When Stefani Germanotta was in school, a teacher named Chris White saw her skill and desire to succeed as a singer. White recalls telling her, “Stefani, you may get the fame and success you are longing for one day, but it will not last and it will not make you happy.”
In the upcoming Netflix documentary, we get a window into how fame and glory have not satisfied Stefani’s heart. In a clip from the documentary that Stefani released on twitter, we hear her tell best friend and celebrity stylist Brandon Maxwell that fame has left her empty:
“I’m alone, Brandon. Every night,” she’s heard saying through tears. “And all these people will leave, right? They will leave and then I’ll be alone. And I go from everyone touching me all day and talking at me all day to total silence.”[i]
In the documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” we get a window into the life of a superstar. Stefani Germanotta, also known as Lady Gaga, hasn’t found what she was looking for.
Glory is a strange thing. Humans are glory seekers. We seek for adulation, fame, success, praise, and stardom, only to find these things empty and disappointing. As Canadian singer and songwriter Royal Wood has said, “We were born to glory” but find ourselves “caught in earthly drama instead of walking free.”
The irony of glory is that it is not ours to begin with, but can be something that we are caught up in. That glory is not our own. “You were bought with a price,” Paul can say to the Corinthians, “so glorify God” (1 Cor 6:20). Glory isn’t something mystical either. “Whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). In other words, we were born to glory, but the way that we find glory is not by seeking our fame or greatness, but by seeking the fame and glory of another – the God of glory (1 Tim 1:11).
How do we seek God’s glory without making the pursuit a selfish ambition? One of the most glorious passages about God’s glory comes from Romans 11:33-36, and Paul concludes by saying:
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
In this expulsive doxology, Paul tells us something simple and yet profound: we glorify God by remembering that from him, through him, and to him are all things. From beginning to end, it’s all from him, through him, and to him. And as we seek his glory, he glorifies us (Rom. 8:29-30) so that we find our satisfaction in him (Pss. 63. 84).
On Sunday morning, you’ll wake up with breath. It was given as a gift. Why not give back to God in praise the breath that he has given? In this way, we can say with Paul, “To him be glory forever!”
Soli Deo Gloria!
As we gather for Sunday worship, we want you to meet with God and be transformed by the Word. Prepare your heart by reading the passage and listening to the songs for Sunday.