What Does 'For God's Glory' Look Like?

How we understand and interact with God's glory is important. 
Trying to define His glory is hard, but in essence it is the unsurpassed essence and beauty of His eternal spirit, the beauty that comes from His character and attributes. God’s glory is His splendor and greatness, we can do more and more to honor Him.
It’s not enough to say “do all to the glory of God” if we don’t understand what that means.
Here are eight things the Lord is teaching me about His glory and how I can live to the praise of His glory.
1. God is Worthy of Glory and Honor.
God alone deserves our highest praise. In one of the most beautiful scenes in Revelation (4:10-11), the 24 elders fall down before God and say He is worthy to “receive glory and honor.” Initially, I remember thinking, “Aren’t they the same?” No, they are closely related, but not quite the same.
GLORY refers to the inherent, intrinsic worth of God. What we see of His glory in the world is simply a small mirror reflection of who He is. And when we see this reflection, our desire as believers should be to demonstrate who He is to the world. We bring Him glory by highlighting or magnifying His character and attributes so there’s no mistaking He is God.
To HONOR God means to esteem Him as valuable, and this “esteeming” swells up within us. God desires honor from the heart (Isaiah 29:13). 
I can demonstrate the high regard I have for Him as I delight in Him (Psalm 37:4), sing praises and worship Him, and also through the choices I make that reflect the high and holy place He has in my life.

"For of Him and through Him 
and to Him are all things, 
to whom be glory forever. Amen" 
(Romans 11:36).
2. God Desired to Show His Glory.
In the Old Testament, the mercy seat was seen as God’s “throne” of glory on earth (Leviticus 16:2; 2 Samuel 6:2; Psalm 80:1; 99:1); and His “Shekinah glory” was revealed in Exodus 33 at the Tent of Meeting (vv. 7-10).
Shekinah indicates the “dwelling” or settling in of God’s divine presence with His people so they are aware of it. Moses asked to see God’s glory up close (vv. 17-18), and God allowed His servant to see just a part of that glory (vv. 19-23). The Bible says after that encounter, Moses’ face shined from the glory of God (Exodus 34:29-35). 
Clearly, God’s glory has the power to affect us!
But it wasn’t just God’s people who saw the glory of God’s presence. The Egyptian army understood God’s Shekinah glory was not to be resisted! (Exodus 14:24-25)
In a New Testament manifestation, Colossians 2:9 tells us Jesus is the visible dwelling place of God’s glory, and Jesus said of Himself, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
3. God Will Not “Share” His Glory.
Oprah Winfrey once said she was upset to read God is a “jealous” God. She started thinking God was angry and only cared about rules and control. But her theology about the jealousy of God was a bit skewed. 
Not understanding the reasons for Gods jealousy can affect how we think about His glory.
God is jealous as the lover of our souls. In the words of pastor and Christian apologist Mark Coppenger, “The Lord simply will not tolerate our ‘dating around.” He doesn’t want us to flirt with false gods and worship idols (Exodus 20:5), because He is the only true God and will not share His glory with others (Isaiah 42:8). He is jealous—protective and vigilant—about His glory (Romans 1:21-25).
We “steal” God’s glory when we give credit to creatures rather than the Creator, when we “exchange” the glory of God for the “glory of man,” or worship anything other than the Lord. We need to remember God is the “King of Glory” (Psalm 24:7-10), and as such, He should be taken seriously.
4. God Created Us to Glorify Him.
God made us with this purpose in mind, that we might live to “the praise of His glory” (Isaiah 43:7; Ephesians 1:12). One of the ways it might be said we “glorify” God is in the characteristics we possess that are like Him (love, patience, etc.). Yet we are only created “jars of clay,” fragile vessels that simply contain His glory—His light shining in our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).
All of nature shows forth His glory and points us to the Creator (Psalm 19:1-4).
A natural question to be asked is, “How do I give God glory if it’s all His anyway?” The answer is found in 1 Chronicles 16:28-29. We are to “ascribe” or attribute glory to God because it is due to Him. We give Him credit for who He is and what He has done—or as I once said after God showed up and showed off in my life, “I chalk that up to God alone!”
It should be our heart cry every day that God’s holy presence will flood our lives, reminding us to testify to others about His glory and power.
5. God Wants Us to Glorify Him in Everything.
Paul tells us to glorify God in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” That “whatever” means everything! So how can we glorify Him in all things?
We glorify God when we honor Him with our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30) as an expression of our love for Him. Our thoughts are Godward (Psalm 1:1-2) and grounded in scripture (Psalm 119:11) so we can make godly, wise choices.
This requires our whole heart, our full commitment, to the Lord (Colossians 3:23). Glorifying God means remembering who we serve, who is in charge. Paul used the example a Christian slave working for a human master when he explained we’re to do everything as if serving Jesus (v. 24).
As we try to navigate what will glorify God, we need to take care to ask Him for wisdom (James 1:5). Not everything we can do will be beneficial to us or please the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:23; Colossians 1:10). Paul specifically taught the principle of honoring God in our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
1 Chronicles 16:28-29, which talks about ascribing glory to God, also says to “bring an offering” and worship Him. Our offering involves our obedience and submission to Him as well as agreeing with what He says about Himself (Isaiah 42:5; Psalm 19:7; 103:17-18; John 14:15).
6. Jesus Modeled Glorifying the Father.
While on earth Jesus lived to glorify His Father in heaven by pleasing Him and finishing the work the Father gave Him to do (John 4:34; 8:29). He used scripture to defeat Satan’s temptations (Matthew 4:1-11) and live a righteous life.
In the same way, we bring honor to God by seeking to please Him and finish the tasks He ordained beforehand for us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 5:10). We learn and use scripture to defeat our wily enemy (Psalm 119:11; Ephesians 6:10-12, 16-17)
7. Evaluating Our Lives Helps Us Honor God.
My friend Pam Farrel repeatedly told her sons and now tells audiences, “God honors those who honor Him.” 
If we want to honor the Lord, we will be careful to evaluate our lives every day so we can understand what might be standing in the way of esteeming and honoring Him.
Asking ourselves questions is a good place to start. For instance, we might ask:
·         Am I filled with the Spirit today? Am I walking in the Spirit so I will not “fulfill the lusts of the flesh”? (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16)
·         Am I practicing faith? (Hebrews 11:6)
·         Am I a “living sacrifice” that pleases the Lord? (Romans 12:1)
A one-time spiritual evaluation isn't enough. 
We need to consider our hearts for glory-stoppers every day.
8. The believer is headed for “Glory Land.”
Even though we can see parts of His glory in nature and especially in people who know Him, this beauty fades away in one sense (Psalm 49:17), because all earthly, material things—except for the Word of God and the souls of people—fade away. 
All present glories decline or fail us; only God’s glory is eternal.
But someday the believer will “know fully” (1 Corinthians 13:12). The Shekinah glory will no longer be veiled (1 John 3:2).
We say people have gone “home to glory” or are being “received unto glory” when they die (Psalm 73:24). But what we’re actually saying is they are being taken into God’s glorious presence, where His beauty resides. Everything that fades or fails in this life—like love, power, beauty, courage and talents—will be perfected in Christ in heaven.
“Face to face in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by!” 
“Oh that will be glory for me.”
How do you know your life is bringing glory and honor to the Lord today? Got any glory-stoppers?


Kathy Collard Miller said...

Glory to God that you've written about this very important subject, Dawn. Keep up the great work of representing His greatness!

Dawn Wilson said...

Thank you, Kathy. Can you just imagine what would happen if we all were more conscious and intentional to live "to the praise of His glory"?