For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2:14, NIV
The word "glory" is an old fashioned religious word. It is the kind of word that is used so often in the Bible that it can become cliche or ordinary. Yet, it is one of the most important theological concepts in all of of scripture, impacting every sphere of our lives.
The Bible says that we were created for God's glory (Isaiah 43:7) and that all creation is simply a reflection of God's glory (Psalm 19). Jesus himself came to demonstrate God's glory (John 1:14) and frequently related his life purpose to give God, the father, glory (John 17:4). Even our prayers are to give God glory (John 14:13)
Although the precise translation of the Hebrew words most often translated as glory has been widely discussed by scholars, there is general agreement that glory means "weightiness" or "impactfulness". It is a revelation of the importance, value, or weight of God himself.
I am struck by the centrality and importance of the glory of God throughout scripture, but its relatively un-importance in the lives of contemporary Christians, the author not with standing. If God created the world, its inhabitants, sent his only son, and sent his spirit into the world to display his glory, shouldn't it be in the forefront and not the background of our lives.
As I was doing my devotions this morning, I began repenting of seeking God for my own glorification. My importance, my influence, my wellbeing, my priorities, my effectiveness, and my dreams often drive the agenda, even in my prayers. Not that any of those things are evil or bad, in fact, they are worthy of being prayed about. However, they are not to be the primary focus of prayer, nor are they to be the primary purpose of prayer.
Self-idolatry an insidious process. God desires to bless us, but the purpose of the blessing is to demonstrate the glory of God. We confuse the ends and means.
Do we pray for our children to be safe and nice, or do we pray that our children glorify God? Do we pray for financial stability or do we pray that our finances would give God glory? Do we pray for peace in our relationships, or do we pray for a relationship where God is glorified? In all things, we need to remember the purpose of our existence: Glorify God!
I am guilty of allowing God's glory to become peripheral, even while professionally doing "God's work" in ministry. Growing a church is not as important as developing a church where God is glorified. The goal of pastoral counseling is not simply spiritual, social, emotional, physical, and psychological relief and healing, but that God's glory will be demonstrated and sought in every life I encounter.
Join me today in returning God's glory to the center of everything we do, say, think, and act upon. All for God's glory!
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Jude 25, (NKJV)
God bless you,
Pastor M Traylor