I have been thinking a lot about the word “glory” this week. It is a term that is thrown around quite a bit amongst Jesus folk. Since starting a relationship with Jesus as an early adult, I have adopted the use of the term, but its significance has been lost throughout most of my journey. I just have not “gotten” it. Am I alone here?
I am reading Breaking Free by Beth Moore with my “Wednesday Women.” Beth admits that to try and understand the meaning of a word like glory, as it refers to God, is incredibly difficult, but she offers this insight: glory is to make God known or give him recognition. To give God glory is to make him known or seen. When God reveals his glory, He is giving man insight into who he is. When the Bible says that the whole earth is full of his glory, it means that the whole earth is full of these tiny revelations of who God is. Glory = the representation of God (which is highly complex and comes in countless forms)
Thanks to our amazing Michigan winter, I was up on my roof last week shoveling off the few feet of snow that were up there. As I paused to catch my breath during this arduous task, I looked around at our property and my heart was captivated. It is beautiful. I get to look at this marvelous sight every day and I am beyond thankful. Yet, in having a slightly different perspective (standing on the roof), I was awestruck anew. It is amazing what a slight change in perspective can do.
Since “glory” has been on my mind lately, I have begun plugging in my new understanding of the word “glory” and my eyes have been opened.
Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare (who God is), the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 – “And we, who with unveiled faces, all reflect (who God is), are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing (revelation of who God is), which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for (God’s recognition).”
Whatever you do…
As the season with small children is coming to a close and the season of having all my children in school is fast approaching, I have been wondering a lot about what I can/should be doing in this next season. As I have pondered what I might do with my time and how I might contribute financially, I admittedly have very little clue where to go with my thoughts. There are a lot of things I COULD do. I am just not sure I am ready to commit to anything.
Consequently, I have been wondering why I am here and what this world/life is all about. You know, I have just been pondering the light-hearted stuff. I had a very strange realization a couple months ago. I realized that I can not do ANYTHING about the fact that I exist. I exist. Period. I did not ask to be here. Even when I die, I will still exist. Our bodies fail, but our spirits will live forever. Whew!! That is almost too overwhelming to think about. I can allow myself to crumble under the weightiness of that reality, OR I can realize that I was put on this planet, in this time in history, for a purpose.
What is that purpose? That is really the question isn’t it? Here in the word “glory” is a simple, yet profound answer: To make God known and to know Him. That is why we are all here. Could it really be that simple? Kind-of, yeah.
I think most people would agree that if there is an existence after this planet (which I believe there is), they want to be in heaven, not hell. If heaven is God’s home, then we might want to know who we will be spending “time” with. God has given everyone the choice to spend their forever with Him. Forever does not begin when we die. It has already begun.
Each of us was made “in the image of God.” We were made to reflect a part of who he is. As we grow in relationship with our Maker, we learn more about him, and we become more like Him – reflecting a greater revelation of who he is (glory).
If we look back to the original design, God wanted his children to always know him and be in relationship with him. The garden of Eden was full of his “glory.” Adam and Eve were surrounded with his glory. If we have accepted God’s plan for inviting us back into his glory (through his son Jesus), one day, we will be in his “glory” forever. We will be surrounded with who God is – everything he represents: perfect love and perfect goodness.
Until then, Jesus said to pray that God’s kingdom (his rule and authority – his glory) would come on earth as it is already established in heaven. “And we, who with unveiled faces, all reflect (who God is), are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing (revelation of who God is), which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
His invisible qualities have been seen. We can see God’s glory (we can see him and recognize him), but we have to look. Some times life circumstances make this search almost like a “Where’s Waldo?” Finding God’s glory in the crazy, in the trials, in the suffering, can be difficult, but he is always there.
Where have you seen His glory today? Where have you seen God or recognized him?
I will be daily asking myself: How have I made God more visible or recognized today?
Care to join me in asking this question?