"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!" (Psalm 115:1)
"Let no opinion of our own merits have any room in our prayers or in our praises, but let both center in God’s glory." -Martin Luther(1)
A heart free of competition—that’s what I desire. A heart that doesn’t weigh my own goodness in the balances before I go to the Lord in prayer. A heart that doesn’t rehearse all of my own badness before I decide I am too dirty to enter into the presence of a holy God. A heart that is done with my own glory, my own record, my own reputation. A heart that is so taken and captivated by Jesus that everything else is just a faint shadow.
Most days my heart is a mixture of wanting what I described above and then glory grabbing for myself. I want to prove that I am worth the glory, so I set out to be the best I can be, but inevitably I crash and fail, and once again my thoughts are on my record even though it is one of failure. The only thought that clears the clouds is to remember that God sees my fickleness, and his steadfast love and faithfulness do not diminish because of it. We never go to God on the basis of our own good works, and we should never stay away on the basis of our bad works.
The throne of grace is always available to us. For the Christian, it isn’t and never will be a throne of judgment. All of the judgment for all of our sin was laid upon our perfect Savior. We are completely exposed and completely loved by God. This love doesn’t waver on the days when we do bad, and it doesn’t grow on the days we do good. We are loved steadfastly because of what Christ has done for us. He forever won our right standing before God by living the life we were commanded to live and dying the death that was due to us because of all of our glory grabbing. For all the times we tried to glory grab, we are covered by Christ’s perfect record of humility and we are forgiven and cleansed by his precious blood. God’s faithfulness will never end.
So with confidence, dear sisters, with confidence draw near to him—confidence in his work, confidence in his love. You will not find a smack and a disappointed head shake. Rest assured that you will find mercy and grace to help with your day there. You will find a Savior who sympathizes with you in your weaknesses, a Father who delights in you. Draw near. Draw near with haste.
"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)