The fullness of the Christian life and all that it entails can never be experienced without the jaw-dropping moment in which God’s glory becomes everything to a believer. If you’ve not had such a moment, much is in store for you to experience. It is the most humbling moment of your existence to find that so little is actually about you and that your purpose is found in living for His glory. Many Christians have some idea of God but the concept of His glory eludes them as they live day after day caught somewhere between a love for God and a self-centered belief that their life belongs to them.
People ask time and time again, “What exactly is God’s glory? What does it mean that my life’s purpose is for His glory?” The truth is, God’s glory is so vast that no single chapter, no single book, and no grandest canyon could ever contain all that He is. But there, in the impossible vastness of who God is we find a definition of God’s glory: It is every aspect and attribute of God.
He is from everlasting to everlasting. Where the best of humanity ends, God has barely begun. While we as humans are prone to believing how necessary we are, God is, in fact, no better with us and no worse off without us. He is the crown jewel of His own glorious crown. He is glory defined. A life of purpose for humanity is only found when the purpose becomes Him. God exists for Himself. We exist for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Reflect on your own life for a moment. Has the immeasurable value of God’s glory settled on your soul? Have you been shaken to your core by the finitude of your own power and authority? Are you acutely aware that every morning you’re allowed to wake up is pure mercy from the One who gives permission to your heart to pump the oxygen-rich blood your body needs to breathe just once more?
The truth is, every Christian loses sight of the glory of God from time to time and needs a moment of renewal; devoting the heart and its affections to Him once again. He is to be the object of our affections and the center of our world. Three things renew our commitment to living for — and striving to understand — His glory.
Awestruck by His Character
A high view of God’s glory is charged through being awestruck by His character. God’s revealed attributes are the conduit; stirring our affection for Him. We live more fully for God’s glory when we know exactly who He is!
Jonathan Edwards modeled the joy we find in seeking who God is when he wrote, “The greatest moments of my life have not been those that have concerned my own salvation, but those when I have been carried into communion with God and beheld His beauty and desired His glory…I rejoice and yearn to be emptied and annihilated of self in order that I might be filled with the glory of God and Christ alone.”
His attributes are endless and yet He’s chosen to reveal to us what we need to thrive in relation to Him and relationship with Him. To be awestruck by His character is to know His attributes which include:
- His Eternality (Genesis 1:1)
- His Sovereignty (Psalms 115:3)
- His Infinite Wisdom (Romans 11:33)
- His Goodness (Psalms 34:8)
- His Mercy (Ephesians 2:4-5)
- His Justice (Romans 2:5)
- His Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- His Love (1 John 4:8)
- His Holiness (Isaiah 6:3)
Under the umbrella of every one of those characteristics the endless nature of God’s nature is proven. What’s more? God is perfect in His expression of those attributes. In other words, whatever He does, and however He does it, it is perfect — no matter how we might feel on this side of heaven.
Aware of Your Own Corruption
Few things elevate your view of God’s glory better than a proper view of self. Biblically speaking, we are corrupted and God knows He is the best thing thing we have going for us. Romans 3:23 declares, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Plainly, you will never measure up! That’s step one in becoming aware of your corruption. Quoting the Psalmist, Paul writes, “There is none righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). We are utter failures at achieving anything but sin, and we’re complete disasters at being “good enough” for God. Now before you crawl into a dark corner of hopelessness and shame, welcome that reality into your mind and embrace the weight it places on your heart. You need to become O.K. with admitting what you see in the spiritual mirror of your life if you want to live for God’s glory. We are by nature, “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). The bad news must come out if you’re going to celebrate the good news! God’s glory becomes everything when your self-righteous confidence becomes nothing.
Be able to say like Paul, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a). With nowhere to turn for the solution to our corruption, we have no choice but to fall on our knees as beggars before the throne of our merciful and glorious God. We’re never more ready to come to grips with the glory of God than from this helpless state.
Adoring Jesus Christ
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that the glory of God is found in Jesus Christ. He is the radiance of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3), the revelation of glory (John 1:14), and the One who will return in glory (Luke 21:27). A high view of the glory of God is founded in your adoration of Christ. To go even further, it is impossible to have a high view of the glory of God without a burning affection for Jesus. Why else would Paul say with resounding boldness in Philippians 1:21, “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain!”? Because he knew the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus his Lord (Philippians 3:8).
The faithful Bishop of Liverpool, J.C. Ryle, so beautifully pronounced what Paul did in saying “Christ is all” (Colossians 3:1) in his book, Holiness. He writes, “Christ is the mainspring both of doctrinal and practical Christianity. A right knowledge of Christ is essential to a right knowledge of sanctification as well as justification. He who follows after holiness will make no progress unless he gives to Christ His rightful place…let us understand that Christ is all.”
If you want to experience the fullness of the Christian faith, Christ is the key. Devote yourself to being hidden in the Rock of Ages; worshiping humbly as His feet.
There, as you bow low in His shadow, you will find the highest view of the glory of God.
 Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, ed. Edward Hickman (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1974), 1:lxv-lxxiii, quoted in Joel R. Beeke, Living for God’s Glory (Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2008), 147.