The person who fears God seeks to live all of life to the glory of God. The Apostle Paul aptly stated, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
We cannot truly fear God without seeking His glory. If we understand the description of the fear of God as consisting of “awe, reverence, honour, and worship,” then we see that by definition the fear of God focuses on God’s glory.
This connection of the fear of God with the glory of God is brought out clearly in the song of Moses and the Lamb, as the victorious saints sing, “Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy” (Revelation 15:4). We fear the Lord, or reverence Him, by bringing glory to His name. To bring glory to His name involves first of all a response to Him, and second a reflection of Him to others.
The glory of God is the sum of all His infinite excellence and praiseworthiness set forth in display. To glorify God is first of all to respond properly to this display by ascribing to Him the honour and adoration due Him because of His excellence. We call this worship.
The second way we glorify God is by reflecting His glory to those around us in the way we live our daily lives. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). And R. C. H. Lenki wrote, “We do all things for ‘God’s glory’ when the excellence of God’s attributes is made to shine forth by our actions so that men may see it.”
What is our aim in life? Is it to become successful, or happy, or prosperous in whatever we pursue? Is it to be well thought of as a parent, or as a professional person, or even as a Christian? Does our aim terminate on ourselves or our family? What is our true aim? If we’re to glorify God in the way we live, we must make God’s glory our primary aim.
All other goals in life must be secondary. We must seek first His kingdom and His righteousness before everything else. For example, the Christian student should aim at God’s glory ahead of academic excellence or popularity or athletic achievement. That doesn’t mean he or she should not strive to be a good student or athlete, or be well thought of by other students. But the student should seek those things with the aim of glorifying God, and only in such way that God is glorified.
What is true of the student should also be true of those of us who are Christians. All the activities of life should be pursued with the aim of glorifying God. Note again the all-encompassing breath of Paul’s words, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthian 10:31). Nothing in life is too ordinary or insignificant to be excluded. Even our eating and drinking is to be done for God’s glory. Nothing is too important that we can say it supersedes the pursuit of God’s glory.
Are you about to close a lucrative business deal, or make a major career decision, or launch into some other major endeavour? If we fear God, His glory should be our first consideration in our business or our career. All of life is to be lived for the glory of God.
Again, though, let’s get down to those nitty-gritty details of everyday life. In our driving, is our first priority to glorify God or to get where we’re going as quickly as possible? When we go shopping, do we treat the shop keeper in such a way that if they knew we are a Christian, they would see God glorified in us?
In time of troubles as we experience from the floods, it is easy to get agree and blame God for our troubles. As I write this article and look through my office window all I can see is mud and debris left on our property by the flood.
One of the lesson I learned in my journey as a Christian is this: As a Christian I am never “off duty.” Even in such an ordinary event of going to the shop to buy a loaf of bread or in times of trouble I have an opportunity to either glorify God or shame Him by the way I conduct myself.
So what should be our aim in such situation? Should it be to glorify God or to vent our disappointment and displeasure on God? I’m not dealing in trivialities here. Events like these make up most of our existence. Life is largely a mosaic of little things: routine events, everyday duties, and ordinary conversations. How we conduct ourselves in these circumstances determines largely whether we glorify God in our lives.
By Rev. Eric D. Maefonea