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Theology/Spirituality

God’s Glory

Sunset in Nicoya

Many Christians believe that the purpose of our religion is so that God can give them everything they want (hence the prosperity gospel). They may not put that into words, but their prayers and the way they live their life reflect that reality. Every prayer begins and ends with requests of God for what He can do in our lives instead of marveling in His Great Name and asking how we can be used to contribute to the growth of His Kingdom. When life centers around us, it creates a place where sin thrives because "I deserve everything I want, and life has to go exactly the way that I planned it because ultimately it's about me!" This is a broken perspective which contorts the gospel and God's purpose in our lives because ultimately, God is for his own glory. Not ours.

I'm not saying that God doesn't love each of us even more than we could imagine, and I'm not implying that Jesus didn't die for the purpose of eradicating our sins. However, what I am saying is that the purpose of God's work in our lives is not so that you can be lifted up and glorified, but it is so that He can be lifted up and glorified. God is concerned with the things of God and rejects those of the flesh.

God's glory is mentioned 58 times in the NIV Bible, and my favorite example is in in 1 Corinthians 10:31 which states " So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." This verse sounds great in theory, but if you've ever tried to actually do every single act in a single day to the glory of God, you understand how difficult this really is. We're inherently selfish and prideful beings, and that's contrary to God's purpose for our lives. When we live in the way that He originally designed us to live, avoiding lust, pride, gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, and wrath, we honor his name above all else and are capable of experiencing true joy in Christ.

A specific topic I wanted to address that's been coming up in my conversations a lot lately is the selfish roots of insecurities and depression and how neither of those things glorify God. The heart of insecurity is essentially saying that what God has gifted me with in this life is not good enough and I require more to become the "best" version of myself. This is selfish not only because we're focusing on the physical and social imperfections of ourselves instead of God, but we're also rejecting the amazing gifts that God has given us. The glorification of God is not occurring in situations where people are violently insecure because they're choosing to be ungrateful for the amazing gifts that are present in their lives, and they're rejecting the abundant life that Jesus Christ died on the cross for us to have (John 10:10).

God is for God, and I could argue that if we attempt to make God about us, we're actually depriving ourselves of joy. C.S. Lewis writes that "I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment." The point of this amazing quote is God doesn't command us to glorify him because He needs it, but He commands us to glorify him because that will expand the Joy we experience in this lifetime. The key to the entire idea of the glorification of God is that the enjoyment will be incomplete without that delight being extended to the heavens in praise.

God loves us enough to instruct us to praise his name because that will complete our enjoyment of Him and get our eyes off of ourselves. The solution for most dissatisfaction in life is simply to train our vision on the amazing qualities of the God we serve and stop focusing so much on our own issues and insecurities. God is worthy of our praise and worship, and we can only achieve the abundant life He's set out before us by making much of his name instead of our own.

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