What is our purpose? As humans, what were we created for? What is our calling? These are questions we normally pose to ourselves. As image bearers of God, it is not only crucial that we ask these questions but that we seek to answer to it. Why did God make me and to what end? The Westminster divines, based on the truth stated in Holy Writ, answer this most crucial question, what is the chief end of man by saying, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” (WSC Q. 1). We were created to glorify the triune God and this is what we should seek to do. That is our mission statement as humans. It follows then that we ask ourselves, How? How do we glorify God?
We must seek to fulfill our purpose of being created each day of our lives and we must reflect on these truths even more so now that the times are dark. Our eternity depends on it. We are fifteen days into the New Year and it will be best for our souls, if we dwelt on how we can achieve our purpose. The question we must face is this, “How can we glorify God”. We can glorify God in so many ways. So how does one summarize it? How do you teach someone how they should glorify God? That is not something we teach! God does that! He does everything! He regenerates our heart so that we can! It would be easier to just give everyone a to-do list and tell them to just follow this, for with this you can glorify God. But is God really glorified by following a to-do list? We have people from different races and different backgrounds and all walks of life. How do you answer this for everyone? The question, “how can we glorify God” is broad. It could have been easier had it said, “how can we glorify God in our workplace, or our body, or even at school”. But we ask, that the most Gracious and Holy God, will show us grace as we seek to glorify Him.
What Does Glorifying God Mean?
Glorifying God means we recognize that He is far greater, valuable and beautiful than any other thing. It means that He is our treasure. So to glorify God, we are in essence treasure hunters seeking out our greatest treasure. We must first recognize who God is to glorify Him. Glorifying God means we must worship God as He is and must cherish Him above all things. With this, How then, can we glorify God?
Knowing God And Christ
The most important way we can glorify God is to know Him. I do not mean knowing about Him but knowing Him. We glorify God by having a Father-Son relationship with Him; that is by knowing Him. As image bearers of God, we were all made for a relationship with God; in fact we are all in a relationship with Him. We either relate with God as a Father, who sent His Son for sinners and who welcomes us to a loving relationship with Him, or we relate with God as the Judge and Creator of all things.
In the first type of relationship, we are Sons, in the second, we are enemies of God. In both categories, we know about God (creation speaks of God (Romans 1:19-20)). As a result of the Fall, we are all born dead in our sins and find ourselves in the latter category; our natural relationship with God is not as a Father-Son relationship, but as enemies of God. As enemies of God, we hate God and do not honor Him as God. Paul says in Romans 1:19, “ For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” We actually spit in the face of Him who gives us breath. We look in the face of God and disobey Him. How dare we! We don’t glorify God; in fact we can’t. However, because of Christ’s death on the cross, we are reconciled to God. We enter into a Father-Son relationship with the triune God by placing our faith in Christ. We down our weapons, stop warring against God in sinful rebellion and we cry out to Him. No longer are we children of wrath, but we are sons. We can now live our purpose: Glorifying God! It is important to understand how we can know God. It is only through Christ.
Knowledge of the Father comes only through the Son. Apart from the Son, we cannot know God. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature (Hebrews 1:3) and He makes God known (John 1:17). He is the way, the truth and the life and no one goes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
You can glorify God this year by knowing Him. In fact, that is what eternal life is! In his high priestly prayer, Jesus said this, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent “This is how we can glorify God: By knowing Him and His Son. God is so vastly greater than us that we cannot know Him fully, even into eternity. Knowing God is far much precious than gold or silver! Like Paul, we must count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. He is All! Knowing God doesn’t end with believing in Christ at just one point. It is a way of life. We will find ourselves exactly where we started when it comes to Knowing God. He inexhaustible! Incomprehensible!
Do you know God and do you know Christ? John Piper is famous for saying this, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”. We will only be satisfied in God when we know Him. Isaiah says in Isaiah 40:17, “All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.” Do you know this God? Do you cherish Him above all?
Obeying God’s Word
In His high priestly prayer, Christ says, “I glorified you on earth,…” How did Christ glorify His Father on earth? He tells us, by saying, “having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4). As the perfect man, Christ is the embodiment of a life that glorifies God. He lived in perfect obedience to the Father. It comes as no surprise that the Father is well pleased in Him (Matt. 3:17). To glorify God, like Christ, we must obey His Word. Dr. Steven Lawson notes this when he says, “The primary purpose of the Word of God is to glorify the God of the Word”. Unlike our first parents who disobeyed God in the garden, Christ lived in perfect obedience to His Father. Now, because of the person of Christ, his death and resurrection, we have the person of the Holy Spirit, who helps us to live in accordance with God and His Word. It is incredible to think that we need God to help us glorify God! O What wretched men we are! We can glorify God by obeying His Word, and trusting in His promises. To obey God’s Word, we must believe that He is who He says He is and that we can trust His Word. Because God is good, we must obey Him. God is glorified and honored, when we like Christ, do what He tells us to do. What does God tell us? He tells us to believe in Christ. He tells us to be in the world but not of it. He tells us to be a light in a dark world. He tells us to be holy, as He is holy. God is glorified if we are obeying God’s word in these and other places. Are you obeying God’s Word? Are we holy as He is holy?
Praying to God
You might be asking yourself, “How is God glorified when I pray to Him?” I will show you. God is glorified when we believe in the gospel. By believing in the gospel, we honor Him as Lord and Savior, and humbly accept that He is infinitely greater than all. Prayer is essentially living out the gospel. In his book, A Praying Life, Paul E Miller, makes this point when he says,
Prayer mirrors the gospel. In the gospel, the Father takes us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of salvation. In prayer, the Father receives us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of help.
Like the gospel, when we pray, we realize that we are nothing apart from Christ. In the gospel, we realize that we are wretched and sinful, and that we need the righteousness of the perfect Lamb of God to be right with God. When we pray, we acknowledge also, that we are nothing apart from Christ, and that we need Him to perfect our words. Does it not strike us that Christ tells us to pray to the Father in His name? Apart from Christ, we can do nothing ! Prayer is a recognition of this: God is most glorified, when we acknowledge our helplessness and His all-sufficiency!
When we realize we can do nothing on our own, we are helpless and God is everything to us. He is glorified when we pray. We must be a people of prayer. We must cast ourselves at the foot of the throne via the cross of Calvary and cry out, “We are nothing! We need you”. In Prayer, we come as broken and helpless, and all we can do is cling unto the promises of God. In what other way can God be more glorified than when we His people trust Him? In Prayer, we are confronted with who God is and we can only bow to Him. Prayer glorifies God and so we must pray.
When we know God and His Son, obey His Word and also trust in His promises, and when we pray to God, He is glorified in us. This is the root. And this applies to all from different races or walks of life or work force. We must be a people who know their God, obey Him and cry out to Him. And in doing so, we glorify God. We must always remember, this is our chief end. Grace and Peace to all who seek to glorify their God, who died to save them from their sins.