By S.C. Shaw
I feel the need to start this blog with a confession. I don’t feel worthy to write something of such grandeur. There are people more educated and multiple books written that will be a better resource on this subject. However, I am a firm believer in spreading truth with whatever platform we’ve been given. Someone may read this blog that’ll never pick up other resources on the subject, or after reading this, will want to research such an important topic further. Whatever the scenario, we can’t talk about these things too much. We must never stop growing in beholding God more and more. To get more of, and different insights to the things of God will help us all to have better understanding and hopeful grasping of God a little more each day. Here’s my attempt.
I view the glory of God as the most important subject there is. Any argument or debate can and should end up at the glory of God. In fact, I usually start there. It is the most important thing to God, so it should be to the most important thing to us as well. I believe that all of God’s attributes derive from His glory for the main purpose to glorify Himself, which is why He does everything. God’s love for His children derives from His love for Himself & His own glory. I believe that every issue and false belief stems from a lack of understanding or distortion of the glory of God. What better place for the enemy to attack then where it is most important and foundational. I believe there is only one response to catching glimpses of Gods glory, and that is complete humility and life change in the life of a believer. When we begin to see God for who He is more and more each day, and when we begin to understand the bigness and awesomeness of our infinite God, that is when the believer’s life is confident, joyful, wise and sanctified in Jesus Christ. God’s glory is how we can fight lies in our mind, lies from others and lies from the enemy.
The more I ponder the big themes of God, the more awe inspiring they become as well as simple to gain a sense in a nonsense world. The logic of a lot of people in this world have no foundation or backbone when probed with questions. When we, as believers in Christ talk or attempt to make sense out of our own struggles or the contradictions in the lies of men, we must know where to start. And we have the foundation. We know the reasons why. We start with the biggest and most important things; Gods glory is the main one. From the start, the believer has a foundation rooted in the truths of scripture. Let us not fight to understand or defend our faith with our mere reasoning or assumed intelligence. We have the powerful weight of Gods eternal glory to rest in, rest on and rest with as we walk in light and truth revealed to us in God’s Word.
What is God’s Glory?
If you were like me, I would be asking at this point, “So what is Gods glory?” I think most of us grasp a concept of what it is, but if it is as important as I believe the Bible is telling us it is, then we should know nothing more than what it is. We need to be well versed in it and ready to clearly proclaim from it. So, God’s glory is the very essence of who He is. It is His presence and power. His sovereignty revealed and all His attributes combined. You could say it is an attribute of His attributes. God created out of, for and through His glory. Everything He has created gives glimpses of His glory. God does all things for His own glory. He is God in heaven and He does whatever He pleases for His own glory and everything He does is good, perfect and true. Right about now most of us may be starting to feel a little turned off to this idea? And that is actually ok. You see, when we see this in the world it is always ugly. When a person tries to acquire this kind of glory in their own life, it is an unattractive character trait. So, why is it good with God? First let me tell you why it is ugly outside of God. Because glory is all do to God. No one can live up to that glory. There is nothing that compares or can come close to the gloriousness of Him who created and is sustaining everything. When we try to steal any of His glory there is a deep rootedness that tells our souls, this isn’t right! This doesn’t feel correct! I don’t deserve this. Even the ones attempting to glorify themselves will never find peace or joy. They are living for the wrong person. All their effort and self-seeking is detestable and they know it. Therefore, the most arrogant people are usually the most insecure. We are created to worship and to glorify God. I don’t think we meditate on that enough. He read it, hear it and yet we aren’t getting it. You know how I know that? Because myself and everyone else I see is in a constant struggle with self or Christ. Some of us aren’t struggling at all because we are completely happy with our self glorifying life. But we are a created being, God made us to glorify Him. Not cause He needed it. Not because He was lacking in friendship, bored or wanting. The Trinity is self sufficient in and of themselves. God needed nothing but wanted to create and share His overflowing love, power, holiness and glory. We were created to know Him and enjoy Him forever. He delights in His creation when we delight in Him. This life is about Christ and so is the life to come. If you have no desire to know Christ more here, then you’ll have no desire to be in heaven. This is where God’s glory is seen in its fullness, and I am convinced that even in our perfect state in heaven, we still won’t be able to grasp God’s awesomeness. We will continue to worship Him forever because each moment for eternity will be learning something new and glorious about Him! In heaven His children will worship and glory in His glory forever! Amen!
Why is God’s Glory So Important?
I hope you are beginning to see the bigness and seriousness of God’s glory and what it should mean to us and out lives. I hope the question, “Why is God’s glory so important?” was just answered. But if you’re a slow learner like me, I will focus on that question now.
We Don’t Bring Anything to God
I am a firm believer in being very careful with the words we choose to use in talking about God and the Bible. God’s Word is very careful and perfect in all it proclaims. We should attempt perfection as well. Not for the purpose of being perfect or to bring attention to our greatness. No, we should strive for the best because our blessed Savior is the best. I am saying all this because we often say things that aren’t technically true but sound true. I am choosing these words as an example, “bring or giving” God glory. I know I have used this, many great pastors and even great books that have formed and grown me in my theology have used these terms. But I have felt the convictions to help change up my verbiage and feel the want to share. It might seem like a small thing but it is far from. In our day and culture, we need to be as clear as possible. There is so much confusion over who God truly is or what the Bible is actually saying, and every little phrase would be much more helpful if it was clearer. We don’t need help to be bad theologians. And we are all theologians. But are we good ones or bad ones? As children of the most High, we should strive to be very good theologians, and be as intentional as we can.
One reason to perfect the words we use is because the Bible never speaks of God’s glory in a way of “bringing” or “giving” God glory. It only speaks of it as “glorifying God” or “To God be the glory” and “For His glory”. These are the kinds of ways in which Gods glory is talked about. Notice how the terms “Bring” or “Give” seem to assume we little wretched creations are adding to the awesomeness of God. What’s the difference? What’s the distinction? We should glorify God in all we do, yes, that’s the most important call in the Christians life. But for our already consumed minds of importance and center of the universe kind of mentality, we need to clarify for our own good as well as for those who are learning about our God. To “bring” or “give” assumes that we are making Gods glory bigger or adding to it. This is false. I make music. I produce, write and record lots of music. When I release an album it is complete. It might not be perfect and some won’t even like it. But I put my finished stamp on it, I am stoked on it and am done with it. I am satisfied to share with the world. If someone listens to it and then runs around and tells everyone about how great it is. They aren’t adding anything to my album, they are simply getting more people to listen to it. They are bringing attention to what they heard and must share. Their praise isn’t making my album louder, or adding guitar solos as to attempt to make it better. They are sharing what they think is great about it. Or better yet. If you go outside and hold a mirror up towards the sun, are you making the sun brighter? Are you adding to it in any way? Not at all. In a much bigger way this is like what we do with God’s glory. We tell of it, live it out, live through and by it, grow in and adore God’s glory. We are attempting to help people see Christ for who He is in everything we do. We need to help ourself and the world see God as bigger and bigger because He is. This encourages the believers as they see other believers living out what they were created for. And it helps the world see God through His believers. God’s glory is revealed through all His creation but the human family was made in a unique and special way. We were created in His image and likeness. That means we don’t glorify Him on accident or by default. The unbeliever glorifies God without knowing it through their talents and passions. The believer lives their life to glorify God more and grow to be better at it. We don’t do it on accident.
How Do I Apply This to My Life?
As we grow in seeing God bigger each day, then we are ultimately seeing ourselves in a truer light. We are created by God, through God, and for God. Our life isn’t our own. Like the Jewel song says, “You were meant for me, and I was meant for you”. Luckily, we aren’t saying that to a broken finite creation, we get to say that to a real and living God. I have only scratched the surface on this subject. God’s glory can be talked about forever and still only scratched the surface. But we need to start somewhere and need to be intentional about our growing knowledge of God. We can start by not only reading our Bible but studying it. It is easy to sit and read, and that’s important. But to slow down to understand every verse a little more is life-giving. The more we see the glory of God the more our life will be changed. Next, we need to make sure we are surrounding ourselves with like-minded believers. It’s called the church. Or, the gathered people of God, the bride of Christ. And then we need to share what we have learned. I feel closest to God when I am sharing His love and what Christ has done on the cross with others. Therefore, I am continually doing it. You might even call it selfish. I love feeling close to God and believe He is doing great things in and through my life because of it. Lastly, we need to find a younger person in the faith to pour into and an older person in the faith to grow us. A younger person in the faith doesn’t need to be an actual younger person, but someone not as mature as you are in your faith. Regardless of what you don’t know, you still know more than someone else searching for truth. And this is on top of general sharing that I mentioned earlier. These relationships are closer to your heart and needed in every Christian life. And we need a more mature person in the faith to encourage us, correct us, and keep us accountable. If every Christian had these two relationships, then the Church would look more like the church should look. The church today is a bit of a mess, but we are still called to be part of one. To help grow its foundation and make disciples. So let us stop looking for what God can do for us, or how the church makes us feel or what can I get from the next worship service. And let us start seeing how we all have a part to play, a sacrifice to be made, and lives that need Christ. Don’t keep this wonderful news to yourself. Help the world see God’s glory more each day by teaching it and living through it! Love you all!
Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s and Louis Berkhof’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!