The Glory of God
February 12, 2014 | My Jottings
(updated from the archives….)
I have been a Christian since I was twelve years old. I began to learn about Jesus when I was three, and knew at a young age that He loved me and that I needed to look to Him for everything. Even though my life has taken some pretty ugly twists and turns, I always knew Jesus was the answer. Someday I hope to share my testimony of faith on the blog, but today I want to write about the glory of God.
I have heard people say, “Well, glory to God!”, and “To God be the glory” and other similar phrases all my life, but never really got it. Not that I was really anxious to understand what the glory of God was all about. It sounded kind of hyper-religious and old-school to me. However, I did want to learn to love and obey the God who so loved me that He would give His Son to die for my crimes against Him and others. I wanted to know more about Him. I have yearned to know His Word better. But until a couple of years ago, I didn’t give much thought to “the glory of God”.
I am finding that if our hearts are open to it, God has a way of causing the things that are important to Him to become important to us. And that is what has been happening in my life.
One of my kindest and most faithful friends, Laurel, shared a wonderful definition with me years ago about how she used to explain to her children what it meant to try to “bring glory to God.” She would tell her children that for them to glorify God meant that they needed to make sure what they said and did made Him look good to other people. That their lives would point to Him and cause Him to be praised and thought well of. I loved that definition, and have been on a slow journey ever since, wanting more and more to make my Jesus look good because of anything I do or say.
How I fail at this! I mean, big time. But the most wonderful thing is that He has been changing my heart so that I want different things. The older I get, the more I understand how much better life is if I want what He wants. And He is becoming more precious to me, so I long to see others come to see Him for all He is too.
Not that God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth needs my help polishing His image and protecting His reputation. That’s not what bringing glory to God is all about. He isn’t interested in people glorifying Him because He has a universe-sized ego and needs the constant affirmation. He knows, in ways we can’t begin to fully understand, that when we desire to bring His beautiful character into clearer focus through our puny, blurry lives here on earth, something lasting and powerful happens. He knows what is best for me, and even though there are times my flesh disputes what He allows, I still choose Him. I trust Jesus, and ask Him daily for grace to trust Him more.
Andree Seu says, ‘”The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” quoth Henry David Thoreau. But I know a better quote: Malcolm Muggeridge said the happiest person in the world is the woman who sweeps out her house to the glory of God…’
And so I looked up some things in my Bible about this, and these three verses lit up:
Psalm 115:1 — Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 10:31 — So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (NIV)
Romans 12:1 — So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. (The Message)
So today I am going to sweep out my house to the glory of God. I will fold the mounds of laundry for His good pleasure. I will make dinner, write out bills, do my paperwork, read my Bible, help my husband, endure what little suffering I’m experiencing, perhaps hold my tongue, write on this blog, pray for my family and friends, as an offering to Jesus.
No one else will see me, but He will. And He has enough pain and grief to observe with all that’s transpiring in the world today – maybe I’m strange enough to actually believe that a few simple, hidden acts done with my mind and heart set on Him, will actually bring a smile to that great Face.
The enemy of our souls works hard to make us believe the lie that “sweeping out our houses” to the glory of God makes no difference at all. I used to believe that lie.
I don’t anymore.
Praying and hoping and sweeping with you,
Julie, for the last couple of days I’ve been praying for ‘strength of character’ for myself. I think this relates to what you’ve written above. Alan has yet another bleed (4th since Christmas) and fear, worry, depression, irritability and stress are almost overwhelming me. But, I don’t want to live in thrall to these emotions because I KNOW that God is in charge even when I don’t FEEL it. I know Christians who are calm and trusting in the face of adversity and that’s how I want to be. To be totally frank, it’s partly because not trusting in God is making me feel pretty miserable, but also, I want others to look at me and see the calm, peace and joy that only Jesus can bring.
I will continue to pray for you and me both, that we will be blessed by God in showing His glory in our lives.
I like that prayer — I ask the Lord for strength of character for myself too, Kay. Thank you for sharing that. I was terribly disappointed to read of another bleed for Alan. Oh my. I will be praying, as I know others who read here will. Give him our love and I also want to tell you that Jesus is very apparent in you. You may not see it like you desire, but I do. xoxo
Thank you for sharing this. Your blog continually inspires me. The definition Laurel gave of bringing glory to God is wonderful. I fall so short all of the time, though. What would I do without the grace of God? I will pray for Alan.
I fail daily Pat, and sometimes wonder if there’s progress at all. Then I think about how there must be grace for even that, and try to rest on Him. The more I look at me the sadder I get. The more I look at Him, the gladder I get. 🙂 I know Kay and Alan will be thankful for your prayers, dear Pat. xoxo
Sweeping with you, too:) I love that verse in Romans. It’s so comforting to me to know that God can use my life to glorify Him. Because I’m just a stay at home mom. Somedays I don’t really feel like I do anything. But you are right, even my simplest days can be glorifying to God. Thanks for this reminder:)
So nice to see your comment, Jessie — thank you. (You are still Jessica to me!) I think today’s culture wants us to think “just a stay at home mom” when really young Christian moms have one of the most powerful, noble jobs in the world. Sending hugs and prayers for you today… xoxo
Kay, I will also pray for Allen. I understand your feelings. It has been a little over six years since Julie’s dad went to be with the Lord. His
illness was somewhat brief but I was so sure God was going to heal him.
I had only maybe three days when the knowledge that he was not going
to be healed started to sink in. Then I was so busy getting our home
ready to bring him home and trying to find a nurse to help me at home
for his care. At that point I felt he had some months before God was
going to take him home. At this time, I only know that I believe our
loving Father brought us together and we had 27 years together.
After he passed, I would go out and look up into the sky, see the stars
and know that he was there. It was comforting but also very painful
and I miss him to this day. I am considered by my family to be a
workaholic and I know that it is true. I think it is okay as keeping busy
keeps me going and my main desire is to please The Lord. My prayers
are very simple. I am asking God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit to heal
Alan in His most Holy name. Amen and God Bless
Your words brought back so many memories and emotions, Dorothy. Some days it seems like Dad has been gone for decades, other days it seems like just a few months. I know Kay and Alan will be blessed by what you wrote, dear Dorothy… xoxo
Julie, Pat and Dorothy, thank you so very much. Alan and I already feel blessed by your prayers. Sending love from a very wet and windy Cornwall. xxxooo
We’re getting snow and wind this morning Kay. Four inches of new snow on top of the feet we’ve already had, and it’s still falling. Stay dry. I’m praying for you two… xoxo