Monday, May 14, 2012

Glorifying God

How serious am I about glorifying God?

Oh, I know.  We Christians are supposed to be about that, you know.  The Westminster Confession of 1689 states "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever".  It shows up in most church mission statements somewhere - and most like to say "I want to glorify God with my life."

But how many of us - how often do I - do it?  Really?

Glorifying God is the simplest and most difficult thing a Christian can do.  It's simple because it requires only that we point others to God in all we say and do.  It's difficult in that in order to glorify God, we need to get ourselves out of the way.

"Hypocrites come along and try steal the glory of God.  They want a little glory for themselves....God does not reward the kind of giving that competes for His glory." - John MacArthur, The Keys to Spiritual Growth, p. 43.

"If you would aim at God's glory, you must also be content to go unrecognized as long as God gets the glory....What are your inner feelings when someone gains honor at your expense?  How do you react?  One mark of spiritual maturity is being willing to let others have the credit.  How you respond will reveal whether you are concerned with His glory or with your own." - ibid, p. 46.

I don't like to, of course.  I don't very often enjoy life that, at some level, is not about me.  I have a running list (if you're a long time reader, you know it) of things that I want for my life or issues that I would sure love to have resolved. 

The unhappy reality is that if I focus on glorifying myself with God occasionally thrown in, what I will get is the glorification of man, that passing piece of grass growing in the morning and dying in the evening.  God has nothing to do with that kind of glory, and will reward none of it.

The only path for the Christian who is serious about glorifying God is total self-abandonment of any sense of glory or recognition for themselves.  If God is to be glorified, the focus of anything we say or do needs to be only on Him, never on ourselves.

The question is, do we have the intestinal fortitude to surrender our lives in this fashion?  Or have we so succumbed to the culture and world around us that anything that is not about me is not worthy?

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