Adam, the first man, who was made by the Father, was truly the glory of the Father. As he basked in the Father’s presence, he radiated and emanated the Father’s light to all of creation. After sin entered his life, Adam had to settle for something lower, a strictly temporal and earthly realm. His pride impelled him to hide from the Father because he knew he had sinned. Since the very inception of this mindset, pride has been one of mankind’s greatest hindrances to growth and advancement. Pride’s destructive influence fills our world today and continues to be the biggest reason for the downfall both of individuals and of nations. Human pride manifests itself in many ways.
Mankind’s obsessive quest for satisfaction and pleasure has been focused primarily on external, material, and perishable things that might seem valuable now but are completely worthless for buying spiritual things, let alone inheriting them. Even as human society continues to evolve on a daily basis, the desperate human quest for satisfaction continues to fail. Between houses and cars, food and clothes, and everything else, the human heart is addicted to “more.” We make class distinctions between people groups based on the level of their material wealth or lack of it. This creates division in relationships. Rather than seeking to know people according to their “heart,” we evaluate them according to what they possess outwardly. All of our advertising and marketing is geared to appeal to the physical senses, and it works. We are easily caught up in the delusion of measuring each other’s worth and value by our economic gain and status.
Everything about humanity itself is limited: our wisdom, our knowledge, our understanding, and our strength. Thus, these things can bring us only limited rewards, though they may bring us accolades from those who are attracted to a natural, temporal standard of life—for a while. I have witnessed firsthand, however, that as one’s riches diminish, so does one’s circle of so-called friends. That is when one discovers one’s true value in the eyes of other people. Often, it is a very painful revelation.
Many love to bask in the glory of their natural achievements, and there is no harm in this as long as one remembers that this kind of glory only lasts for a season. Though gratifying at the time, its pleasures quickly fade. The core reality is that everyone needs a place within their heart where the Father can come and abide. His glory far outweighs anything of the natural order. His glory is eternal and reveals His eternal nature and perfect character. His principles never waver. He does not make distinctions that divide relationships based on achievements. His abiding presence produces in us a posture of humility and generosity in which we sincerely cheer each other forward for the better. There is no insecurity in Him, which defeats every streak of competition. His culture is of a different order and mandate. He delights in lovingkindess, judgment, and righteousness.