Throughout history people have struggled with a variety of questions. “Who should I marry?”– “What should I be when I grow up?” –“Where should I go to school?”– “If corn oil comes from corn, and olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from?”
But one question really stands out, “What is God’s will for my life?” It is a great question, one that must be asked and answered by everyone – especially those who claim to be followers of Jesus. The answer however, is not as difficult to discover as many believe. You don’t need to get your pastor’s help. No need to ask your momma or your spouse. The answer is in God’s Word.
God’s will for your life is the same as His will for mine. It is something that all of creation shares. God’s will for your life and mine is that we live for His glory. That’s it! All of creation, the stars, the sky, the birds of the air and the fish in the sea – you and I – all were created for His glory.
Isaiah 43:6-7, “Bring My sons from far away, and My daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone called by My name and created for My glory.”
All of us are driven by something. Some are driven by a need for recognition or attention. Some are driven by a quest for material possessions. Some are driven by the desires of their flesh. You and I, as followers of Jesus, should be driven by a desire to glorify God. Just before His arrest Jesus said in John 17:4 to His heavenly Father, “I have glorified You on the earth by completing the work You gave Me to do.” Jesus’ greatest passion (purpose) was to glorify His Father. It is why He became flesh and dwelt among us. And, He glorified the Father by doing what He was sent to do!
What does it mean to glorify God?
God’s glory is the single most important thing in the world to Him. He said in Isaiah 42:8 that He would not share His glory with another. Therefore, glorifying God is the single most important thing you can do with your life. But if we were honest, most of us have little to no idea what it actually means to glorify God. We talk about God’s glory in philosophical ways. We talk about glorifying God in terribly complex ways. And so at the end of the day, we know what everything is for the glory of God, but we don’t know how to actually do it!
To understand what it means to glorify God, you need to separate God’s glory from our quest to glorify Him. First of all, there is the glory which God has in Himself that we cannot give Him. It’s His attributes. His power. His knowledge. His love. His holiness. His wisdom. In other words, there is His natural glory which is made up of all His attributes. For example, Acts 7:2 says that, “God is the God of glory.” This is God’s glory by virtue of His nature. We don’t give it to Him. This is who He is. He is the God of glory.
But there is also the glory given to God by His creation. Now, notice this does not mean that we add anything to His nature or glory. Giving glory to God is not adding to His nature, but it is revealing God’s nature or attributes to a watching world. You and I are to be vessels through which God reveals His glory (attributes) to the world as they share life with us. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 that we are to let our lights shine before men, so that they would see our good works and glorify the Father.
In Genesis 1:27 we read that man was created in God’s image. In other words when others look at how we live out our values, when they see our character and behavior they should be able to say – “That is what God is like.” We were created by God to fill the earth with His likeness. Like some mirrors, some people give very good reflections of what God is like. Others are more like those mirrors in the fun house at the carnival – they’re sending to the world some rather grotesque and distorted images of God.
That’s why it’s important that you and I continually ask ourselves, “Is the way I am living my life bring glory to God? Do my reactions to the struggles or frustrations in life bring God glory? Does the way I manage my resources (time, money, talents, etc.) glorify God?” Am I using my talents and spiritual gifts for His glory? Does the way I love my wife or serve my employer bring God glory? Am I a servant?” Both the way we live our lives and our service to others help fulfill our God given purpose- to glorify God.
To Walk Like Jesus
We glorify God best when we live a life and have a ministry that looks like the life and ministry of Jesus. In other words, we bring God the greatest amount of glory when we walk like Jesus. It’s the will of God for you and me:
1 John 2:6, “The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.”
God is saying that the one who claims to be a follower of Jesus should walk just as He walked. That’s how we glorify God – by walking like Jesus! We exist for God – for His glory. We glorify Him best when we live a life and have a ministry that looks like the life and ministry of Jesus. So let me close by asking, “Is the passion of your life to glorify God? Do you desire to walk like Jesus?” If so, how are you doing? When people look at your life do they see the image of God? The good news is that to walk like Jesus is more than possible – it’s expected! God, in 2 Peter 1:3, declares that He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. God gave us everything we need to walk like His Son!