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Focus: Glorifying and enjoying God
Romans 5:1-2 (NCV) Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, who through our faith has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory.
From early childhood, many of us were already thinking about what we wanted to be when we grew up. We might have observed a friend or family member who we looked up to and thought it would be great to be like them someday. Other inspiration might have come from a story that someone read to us or a video we saw that made us favor thoughts about a certain type of career.
A lot of what might have intrigued us about the idea of becoming any kind of a professional, was the fact that it seemed like it might be ‘fun’ to do what those professionals do. It looked to us as though being able to do the kind of work that impressed us would be very enjoyable.
Whether we actually grew up and became what we thought we’d like to become when we were children, or not, we probably learned that although some work can be enjoyable—it’s rare that anyone has nothing but pure ‘fun’, no matter what occupation they end up following.
According to the Westminster catechism, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” Isn’t it strange that in spite of how much thought was put into the conclusion of ‘man’s chief end’ that very few of us had such a concept introduced to us from an early age? Even if it was presented, did we really understand what it meant?
In attempts to teach young children that their true purpose in life is glorifying and enjoying God—the concept of having a relationship with God doesn’t always come across as one that is necessarily ‘enjoyable’.
Although I learned memory verses about how ‘God so loved the world’, and so on, I had more of a fearsome impression of God when I was younger, based on Bible stories we were told about how He caused fire to come down from heaven and consume a sacrifice and how He brought plagues on the Egyptians, that included sickness and death, because of the disobedience of Egypt’s pharaoh.
Aside from all of that, your mind might be wondering, “So, what does it really mean to glorify God?”
The wise King Solomon wrote in the last verse of the Book of Ecclesiastes (Amplified Version), “All has been heard, the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of His creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.”
One interpretation of the word, ‘glorify’, is to make someone or something appear better than the truth. With respect to God, there is nothing we can do to make Him bigger or better than He already is. Worshipping Him doesn’t prove anything about Him or make Him any greater—He is, and always has been self-existent. But as we contemplate His love and faithfulness—and talk about it, we are reminded of His power and strength in all of the areas that come to our minds—and our impression of Him becomes bigger and better. He becomes glorified in our minds and our lives—or bigger and better—as we constantly recognize Him for His greatness. In other words, for us to actively glorify God, would be to live in a continual state of maximum acknowledgment of His abilities.
My understanding of ‘enjoying God’, is that we would be filled with the knowledge of His love and goodness, and that we would go through our daily life taking pleasure in His presence and in the abundance of everything He created for us. It is God’s will that we would live our lives rejoicing at all times for all things…through good times and bad times. God wants us to be thankful for everything that comes our way. He desires for us to go through our days recognizing His will as being ultimately good.
My concept of God has changed drastically throughout my lifetime. I still honor Him as the One Who is fearsome and holds the universe in His hands–but truthfully–these days I probably talk to Him more than any person I know. I enjoy knowing that He is the Friend Who is closer than a brother, who loves me unconditionally and never leaves me.
Declaration: I will find new strength as I glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.