The following was originally posted on January 10, 2006. Enjoy and be blessed!
by Mike Ratliff
I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. (Isaiah 42:8)Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said, ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace. (Leviticus 10:3)
God is far more serious about His glory than anyone else. Does it feel wrong to you that our God demands that we be humble before Him while also demanding that His creation exist solely to glorify Him? (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:4; John 8:29; Romans 8:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; Ephesians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 5:9) If that concept rankles within your soul then it is imperative for you do some self-examination.
Don’t feel too bad about that because all of us who are in Christ are in the process of becoming conformed unto the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:29-30; Philippians 2:12-13) That process is called sanctification. (Romans 6:19-23; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:3;1 Peter 1:2)Without the sanctification processes that God takes each of us through, we would be left with His commands to live for His glory, become conformed unto the image of the Lord and keep all of His commandments all within our own measly capabilities. As we mature, however, our love and devotion to the Lord displaces our self-focus more and more until we become Spirit-led believers who truly walk by faith. The believers who mature must cooperate with God in their sanctification. That means they are in a constant process of surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all parts of their lives. This is made possible because, at our new birth in Christ, God regenerated our hearts so that we are “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and we walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4) This means that as we mature in Christ we become more and more Christ-like.
As we mature unto Christ-likeness, we find that our value system becomes modified. We have new motives, new dispositions and new attitudes. This happens as God circumcises our hearts. (Deuteronomy 30:6) Before our heart circumcision, our hearts are relatively hard. That means God’s value system, which resides in each of our consciences, is mostly unapparent to our minds, wills and emotions. As we surrender and draw nearer and nearer to our Lord He cuts away the callousness separating our consciences from our souls. This means our value system takes on a major upgrade. This results in a radical change in motives, dispositions and attitudes. The believers who experience this become Spirit-led. The Spirit-led are those who walk led by the Spirit. Their love and devotion for the Lord coupled with God’s values permeating every part of their Souls produces a believer who becomes more and more dedicated to God’s glory.
How is God glorified in us? The very act of cooperation with Him in our sanctification glorifies Him. As we mature and walk in newness of life, we glorify Him. Our obedience glorifies Him. When we exhibit our fulfillment in Him, He is glorified. When we delight in His presence, He is glorified. (Psalm 40:8) The Spirit-led believer walks by faith and lives for God’s glory in ever increasing levels of spirituality. This glorifies God. (2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:6) The Spirit-led believer trusts God’s will, judgments and providence unswervingly. This glorifies God.
The study of doctrine is not something that would ever appear on most believers’ radar screens as something to pursue. However, God desires for each of us to know Him. We learn to know Him from experiencing Him by walking by faith and by studying, memorizing and meditating on His word. Doctrine is a wonderful way to learn the truth about God and His ways. Why? True doctrines of God, as opposed to the doctrines of men and devils, sheds light into darkness. When we work with God in our sanctification, including the study of doctrine, we learn to walk in His light. (1 John 1:5-7; Ephesians 5:8, 10) When we walk in His light, we are consciously walking in grace and knowledge within His pervasive influence. This glorifies God. When we turn to Jesus to take up His yoke (Matthew 11:28-30) we experience walking and working side by side with our Lord within His Lordship. This glorifies God.
Believers who walk in the Spirit glorify God. Walking in the Spirit is simply walking with our focus on God rather than the flesh for fulfillment.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-5)
This walk results in our concern being on spiritual matters rather than the physical, the eternal, rather than the temporal. When we walk in the Spirit, we make wise choices which are derived from godly wisdom, which He gave us. (James 1:5) This glorifies God.
God is glorified in our good works. (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14) Why? Our good works are the fruit of a genuinely redeemed life. (James 2:14-18) When evildoers see our good works, this glorifies God. (1 Peter 2:12) We don’t earn salvation by doing good works. Instead, our salvation and our growing in grace produce the fruit of good works which glorifies the Lord.
Our lives glorify God when we walk in love. (Ephesians 5:1,2) When we walk in love we are imitators of God. This is evidence of our becoming Christ-like because we are taking on His character. We are growing, maturing into God’s beloved children. When godly parents’ children live lives in imitation of them, this brings glory. God is our Heavenly father, we are His children and we must learn to walk in love the way He does. When we grow into this, God is glorified.
Lastly, God is glorified in us when we obey His commandments. (2 John 6; 3 John 4) If we walk in disobedience we are walking in the flesh. If we walk in the truth, in obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit by walking in the Spirit we glorify God because this brings Him honor. We also show our love for our Lord by obeying Him. (John 14:15) Obedient children honor their parents by their behavior.
We must see ourselves as God’s children who have been adopted as sons and as daughters by His grace. After all, He saved us by His grace, we don’t deserve it and we can’t do anything to earn it. However, we must seek to become His children who live for His glory. We can never repay Him for saving us, but we can glorify Him simply by becoming the mature believers He wills us to be.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.