Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What Does it Mean to Glorify God?


I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about what it really means to glorify God.  If I tell people all the time that “all I want to do is bring glory to God” then I should probably know what I mean by that statement, right? :-)  I have always understood the *how* of glorifying God and the *why* of glorifying God, but I have begun to realized that there is something deeper in the meaning of doing things “for His glory” than simply the choices I make and the way in which I make them. 

I started reading John Piper’s book “Don’t Waste Your Life” today, and am enjoying it very much.  Here is an interesting thing that he has to say about glorifying God:

What does it mean to glorify God?  It may get a dangerous twist if we are not careful.  Glorify is like the word beautify.  But beautify usually means “make something more beautiful than it is,” improve on its beauty.  That is emphatically not what we mean by glorify in relation to God.  God cannot be made more glorious or more beautiful than he is.  He cannot be improved, “nor is he served by human hands, as through he needed anything” (Acts. 17:25)  Glorify does not mean add more glory to God.

“It is more like the word magnify.  But here too we can go wrong.  Magnify has two distinct meanings.  In relation to God, one is worship, and the other is wickedness. When you magnify like a microscope, you make something tiny look bigger than it is.  A dust mite can look like a monster.  Pretending to magnify God like that is wickedness.  But when you magnify like a telescope, you make something unimaginably great look like what it really is.  With the Hubble Space Telescope, pinprick galaxies in the sky are revealed for the billion-star giants that they are.  Magnifying God like that is worship.

Glorifying God is a way of life.  It’s not something we do a few times a week to make ourselves feel good; it is a constant, every-second-of-the-day battle between choosing to follow our own selfish will or His.  If glorifying God means to show the world how good and how amazing He is, then I am 100 percent sure I am completely incapable of doing so on my own.  I have failed so many times, but every time I drop the ball, He hands it back to me, knowing full well that I will drop it again and again!   What a patient God.  I marvel that He choose to use me…us, as Christians; dirty and sinful as can be, to magnify Him.  What a privilege to be called His child…to know that He has entrusted me with the duty of conveying to the world His goodness through the life that I live.  Incredible!    

1 comment :

  1. Genevieve BainbridgeOctober 9, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Lydia,
    I loved this book and appreciate seeing how much you did too. God has spoken much through John Piper to my heart and helped shed light in areas not yet discovered. Piper's name was inspired by this pastor. :) I wanted to thank you for your blog, which I am just starting to explore. It's very uplifting. You are a beautiful child of God. :)
    -Genevieve

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