209 – God’s Glory and Why It Matters to Writers

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God's Glory and Why It Matters to Writers on Write from the Deep Podcast

Anyone who has ever attended church has heard about God’s glory. We’ve sung about it, we’ve read about it in the Bible. But do we really understand it? And do we realize that we, both as believers and writers, are tasked with displaying God’s glory to the world? But how can we, in all our humanity and weaknesses, do something so grand and important? It’s easier than you think!

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In our last podcast, we discussed George Muller and his amazing life of prayer. I want to take a minute to treat Muller like a character in a novel with goals, motivations, and conflict.

So, George Muller had goals, he had ministries he wanted to start, like an orphan house. And he certainly had conflict—he had no money, no building, and no people to work with orphans. But what I love most is his motivation: He wanted people to see the mighty works that God did—how God provided, how trustworthy God is, and how deserving of praise God is.

In other words, he wanted to glorify God. That’s a great motivation! And it’s right in line with God’s goal in creating us.

Why Did God Create Us?

God created us, and everything else, to glorify him. Here’s what Isaiah 43:7 says, “Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.”

And Isaiah 43:21 says, “The people who I formed for myself will declare my praise.”

Psalm 19:1 tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

An article on DesiringGod.org puts it this way: “The supreme goal of God in history from beginning to end is the manifestation of his great glory. Accordingly our duty is to bring our thoughts, affections, and actions into line with this goal.”

What is God’s Glory?

But what is God’s glory? What do you think of when you hear that word?

We might think about what glory looks like—maybe what Isaiah saw in Isaiah 6:1, when he saw the Lord high and exalted on a throne, with the train of his robe filling the temple.

Or we might think of what Ezekiel saw. He describes a whirlwind, and living creatures, and wheels, and then he says,

“…what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown…”  Ezekiel 1:26-28 NIV

Or we might just think of light or fire so pure, bright, and holy that we can’t even look at it—we’d be consumed. Like in Hebrews 12:29 where it says, “For our God is a consuming fire.”

Or, We might think about a dictionary definition like honor, renown, magnificence, splendor, majesty, power.

An article on DesiringGod.org defines it like this: “The glory of God is the infinite beauty and greatness of his manifold perfections.”

An article on Christianity.com says, “God’s glory is an indicator of his value”

So, God’s glory is God’s splendor, his worth, his value, his acts, his greatness, his brilliance, his power, his overwhelming nature, his majesty, his utterly beyond-ness.

HOW do we glorify God?

Yet here we are, little puny humans, who exist to help display all that. How do we do that?

First, let’s realize that God has done the heavy lifting. We don’t have to do it all. He causes his own glory to be shown through his righteous acts and through his creation. Look at the proof in the following verses:

“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.” Isaiah 44:22-23 NIV

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’” Luke 2:8-14 NIV

“I [Jesus] have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” John 17:4 NIV

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:18 NIV

But, we still have a part to play. As the DesiringGod article said, it’s “our duty…to bring our thoughts, affections, and actions into line with” God’s goal of displaying his glory. We can do that by ascribing glory to God, revering his glory, and declaring his glory.

Ascribe Glory to God

When we ascribe glory to God, we’re recognizing it, we’re realizing it, we’re naming it. We’re attributing this characteristic to God, just like it says in these verses:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:11 NIV

“…Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”Revelation 15:3-4 NIV

“Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” Psalm 29:1-2 NIV

We also ascribe glory to him when we acknowledge that his actions are ultimately for his glory, as it says in Psalm 79:9: “Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.” Psalm 79:9 NIV

Revere God’s glory

When we revere God’s glory, we’re acknowledging the seriousness of it, the awe it should inspire. God’s glory is never to be taken lightly. Isaiah 59:19 says, “From the west, people will fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the Lord drives along.”

Revering God’s glory means we’re careful not take God’s glory. Here’s what Psalm 115:1 says, “Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”

Revering God’s glory also means we never, ever deny the truth of it, because we will face God’s wrath if we do. Romans 1:18-25 (NIV) has this to say:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”

Paul goes on in that passage to talk about all the ways we will continue to devolve into evil if we refuse to recognize and value the truth about God and his glory. It’s not pretty.

Declare God’s glory

In addition to ascribing God glory and revering God’s glory, we also are to declare it. We’re to tell it, to make it known as it says in these verse:

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.” 1 Chronicles 16:23-25 NIV

“All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.” Psalm 145:10-12 NIV

“They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: ‘Glory to the Righteous One.’” Isaiah 24:14-16 NIV

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” Psalm 63:3 NIV

As writers, another way we declare God’s glory is through our words on the page. Those words tell of God’s truth and his worth, his actions and his attributes, his creation, his sovereignty, and his love. While it’s great if people read your words, don’t forget that just writing words is an act of declaration, and that is reason enough to write them.

Bearing Witness to God’s Glory through trust

Our trust in God is another way we bear witness to his glory. We can show our trust by believing his promises, like Abraham. Here’s what Romans 4:18-21 (NIV) has to say:

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”

2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV) tells us, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” Our amen is our agreement, it’s our acknowledgement that we agree God will fulfill all his promises, and that glorifies God.

Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

Again, our belief is a mark of our agreement, our trust that God has and will save us.

Bearing witness to God’s glory though our actions

Another way we bring glory to God is through our actions. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

We need to think about this and take it seriously. Everything we do should demonstrate that God is our supreme value. That God is who and what we hold most dear. This should be reflected in how we spend our time, how we spend our money, how we talk, how we write, how we treat others, how we handle disagreement, how we behave on social media, or at church, or at the grocery store, or during an interview, or driving down the highway during rush hour.

You might be thinking—as I am—well that’s a tall order. But God doesn’t leave us to do this on our own. He helps us. He gives us his strength, his Holy Spirit, his promises, his living word in the Bible. And he gives us the right to come before his throne and—to the best of our fallen ability in this fallen world—behold God’s glory. These glimpses change us. The more we ascribe, revere, declare, and behold God’s glory, the more we are changed.

Here’s what 2 Corinthians 3:18 (RSV) tells us: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

As we’re changed, we’re better and better able to be a reflection of God’s glory, which brings God glory. But there’s more. As we shine, we also display God’s Kingdom to those around us. We shine in a dark, broken world that so desperately needs light.

I was discussing this in my mastermind group and here’s how one woman put it: “We’re walking trophy cases to display God’s glory.” God does that. He makes us his delight, his display, his joy.

God also makes us his fruit-bearers. Here’s what it says in John 15:7-8: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

God’s glory. It’s more grand, more amazing, more indescribable than we can imagine. Yet he gives us glimpses of it every day in so many ways. How can we not share it with others? Especially when he helps us do so? As we end today, let’s join together in glorifying God, in sharing his Glory with those around us. Let’s let Psalm 57:9-11 be our guide:

“I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.”

Why does God’s glory matter to you as a writer? #amwriting #Christianwriter Share on X

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