatic side of the pew will start asking God to heal, right now, and begin declaring and proclaiming and the like. (and hey – I am not making fun of this, I am the one making the declarations as likely as not)

Then my brothers and sisters from the Reformed side of the pew will begin to ask the Lord for Sister sickly bring Him glory while they wait for their healing, or while they suffer with no end in sight.

We are all asking for God to be glorified. One group through healing, another through strong Christian character in the face of adversity.

It occurred to me on Sunday morning as I was hearing prayers on both side of this issue that we are leaving the “bringing glory to God” to the sick folks, the ones under the most pressure and stress, those with the greatest reason for resignation and frustration.

What I was wondering is how much are we pressing in for our lives to demonstrate the greater glory on a good day? Do we ask God daily to be glorified in the way we deal with our peachy circumstances? Do we reckon Him worthy of a bouquet of praise on days when He has not just snatched us out of the hands of the hunter?

Maybe this is super obvious to you, but it struck me today.

So today, Lord, will you help me glorify You in the stuff that is going well, and the stuff that challenges me?

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

Walk in the blessing He has already given today.


12 thoughts on “Greater Glory

  1. Larry Carroll

    This is good, Ben. Thanks. Psalm 34 says, "I will bless the Lord at ALL times..." In fact, bringing glory to God (which to me means praise) during the good times enables us to continue to do so during the difficult times. Well, at least it makes it much easier.

    Hey, why not enjoy His presence during the good times, too? In His presence is fullness of joy. King David apparently experienced this intense joy when times were good, as well as when times were tough. Why not us? Why not?

    1. Ben Nelson

      Well said Larry - you have said so clearly what i rambled on and on about.
      All Times means all times - good and bad, and I agree that the habit of praise in good times sets us up to praise Him in the not so good times.


  2. William Wortman

    body{font-family: Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:9pt;background-color: #ffffff;color: black;}Hi Ben,You brought back memories as I was a part of that church history of strain between traditional Reformed and new charismatic.  Fred was a good leader to hold the ship steady.  Now I am in a Baptist church where the Spirit is hardly recognized and the spiritual gifts FEARED.  Mary and I believe the Lord led us here, so we are not about to leave, but it has been a challenge how to share the truth of the good things the Holy Spirit has for us yet not be a threat to the pastor.  Mary, Sarah and I have our own little daily Bible study and prayer time together and we sense the Lord leading us more and more to a ministry of prayer and healing, especially inner healing.  The Church at large seems so powerless to heal in this area, and there is so much need.  I was glad to have your view on the current charismatic mix at PBC.  Keep up the faithful walk and good work.  Blessings,  Bill

    1. Ben Nelson

      Thanks so much for the encouragement and for your consistent "pressing in" for more. I am sure that your loving influence in the body is felt more than it may show.

      I know that the role you played at PBC those decades ago is still felt and remembered today in many lives.

      I remember sitting across the table from you at breakfast for a period of time when you would gently nudge me toward more and more Christlikeness.

      Thank you Bill!

  3. Caddo

    I'm not sure how much humor you intended, but I got a much needed muted chuckle out of "bringing Him glory while they suffer with no end in sight". Sounds like my depression. God bless you BIG.

    1. Ben Nelson

      There are so many who suffer and suffer in mental, physical or emotional pain - even spiritual pain if that's possible, it break my heart. I am so glad Jesus is a healer, even if i don't get the timing right all the time.

      also glad for my sis Caddo and the way she has been drawn out of a bottomless pit as a testimony to the goodness of God, and as a gift to those of us fortunate enough to be in this wonderful circle of friends.

      Bless you sis!

  4. Lisa

    Amen Ben...glorify and praise him in the matter what the circumstance..because ultimately ..all things..not some things, but all things we encounter and go through work together for good. Not always easy is it..easy to glorify him when we are on the mountain top...what do we do when the heat is on, when we don't see eye to eye...he is to be praised and glorified even when our hearts are torn...remember, he lives in the praises of his people. praise his name, from the rising of the sun to the going down.
    ..Bless you Ben

    1. Ben Nelson

      Amen and Amen - well said Lisa. I love that Casting Crowns' song "Praise Him in the storm"

      And i do know it is easy on the mountain top.

      What i find in my life is those middle times, that make up much of life, can be so non-extraordinary that we forget to praise Him while walking through life - from behind the plow or behind the desk. And He is just as worthy then.

      We are so blessed - Praise His holy name -
      Walk in blessing today Lisa!

  5. Lisa

    Agreed Ben...and if you think about it, most of our life is made up of the non extraordinary..those occupy till I come moments. The mundane responsibilities of life, and then we have the lord tell us to be content in whatever state we are in. Well if we think about it, don't we feel that much more content when we fellowship with him and glorify him even in the mundane.....hmmm I am going to be aware of that more now, you are so right. perhaps we miss out on some sweet blessings when we fail to remember him in those common busy with the normal stuff we call life.


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