Do We Cast God As The Star Of The Story?
By Vince Antonucci
God is the star of the story. Read the Bible and the picture you get of God is of a conquering hero, a God who is victorious and who gives victory. He is the God of glory. The star of the story who deserves all the attention and all the praise.
We don’t like that. Some of us would say we do, but there’s something in us that wants to be at the center.
Life Is Not About Us
A few years ago I saw a movie where the main character says he feels like life is a movie, and he’s the star of the story. Everyone else—his neighbors, co-workers, family members, the waitress at the restaurant—are just supporting actors making occasional cameo appearances in the movie about his life.
The idea would be clever and funny if it didn’t hit so close to home.
I think we’re all tempted to approach life that way. We all want to be the star of the story. We can all be tempted to think of our family and friends as supporting actors and actresses in our story. The grocery clerk at the store? The garbage man who comes weekly? The reason they exist is to serve me.
If it weren’t for God, maybe the thought would just be silly. But due to God, it’s not just a silly thought, it’s sinful. Life is a story, but it’s not about you. God is the star of the story.
Life Is All About God
Life is a story but it’s always been all about God. In the beginning, there was only God.
Then God decides to create. He creates a universe and an earth. Why? “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). The creation glorifies the Creator. Nature points to God, because he is the star of the story. Glory is his.
God also decides to create people. Why? In Isaiah 43:7, God says, “I have made them for my glory.” In 1 Corinthians 10:31 we’re commanded, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” And, again, in Philippians 1:11, “May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”
So the question you and I have to answer, not just one initial time, but a thousand times daily, is: Who will be the star of my story? Will I live my life and make decisions to try and glorify myself, or will I seek to “bring glory to God” in “everything” I do?
We’re tempted to steal God’s glory. It feels like I’ll have a bigger life if my life is about me. That’s not true. When we live for God’s glory, our lives get bigger and better.
In his book Disciple: Getting Your Identity from Jesus, Bill Clem gives a great illustration of this.
The Star Of The Story
Imagine two drama students, each with dreams of making it big as actresses.
The first drama student comes up with a plan. She decides to create her own play while creating the lead role for herself. She writes her own script, even though she’s never written one before. Once it’s completed, realizing that she can’t afford to pay other actors, she enlists two of her friends to take the other roles. She doesn’t have money to rent a venue or create staging, so she talks her parents into allowing the play to be performed in their garage.
The second drama student auditions for a small part in a big Broadway play in New York. She gets the part. It’s a minor role, but she’ll be working with some of the best actors, acting coaches, directors, and producers in the industry, and an outstanding playwright wrote the script.
Which student do you think will have the more significant experience? My money is on the one in the Broadway play: she may have a small role, but she is part of something much bigger than she could ever hope to create on her own. The girl in the garage, however, is trying to convince herself that she’s constructed something worth being a part of. But, in reality, she has constricted herself to a small story played out in a small setting.
Your role in the story is small when you choose to play the lead role. But when you choose to find yourself in God’s story and make him the star of it, you become a part of something huge. Your life will ultimately be much bigger and more important.
The Star Of YOUR Story
Some people choose to construct and star in their own story. Then at some point they invite God into it. They’ll tell you, “I invited Jesus into my life.” But, honestly, the way they live their lives appears as if it’s still their story.
God’s not proposing that we invite him into our lives. He’s asking us to give him our lives. We surrender our lives to God’s will and to living for his glory. We say, “I want to be a part of God’s story. And even if I just get a little bit part, that’s okay, because I’m still part of the BIG story. Because pleasing and bringing glory to God is the most significant thing I can experience, that’s what I want to do with my life.”
Maybe take a moment to read the following two statements and to pray, asking God to reveal which more accurately reflects the reality of your life:
“I am the star of the story and trying to be a conquering hero. If I experience victory, I’ll have glory.”
“God is the star of my story. I serve the conquering hero who is victorious and who gives me victory. I give him glory.”
1- Adapted from Bill Clem, Disciple: Getting Your Identity from Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011), 14–15.
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