God does not share His glory with another (Is 42:8); therefore, he who strives to be great, or if he deludes himself into imagining he has already achieved greatness…that man or woman is wrong. The pride of man quests after a level of performance determined by fallible man. Then, he strives with his neighbor in diverse competitions (Eccl 4:4). He keeps statistics in order to measure his illusory greatness.
People ignore God’s Word in which He reveals the vanity of man’s mind (Eph 4:17) and the futility of man’s works (Ecclesiastes). There is nothing in man, nor is there any effort put forth by man that wins favor with God (Rom 3:9–18).
Adam, the first man, was the last man to follow God’s plan, until he deviated from that plan through open rebellion, using the last free will fallen humanity ever experienced. From the point of his fall into sin, Adam and his progeny sinfully pursued their own plans. Henceforth, God’s plan for sinful man was revealed as judgment, punishment, and eternal fire. Man suffers the consequences of his responsible decision for disobedience. Under the inspiration of his overlord and master, Satan, man lusts for glory, being deceived into thinking that he is somehow serving God with a degree of profitability. Man will even kill his infidel neighbor, thinking he is doing service to God (Jn 16:2).
Daring and bold before the omnipresent God, man increasingly flaunts himself in hubris. Man goes so far, as to deny that God exists, or that God is his Maker (Ps 14:1; Heb 11:10). On the coming day of judgment, sinful man will be mortified by the level of deception under which he operated all the days of his life (Mt 7:21).
Eternal hell in the lake of fire is the just wages for man’s self-designed course (Jude 1:7; Rev 20:14–15). Man’s plan for his own greatness is often unhindered by God. Left to his reprobate mind (Rom 1:28), man blindly follows the multitudes on the wide way that leads to destruction (Mt 7:13). His life coach is no help, spurring him on to greater heights of vanity, in the world that is slipping away from him.
There is another man who will never be great in the estimation of the world. This second Adam is Christ Jesus, our Lord, the Son of God sent from heaven (1 Cor 15:45; Jn 3:16). Distinguished from humanity as the God-man, He was one of us, born of a woman; yet He was conceived, born, and lived without sin (Heb 4:15). In His impeccable nature, as the Son of God, Jesus Christ followed God’s plan to perfection. He always did the will of Him who sent Him (Jn 8:29). In this, He pleased His Father in heaven like we never have, even once, in our sinful flesh.
Although the world does all it can to suppress the truth about the King of glory (Rom 1:18), His Holy Spirit continues to make Christ known (Col 1:27). For those given eyes to see, and granted ears to hear, they know the exclusive greatness of God incarnate (Jn 1:1, 14; 1 Jn 5:9).
Men cannot strive with the King of kings and Lord of lords and expect to share His greatness. Only when a man receives the Spirit of Christ does the plan of God begin to manifest aright for him.
Obedience to all He has commanded will never be fully realized in this world and in our lives. We can never claim to have followed God’s plan, as Jesus did, but in our failure, the plan of God, for the recovery of broken vessels, is revealed for His glory (Rom 9:23; 2 Cor 5:19). In this is the greatness of God, that He has worked all His holy will (Eph 1:11; 3:11), His divine plan to display His greatness, and this is the reason His people cease from striving (Ps 46:10). We have entered His rest, by faith (Heb 4:3, 10), bearing witness that all greatness is ascribed to Christ, the One follower of God’s plan, being Himself God’s plan for greatness.
Spokane Valley, Washington
September 18, 2021