“The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of His Presence.” A. W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God.
Glory and Transcendence
Many people are hungry for the greatness, grandeur and glory of God. They are looking for something bigger themselves and bigger than this physical or temporal experience. People are searching for transcendence.
The Bible mentions the glory of God many times throughout its pages. In the Bible we read that God wants his glory to be evident throughout the earth, that he wants his people to live in the presence of his glory, that he wants his people to reflect his glory. Yet glory remains an elusive concept. What is the glory of God? And how can we, individually and corporately, glorify him?
“Show me Your Glory”
Moses lived with God’s wonderful abiding presence, and he experienced many amazing evidences of God’s awesome power (Exod. 15:11). Yet Moses was hungry for more of God’s glory and asked, “Show me Your glory” (Exod. 33:18). God answered his prayer!
It is a good thing to be hungry for more of God’s glory in our lives and in our churches. And while the concept of glory may be elusive, God himself is not elusive. He has promised that when we draw near to him, he will draw near to us (Jam. 4:8). He has promised that when we seek him with our whole heart, we will find him (Jer. 29:13).
When we enter into God’s presence through prayer, we will find God and his glory if we are focused on him alone in awe and expectation, and allow time to seek his ‘face’ in Spirit and in Truth. (See Heb. 10:19-20 and John 4:23-24.)
Expressions of God’s Glory
We can see God’s glory displayed in different ways, and we can even bring glory to God ourselves. God’s glory can be seen in:
- The Beauty of Nature: The beauty, intricacy and variety of nature are testimony to the glory of God (Rom. 1:20; Psalm 19:1).
- Holy Lives: Turning away from sin and living holy lives brings glory to our holy God. (See Rom. 3:23; Psalm 15:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:15-16)
- Persevering Faith: A strong faith that perseveres and rejoices in trials brings glory to God (1 Pet. 1:6-7).
- Good Deeds: When we do good deeds, which are prompted by God and done in his strength, it brings glory to God. (See Matt. 5:16; John 14:12-14)
- Unity in Community: Unity brings glory to God—unity with other true believers and especially unity with God himself (John ch 17; Psalm 133).
- Praising God: We can glorify God with words of heartfelt praise and adoration. In Psalm 60:30 King David says: “I will praise God’s Name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.”
When the church has a high concept of the sublime majesty and glory of God, and longs for its manifestation, this will be reflected in times of corporate worship which bring glory to God. But God’s glory is also manifested when his people engage in good works that continue Jesus’ mission of bringing hope and healing to the world.
In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer writes: “The heaviest obligation upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of him—and of her [the church].” When we truly glorify God, God will reveal his glory.
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