My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
You understand that you are dependent upon God for your salvation. But have you ever thought about your dependency on Him for honor? To understand our dependency on God for honor, it is important to understand the meaning of the word as it relates to man and God.
Today, the word “honor” has multiple usages and meanings. Honor can be in the form of an award such as a commendation for bravery or a trophy for superior performance. Honor can be bestowed on others in the form of respect such as honoring your parents or honoring your teacher. It also has to do with virtuous conduct.
One who possesses the quality of being honorable is said to have “a good name.” Throughout history honor has been linked to trustworthiness, honesty, dignity, character, fidelity, virtue, and fame. Honor is sometimes used to express acceptance. For example: “we honor Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.”
There was a time when honor was so important that it would be defended unto death. Two prominent American politicians, the former Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and sitting Vice President, Aaron Burr, settled their mudslinging differences with pistols. On July 11, 1804 Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton. Ironically Burr may have successfully defended his honor, (at least in his mind) but his political reputation was destroyed. And you thought that political mudslinging was bad today.
In today’s focus scripture we read, “My salvation and my honor depend on God.” This dependency is total. Just as we are completely dependent upon God for salvation — so it is with honor.
God expects us to live honorably by following His instructions and commands. Our standards for honorable living have not been established by man but by God. Our efforts at living up to His standards bring honor to Him. The only truly valuable honor that can come to us is that which comes from God. Only His honor is everlasting.
If you haven’t learned this already, it is important for you to know. When you are genuinely trying to honor God with your life there will be times when you are denied the honors of man. In fact, there will be times when you are shunned, treated badly, or ignored because you are living by His standard. That is not a time for doing something radical to defend your honor, for it is vitally important you maintain your good witness before God. In such times, you should look to God to vindicate your cause. (Ps 43:1)
To be clear, any honor given by God to us is unmerited. That is not to say God is not more likely to show favor to those who have remained faithful to Him, (Jn 12:26) but we should never forget we can’t earn it. The very definition of grace rules out the possibility of earned favor. The only One worthy is Jesus, by whom you were bought with a price.(1 Co 6:20) When God looks at you, He doesn’t see your flaws, but He sees the perfection of Christ.
The road to honor begins with humility as we humble ourselves before God. “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” (Pr 29:23) Jesus put it this way: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:3)
Therefore, honoring God begins by humbling ourselves to the Lordship of Christ. “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” (Jn 5:23) We then live honorably by serving Christ, “He who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him,” (Jn 7:8) and by serving others. “Honor one another above yourselves.” (Ro 12:10) Honor begins with God, flows into the life of the believer, is shared with others, and then is lifted up to God.
As both the source and standard of honor, God is your “mighty rock” and your “refuge.” Let’s face it. There will be times when your performance does not honor God nor is it worthy of His salvation. How good to know that in such times of failure you are not dependent on others or yourself. The victorious performance of Christ is all that matters. He is your rock and your refuge for today and forever.
Are you living your life to honor God? Does your behavior demonstrate your love, gratitude, and proper respect for the God of all Creation to whom you belong? Are you living worthy of your calling? (Eph 4:1, Phil 1:27) He honors you with total commitment through Christ. Honor Him by committing every aspect of your life to Him.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Fools Despise Wisdom and Instruction, The Flip Side of Godly Wisdom, Part 3
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.