November 22, 2021
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When you speak in public settings as much as I do, you learn there are two people in that auditorium you really want on your side. One is the man in charge of the sound. Without him, no one can hear you. The other is the man in charge of the spotlight, because without him, no one can see you.
After all, I'm not that big you know, and I disappear pretty easily in a crowd or a large event. The spotlight man is really one of the unsung heroes. I mean, you don't think about him; he's invisible for the most part, but he sure makes a difference in the program...unless he forgets where the spotlight goes. Imagine the announcer says, "And now here's our host, Guy Smiley." And as the M.C. appears on stage, the spotlight man suddenly swings that light around until it's shining right on him! You can't see the man you're supposed to be looking at because the guy with the spotlight has you looking at him!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Where the Spotlight Belongs."
The problem of the misplaced spotlight has happened over and over again, with the spotlight that's supposed to be shining on God and God alone. Now you may not have a union card, but if you're a Jesus-follower, you're a spotlight operator. The question is, who's the spotlight on?
King David must have struggled with that sometimes. He says in our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 115:1, "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name be the glory." Isn't it interesting He says "not to us" twice? Almost as if he needs to hear himself say it again. "The glory is not supposed to go to us - not to us." See, God should always get all the credit, all the credit.
Jeremiah asks this probing question - one which I need to listen to and maybe you do, too. He says in Jeremiah 45:5, "Should you then seek great things for yourself?" Then this sober warning, "Seek them not." God Himself soberly warns us, "I am the Lord. That is My name. And My glory I will not give to another." But listen, it's tempting to grab a little of the glory, isn't it? After you've made a good impression or done a good job, just to think, "Hey, aren't I something?" Then God weighs in with His reality check. 1 Corinthians 4:7 - "What do you have that you did not receive?" Or as 2 Corinthians 4:7 says in the Living Bible, "Our only power and success comes from God."
Could it be you've been turning the light that's supposed to be illuminating Jesus on yourself? Pride has subtly started to creep in, you're making sure that folks hear about what you did, you're pushing, you're promoting yourself a little more, you're getting slightly addicted to the attention, to the applause. Without realizing it, you have reversed John's equation, "He must increase; I must decrease." Now it's like, "You must increase."
Throughout Scripture, throughout history, pride has been the subtle destroyer of people God wanted to use. As soon as He started to use them, they forgot it was Him, not them, that any success is a gift from God, not an achievement by us. It's all about Jesus; it's nothing about you. And even though men can't usually see the pride in your heart like they can see more outward sins, God can see it and He will not tolerate it.
All the good things God has given you, all the good things God has done for you and see. through you, you are to use all that as a spotlight to shine on the only star there really is in this show - the Lord God himself.
If you've been turning that spotlight on yourself lately, it's time to put it back where it belongs. "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name be the glory."