Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

6.23.2009

The Glory of God: How it Changes Your Life, Part I

We have arrived back in the Northwest safe and sound, but I will leave the “summing up” post (along with our adventures in Portland on Father’s Day) for Lauren to post on Friday. While in Utah, Sarah, Lauren, and I chose a rather ambitious subject to study in the Scriptures: the glory of God. While we came to realize that this would be a lifelong endeavor, I will attempt to relay to you what we discovered in the eleven days we had.
All three of us listened to Passion for the Supremacy of God, Parts I and II by John Piper in preparation for our study. This is literally a life-changing message which I would highly recommend to anyone and which is available free on Mr. Piper’s website. This established several presuppositions for us:
  1. We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples.
  2. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
  3. Your passion for the supremacy of God in all things must be rooted in God’s passion for the supremacy of God in all things.
  4. God loves Himself more than He loves you, and therein lies the hope that He might love us, sinful as we are.
  5. If God is to love you, He must give what is best for you—and God is what is best out of all the universe.

I knew, as most Christians do, that I was created to glorify God. Yet, while having a knowledge of my supreme, highest, and most fervent mission, I had no idea what that meant. How do I glorify God? I did not even know, I realized, what the glory of God was. Thus began this study—and what a journey it was and will be!
Of course, everyone will acknowledge God’s glory when Jesus comes back for the second time: “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).”
I fervently believe that if Christians steadfastly and perfectly gazed upon God’s glory every moment of every day, there would be no sin. This is not possible, due to our own sinful natures, but it is certainly what God wants us to aspire to. It is impossible to be in the presence of God’s confounding glory and live in sin.
However, one of the most eye-opening revelations for me during this study was understanding Isaiah 40:5 (“And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it”). We realized that there was a point when God’s glory hadn’t yet been revealed to all men. After literally hours and hours of back and forth discussion, we still could not find any Scriptures that even discussed this, until Lauren discovered a passage that literally made us squeal for delight:

“But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
(II Corinthians 3:7-18, NKJV).”

To be continued next Tuesday...

All of the pictures in this post were taken in Utah by Sarah.

2 comments:

  1. Good post Mika! :) I love how John Piper opened his sermon: "God's primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever" - remembering that phrase certainly helped in defining the glory of God and identifying the source of His glory!

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  2. Thanks for sharing, Mikaela. : ) I just read that passage in II Corinthians not all that long ago and was blessed by what I gathered from it.
    I look forward to the continuation... : )

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