In the Presbyterian church, as well as many other Christian traditions, we often use creeds or confessions during our worship services to affirm our faith. Many of these creeds or confessions were written a long time ago, but still contain timeless truths for us today. The Westminster Shorter Catechism was written in the 1600s and I have always loved the very first line. The format of this particular confession is question and answer:
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
A few weeks ago, a friend threw out the question “what’s the point?” on his blog to generate some thought and discussion. For some reason, this line was the first thing that popped into my mind. This week in our bible study, the idea of glorifying God and enjoying God came up again; the writer of our bible study suggests that, among other things, glorifying and enjoying God are part of our birthright as children of God. Glorifying and enjoying God certainly seems like a pretty good goal or purpose in life…is it too late to make a New Years Resolution? That’s me, procrastinating again; a New Year’s resolution in February! So what exactly does “glorify” and “enjoy” mean in this context? And is it really a realistic goal? How can lil’ ole me bring glory to such a great big GLORIOUS God?
Here are some of the things that I learned in our study about God’s glory. According to our study, God’s glory is the way that God chooses to make Himself known…God’s glory is how He shows us who He is. And according to scripture, God created us FOR His glory. He created us to make Himself known TO us and He created us to make Himself known THROUGH us. Living a life that glorifies God is synonymous with living a life that reveals God…a life that makes our invisible God visible to the world around us. Like the song lyrics from yesterday “the glory of God is man fully alive.” So what does that mean for me personally? It means, I guess, that God wants to use my life (and your life) to bring Himself glory! The way I can participate in that is by getting myself and my own need to bring myself glory (ouch, there is that pride thing again) out of the way and allow God to fill me with His Spirit. And then I have to do that again tomorrow….and the next day…and the next day. Apparently, this living a life that brings God glory doesn’t happen overnight; it requires that I hang out with Him for a while…through His Word, prayer, worship, etc. I heard once that the more I look AT Him, the more I will begin to look LIKE Him. Paul says:
2 Corinthians 3:18 (New Living Translation)
And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.
I guess bringing glory to God is kind of like PR for God. When we get out of God’s way enough for Him to start shining through us, people want to know what’s going on. I have always thought that nature…the mountains, the ocean (and my husband would say, golf courses) were what God’s glory was all about….when I look at them, I just automatically think “Way to go, God!” They are the very essence of God’s might and creativity and beauty and….well, glory! Yet, perhaps, a person totally surrendered to God, a person who is really trying to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, a person who is slowly becoming who God has planned for her or him to be…perhaps that is the “glorifying” that really gets God fired up. The mountains don’t have a choice, but we do. Don’t you bet God loves it when we choose to live our lives in ways that glorify Him? Or at least try?
Gotta go….we’ll talk about enjoying God next time!!