Hungry for His Glory
How do we pursue the glory of God?
We are restless. We love breaking new ground, going where the Gospel has never been preached, seeing Jesus do what only He can do. We can never get enough of the assurance of His voice, the testimony of His angels, the wonder of His wisdom, the comfort of His presence. His glory is our goal, our destination, our ambition, our food, our purpose, our motivation.
FAITH IS THE KEY
But there is more to attaining His glory than we at first understand. There is the grief that we suffer for a short while, if necessary, so that our faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine (1 Peter 1:7 NIV). There is the process of becoming more than conquerors through this faith in Jesus. We have the chance over a short span of a few years to prove what Jesus means to us by our endurance. “The one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13 NIV).
"[God] wants our love to be one that is committed, proven, eternal and worthy of His glory."
If we are to see His glory we need to make it our aim to please Him (2 Corinthians 5:9 NIV), and there is no way to please Him without faith (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). God, who loves us with a love that is stronger than death (Song of Songs 8:6 NIV), makes it clear that He wants our love to be one that is committed, proven, eternal and worthy of His glory. He wants us to love Him with a love that is full of quality and content. This kind of love ravishes Him, gives Him pleasure and causes Him to be happy that He made us. God will stop at nothing to get that kind of love from us. And so He doesn’t unveil His glory cheaply. While revelation is free in the blood of Jesus, it is also expensive — requiring our death and total surrender to Him.
GLORY THROUGH SANCTIFICATION
What does His glory look like? We long to see the unearthly beauties of heaven, but God Himself is eager to manifest His glory on earth. His design is to glorify Himself in the midst of the worst damage Satan has done. His purpose is to redeem each of us until we can demonstrate His glory in the most humble, ordinary and sin-damaged circumstances. He is hungry for the glory we will bring Him on Judgment Day. All is directed at that Great Day. The fragrance of our lives lived on this earth will be His glory. That fragrance is often obtained through suffering, and He will be worth every ounce of it.
"How we relate to each other... is the only critical issue in the universe."
It is for the sake of others that we remain on earth. We are not called simply to experience the miraculous and the glorious, but to love people. There is only one thing that matters to God, and that is people. All creation and all that God says and does are for the sake of us who have been made for companionship with Him. People are all-important, and how we relate to each other and God is the only critical issue in the universe.
So pursuing God's glory is really the process of sanctification, without which no one will see God (Hebrews 12:14 NIV). Nothing is possible in God without sanctification. Pursuing divine revelation is possible only as we pursue sanctification, which is the ultimate purpose of having experiences with God. He wants purity and perfection to be the outcome of our lives. But how does this happen?
The New Testament is our instruction manual for the Christian life on this earth, and the great majority of it is concerned not with seeking supernatural experiences but with the “boring” aspects of life in God: integrity, kindness, patience, faithfulness, long-suffering, and gentleness. Paul’s constant admonitions are to “grow” in the knowledge of Him, prepared for every good work. Paul prays for us in the Church to experience God’s power, but it is the supernatural power to comprehend with all the saints the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of God, and then to flesh that love out in this world. God intends that we confirm His calling and choosing us by walking a path of virtue which causes us to add to our faith goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love (2 Peter 1:5–7). This is the glory that the heart of God is focused on producing in us by His grace and power revealed in Jesus through the Cross. All the glories of heavenly revelation are predicated on this glory.
"The joy of the Lord... is the crowning touch of His glory."
So many of us, rich and poor, famous and unknown, educated or not, with a church background or nothing but a past of cruel witchcraft, are in extreme pain, with no relief in sight. It seems that suffering and despair ultimately rule this world. It is the glory of God to destroy that despair, to bring relief to the broken- hearted, to change tears into laughter, hunger and thirst into satisfaction, loneliness into families. People and their feelings are what matter to God. Satan has trampled roughshod over the hearts of mankind until all hope is gone. God is glorified in you when your faith in Him causes you to rise from this grave and find contentment and great joy. That is the glory of God. The joy of the Lord, that most impossible of goals, is the crowning touch of His glory.
HOW DO I PURSUE THE GLORY?
In all our talk of pursuing the glory, I believe that we must pursue relationship with God and not just phenomena. We seek life, and not just miracles. We seek Divine romance, and not just visions. We seek to be one spirit with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17 NIV), and not just to be in heaven. We seek to know Him, and not just to see Him. We seek to understand Him, and not just to hear Him. We move toward perfection in Him!
As we become lovers of God, we then can take extreme delight in all His revelations. When our character is like His and our motives are purely focused on loving Him, we are free to pursue Him in heavenly places. It is not possible to enter the Kingdom of God and avoid Calvary. It is only through Jesus’ death and resurrection that we have power by faith in Him to overcome our pain and remain in His love. Jesus is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV) and the radiance of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). When we receive Him, take Him as our own and cling to Him, we truly drink His blood and eat His body and we become united with Him. This is how we attain the glory of God in all its fullness.