I have often heard that our ultimate goal as believers is the glory of God. Yet, for years, I have been confused as to the meaning of this phrase. If I am to ‘give God all the glory’, then is it something like praise (sharing with others how great He is)? Clearly, glory and praise are similar.
I believe, though, that glory is best explained by talking about light. Glory is like brightness or glowing, so that giving somebody the glory is similar to saying that you are putting them in the spotlight. Giving God the glory is like taking any positive glow directed at your life and focusing that light on God, the real source of your positive glow.
The glory of God mentioned in the Bible was, apparently, an extremely bright and fearful light that surrounded the very presence of God. Moses interacted directly with God’s glory, so much so that the skin of his face shone! Often, when the glory of God appeared in the Bible, it was surrounded by a cloud. Even then, people often fell on their faces in response to seeing God’s glory.
Here are a few observations about the glory of God:
- Glory can only come from a good, ‘bright’ thing. A person who lives life in the flesh and walks in darkness cannot possibly give glory to God. Only when our lights are shining can we possibly use those lights as spotlights focused on the God who made us. Oh, that we would be believers who live capable of giving God glory, because there are glorious works being done in our lives by our Father! (Matthew 5:16)
- We should seek to see the glory of God. Moses had heard from God and had seen Him work. He had spent a lot of special time with God. Even then, he still had a desire to see God’s glory. (Exodus 33:18) David longed for God. He longed to see God’s power and glory, “so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” (Psalm 63:1-2) Oh, that we would be believers who have a longing to see God for Who He is! Oh, that we would have a thirst for the awe-inspiring, fear-inducing, life-changing God, who is light! (1 John 1:5)
- We should seek for everyone to see God’s glory. God promised that His glory would fill all the earth. When Isaiah saw the Lord, the seraphim cried, “The whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:1-3) Oh, that we would be believers who seek for everyone to see how great God is!
- The way we will be able to show others God’s glory is through shining like Him. The way we shine like Him is the same way that Moses did. It is also what the moon does with the sun. The side of the moon that faces the sun automatically becomes a light of its own through consistent exposure to the sun’s brightness. It is through spending time in God’s presence that we begin to shine. A Christian who does not shine will not be able to give God glory. A Christian who is shining bright can then, and only then, point to the source of the light. Oh, that we would be believers who see God’s glory and bask in that glory, so that we can shine in this world!
- We must be willing to change if we want to shine brightly for God’s glory! (2 Corinthians 3:18) Spending time in God’s presence will produce changes in our habits, lifestyles, actions, and, of course, words. Oh, that we would be believers who are willing to change by the Spirit of the Lord into His image!
To summarize, giving God glory is like shining our light back on Him. To do this, we must spend time with Him (see the light), change to be more like Him (become lights ourselves), and then gladly tell others why we are so bright (shining the spotlight back on God), thus allowing them to start the same cycle.
Oh, that we would be believers who seek the glory of God!