John 5:41-44 WEB
I don’t receive glory from men.  But I know you, that you don’t have God’s love in yourselves.  I have come in my Father’s name, and you don’t receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.  How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God?
Seeking glory is a real problem. It’s one of those sticky issues of Christianity. Unfortunately, we live in a society that teaches us to give and receive glory from one another. Yet this passage is clear, Jesus did not receive glory. He goes on to say those who receive glory from one another do not believe in God.
That is scary. It reminds me of the passage of scripture that says, “Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’  Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’” (Matthew 7:22-23 WEB) It is easy to tell if you are seeking glory or if you are seeking God. All you need to do is find something God needs done and do it. Then, keep it to yourself.
I used to wonder about my need to tell my every accomplishment. I knew it was wrong, but I could not quite get to why it was wrong. This passage helped me understand. It makes it plain. When I need people to see my accomplishments, I am seeking glory. There are appropriate times to share our accomplishments. What I am talking about here is a daily need for praise and adoration that leads you into a habit of self-promotion.
Self-promotion is a way to receive glory. On the other hand, Jesus was great at keeping things to himself. He even tried to restrain people from telling the miracles that were happening, “Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”  Their eyes were opened. Jesus strictly commanded them, saying, “See that no one knows about this.”  But they went out and spread abroad his fame in all that land.” (Matthew 9:29-31 WEB) Strangely, the more Jesus tried to keep things to himself, the more his fame grew. With no self-promotion, God was able to position Jesus where he was meant to go.
Jesus believed the things he told others. He believed in God so much that he was obedient to death on a cross. Jesus understood before he died that God was going to ask him for his life. “As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Don’t tell anyone what you saw, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.” (Matthew 17:9 WEB) Jesus was willing to be humiliated by the shame of the cross because he genuinely believed in God.
Lord Jesus, please help me recognize when I am seeking glory for myself. Please give me the grace to learn to give myself away for your glory. Help me come higher in my relationship with you Jesus. Help me trust you to get me where I am meant to be so I can give up endless striving. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.