Do we understand what it means, do we honestly understand what is involved in Glorifying God? I want to borrow an example I heard from John Piper.
Let us imagine Adam and Eve before they ate of the fruit as having mirrors on their chest. These mirrors are aimed in a 45-degree angle. As God’s light shines down on Adam’s heart it hits the mirror and is reflected outwardly to Eve. And now imagine Eve with this same mirror pointed at the same angle, it also reflects God’s light into Adam. The beauty they find in each other comes not from themselves and their actions but from the creator who shines his light down upon them.
Turn your thoughts toward the time Adam and Eve partake of the fruit from the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’, imagine them slowly turning their back with each bite of the fruit. Satan has convinced them that they can show forth their own glory. As they turn, the light no longer reflects off the mirror but hits their back which places a dark shadow on the ground. God’s light no longer reflecting off them but instead darkness fills a spot on the Earth in their own image. They now glory in the work of that image on the Earth. They plant and grow food to survive, clothing to wear and build shelters to protect themselves.
At times, our shadow grows and displays long legs and long arms. The belief is that we are reaching farther and moving faster to create amazing works. Here is an example of someone who’s shadow grows larger.
Daniel 4: 28-30 ESV
28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?”
At other times, our shadow may seem so small it barely reaches past our feet. We are no longer affecting anyone or anything around us. We are not sure we can even care for ourselves. What is the purpose of living if we are so broken, if we no longer have any influence or value in this World?
Luke 8: 43 ESV
43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone.
This woman had tried everything within her own influence to remove this illness. Looking even beyond herself; a Friend, a Pastor, or a Doctor. She used up all the money she had earned in an attempt to resolve it. Her physical Illness did not allow her to be social. She could not visit church or become a part of any gathering without shame. She was valueless, unwanted, and ashamed.
2 Corinthians 4: 3-7 ESV
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness, “has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
The light of the Gospel is the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we do not shine forth from our own selves, but we allow the light of serving Jesus to shine through us.
Daniel 4: 34-35 ESV
34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
God took Nebuchadnezzar through some exceedingly difficult times after he proclaims, “Look at what I have built”. Through the struggle he realized who the true creator of life is. He lifted his eyes, or we could say he turned his heart toward God, allowing his mirror to reflect God’s Glory as it was intended from the beginning.
Luke 8: 47-48 ESV
47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
Read through that passage one more time and focus in on the first phrase, “When the woman saw that she was not hidden”. Value was return to her, she had to push her way to Jesus on hands and knees for the opportunity to touch but the hem of His garment. God’s only requirement of us is that we daily acknowledge Him as our only source. Her life was changed forever, not due to anything she had accomplished. Her life was changed forever because she turned her mirror (her heart) toward God again and the light of His Glory reflected off of her.
1 Corinthians 13: 12-13
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Sadly, our mirror is not exceptionally clean, focused, or clear of smudges. Due to the original sin in our lives it is hard for us to show God’s full Glory. Read over all of 1 Corinthians 13 and learn about the light that is Jesus and let us turn our mirrors toward Him. The closer our relationship with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the more reflective we can become of His Glory. The day is coming when we will return to the garden, walking with God. I am so looking forward to that day.