Making a Name for Ourselves

We’re driving through Maine today, looking for moose, gazing on the fall foliage, and listening to a bit of Francis Chan. And like He tends to do, He brought my attention to the glory of God, and my tendency to be more about the glory of me. Check this out. “...your name and renown are the desire of our hearts…” -Isaiah 26.8 Seriously? Hmm. If I’m honest with you, when I take an inventory of the desires of my heart, I don’t know that the foremost would be for God’s name and renown. Usually my desires are…well, all about me. For me, by me. Unto the glory of me. What am I doing today? What am I accomplishing? What do I want to be accomplishing? What do I want for lunch? What would I have liked better for lunch? What’s my five year plan? What’s my next five minute plan? etc, etc, etc. When I think about it too long, I start to get depressed…or cross-eyed. “your name and your renown.” That’s like saying, “when I die, I don’t want anyone to remember my name, I want them to remember the name of Jesus.” And that, my friends, is especially convicting in my current line of work. I mean, the whole goal of a rock band sometimes is, “make a name for yourself!” Buy our t-shirt! Buy our cd! Tenth Ave! Tenth Ave! Tenth Ave! Ugh. Is this really what I’m meant for? What music is meant for? I don’t want to lift up our name, I want to bring attention to His. After all, His is the only name that will last. Sure we can give people a good show, but we can’t give them life. Being a Tenth Ave fan will only get you music, it won’t get you eternity. So I’m left wondering today, how do we do this? How do we operate in a system that’s all about making leaders celebrities, and turning prophets into golden calves? How do I turn my own desires to his renown, and likewise, turn the crowds’ attention to His name and not to our own? Well, I think the answer comes in Galatians 6:14 “May I never boast, except in the cross.” When I really think about what Christ has done, leaving behind the glory of his throne and the adoration of angels, severing the unbroken communion of the trinity, setting aside his rights and power and taking up flesh… Clothing Himself in aching, suffocating humanity, walking the earth, feeling our temptations and wrestling with our struggles, bearing our sin and enduring the cross, giving Himself over to death and then conquering over it, it leaves me very little room to boast in me. I mean, if Christ has done all that, then why on earth would I waste my breath to promote any other kingdom? “Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” Makes me think about this quote I heard from Louie Giglio once. “Would you be willing to trade the leading role in the story of you, for any supporting role in the story of God?” Which in essence, is like saying, “would you be willing to trade your star role in that local public access sofa store commercial, for any of the supporting roles in the Lord of the Rings?” Yeah you may not have as many lines, or as much face time, but only one is going to be seen by the whole world, and only one name will be worshipped for all time. And it surely isn’t going to be Tenth Avenue North. So with all that in mind, may we be mirrors only. Tilted at 45 degrees, pushing every adoring gaze and idolatrous stare back to the true source of beauty, to the true source of fame, and to the only source of life. “and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” -Philippians 2:8-11