Defining the breadth and depth of extolling Almighty God
Praise God! Psalm 34:3 says, “Magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together!” As Christians we often think of glorifying God as an incredibly positive exercise in expression, excitement, joy and passion. Our praise and worship usually bring us to feeling His love and power, and this in turn opens us up to a convicted sense of security. All of this is good, but is it the complete picture of what glorifying God is supposed to be? Do our praise and worship sufficiently satisfy the "glorifying God equation" in our daily lives? What if there is a whole different level of extolling our Creator’s character? What if that different level could actually have a profound transforming effect on us? You’d want to know about that, right? Me too!
The first thing we need to establish is that within the context of our present day systems of recognition, glory is overrated! Really! Think about it – we glorify the oddest things. We praise uniqueness over integrity! When there is a new and fresh way to do things, who needs to respect being true to principle? We honor style over perseverance! When flamboyance is an option who needs the ideal of working hard and finishing? We extol boisterousness over sound reasoning! If you can make your point by shouting down your opponent why bother with clarity and truth? See, glory is easily misdirected towards things that are actually glory-less.
Giving glory to God is an entirely different story. We most often envision doing so in the context of praise, especially in church where we can really “feel it.” While this is a good start, it barely scratches the surface of honoring our Creator. The best and highest forms of glory come when there is little or no emotion to back it up. You see, giving glory to God should not be confused with or limited to giving praise to God. Praising God is an expression, an outward manifestation of thanks or happiness or awe. Glorifying God is manifested in the way we live.
So, how does that work? Let’s think about it in terms of the results of simply being who you are. An example – what about when you are going through deep trials? Do those experiences uproot our ability to glorify God? They can, but here’s the thing. Even when we get overwhelmed, the smallest expressions of faith, the most desperate prayer or a feeble holding of hope – these all give God glory. These all say to God, He is the Sovereign Protector of our lives and we look to His mercy and grace for answers. Even when we are weak, we can give glory to our Father!
There is so much more to glorifying God. Check out our July 9, 2018 podcast, “What Does it Mean to Glorify God?” for details. We talk about what a God-glorifying character looks like and practical examples of glory giving actions. We also visit some biblical events where God seemed to contradict himself by giving glory to some who were definitely “bad guys.” Why would He do that? Listen in and see!
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