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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Does God want "relationship" or glorification?

Throughout my life, various people, ministries, and books have thrown ingredients into my spiritual soup pot. And there it sat on the cold stove… a pot of soup ingredients. Occasionally, a bit of flame would ignite underneath and warm the soup, causing the flavors to blend together, but it would soon go out with the rushing breezes of life. A couple years ago, God took my pot right off the stove and thrust it straight into the fire. The soup began to bubble, and steam began to rise, infusing the soup with the flavors of God and His Word and removing a lot of the extra water of warm and fuzzy feelings.

I’m beginning to realize that my life is not about me. That there is nothing in this world that is for me. Everything good in my life is not for my pleasure, but for God’s. Everything bad in my life is not simply punishment or senseless happenstance that God might use. It is in my life because it brings Him glory. In every minute detail of my life, He is not about blessing me. He is about blessing Himself.

I think it’s easy to think perhaps we are the sun in God’s solar system. That somehow we are the sole reason for His existence. That He and His great plan revolve around us, His human creation. In reality, He is the center of the system, and we revolve around Him, along with all other creation.
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Col. 1:16)
We exist for His glory, not He for ours. Our job is to make Him look good. To give Him praise and adoration. To direct the attention of ALL creation to His grand gloriness.

This means then that we were not created to “have a relationship” with God. It was not that God existed in a huge vastness and, in His loneliness, decided to create little human friends. It’s not that those little human friends went and messed it all up by eating the fruit and condemning themselves and every future generation to a sin nature and the inablity to be friends with God. No, it’s not like that at all.

First of all, because God is not human, He does not need us in an emotional way like we need Him and need each other.

Secondly, because if it were possible for His little friends to mess up His plan for friendship, then that would put His creation at a higher power than God Himself.
"And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but he does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off his hand or say to him, 'What hast Thou done?'" (Dan. 4:35).
So how does salvation fit into all this? If it’s not a story of a broken friendship needing our decision to mend it, then what is it?

It is a story of an all powerful, holy God displaying His glory.
“For my own sake, for my own sake I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another” (Is. 48:11).
In Ephesians chapter one, Paul tells us God’s goal in saving us from sin and for Himself.

Verse 5&6:
“He predestined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace.”

Verse 12:
“We who first hoped in Christ have been predestined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory.”

Verse 14:
“The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of his glory.”
Then how does John 3:16 fit in? It says He loved the world so much, He saved us. The fact that salvation is part of His plan for His own glory does not eliminate the fact that He loves us. He created us to find and experience the most satisfaction and joy when we glorify Him.

Therefore, in providing us with a way to glorify Him through salvation, He is providing us with the greatest satisfaction and joy humanly possible to experience. And THAT is love!

Salvation is not about God’s creating a method for a relationship with God. It is about God providing a way for us to bring glory to Him. And in our glorifying, we find joy and fulfillment.

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts, Brenda. You may be familiar with John Piper. Along the same vein as some of what you shared... I love this quote from his book "Desiring God": "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." God does not need us or a relationship with us. But He desires it, and our passion for Him is a great glory to Him.