Seeing God

Her little seven-month-old legs started kicking and her squeal could be heard all the way across the parking lot. We were at least 100 feet from the vehicle when her Poppy jumped out of his truck and yelled his pet name for her: “Zu-Zu!!” She wasn’t looking his direction at all until she heard his voice, then her head whipped around and her whole body started doing the happy dance in my arms. I could barely hang onto her!

What was happening?!

Little Zu-Zu saw the one she adores; she saw her Poppy and couldn’t contain the joy. It spilled out all over her. She was overflowing with joy-filled love!

That’s a picture of what you and I are created for. We’re created for side-splitting, happy-dancing, uncontainable JOY.

And you know where that starts?

Sheer Joy happens when we get a glimpse of God!

This is Day 10 in the “Top Tenseries.

I’m running down a list of ten things that I’m encouraging you to incorporate into your life, if you want to deepen your love relationship with Christ and press on to spiritual maturity. If you’re just now joining me, I hope you’ll jump over and read the other posts in this series where I’m addressing the “Top Ten” (you’ll find the links embedded in the titles at the end of this post). 

And then come back to join me for today’s topic:

#10 Glorify God

When you hear the words “Glorify God” what immediately comes to mind?

High-church hymns?

The Doxology?

Successfully completing a catechism?

“Glorifying God” may be a churchy phrase to some, but it is the essence of life, it’s our purpose, it’s the reason God created us.

Listen to what He says about it:

[box]“But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” (Numbers 14:21)[/box]

[box]“Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. And blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen.” (Psalm 72:18–19)[/box]

[box]“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)[/box]

These verses are describing God’s plan and divine mandate. All of creation, you and me, every molecule under His domain exists to glorify Him. 

“Glory” in the Scriptural sense can refer to weight or value. As image bearers—we are created to reflect God’s value, His character, His immense worth. Others should be able to see the transformation that the gospel brings to our lives and recognize that “there must be a God.” As they observe His powerful work in our lives, it demonstrates His value, His worth, and we’re filling the earth with His glory.

Are people “seeing” glimpses of God through your life?

As a mother of young toddlers, you may feel like you’re not doing anything BIG or tremendous . . . Filling the earth with God’s glory?? You’re just trying to survive potty training!

As a woman who’s been damaged due to sexual or emotional abuse, you may be so bowed down with brokenness or shame that you see no way you could display God’s glory.

Perhaps you’re one who is struggling with doubt and fear, how can you attempt to fill the earth with God’s glory?

In the introduction to His little book, Think, John Piper addresses this issue so well:

“The ultimate goal of life is that God be displayed as glorious . . . The way we glorify Him is by knowing Him truly, by treasuring Him above all things, and by living in a way that shows He is our Supreme treasure.” 

Our outside circumstances do not determine whether we can give God glory. Glorifying God happens when we find our greatest joy in Him, in the midst of our circumstances. Glorifying God begins with “seeing Him,” and because of what we can understand about Him, we love Him supremely. From the overflow of that love, our actions will be impacted.

Demonstrations of His grace will flow through us to others, and He will be “seen by others” as the Redeeming God that He is.

Picture in your mind an overflowing fountain.

You know, one of those large, stone water fountains standing in the center of a decorative reflecting pool. The fountain has several bowls catching the overflow of water. As water flows from the top of the fountain, it fills the first and smallest bowl, then the water overflows from that bowl to the next one beneath it, whose circumference is a little larger, and this overflow action is repeated in descending order until each bowl is filled, and finally water is overflowing into the pool where the fountain stands erect.

The bowls are fulfilling their purpose of receiving the water, but it’s more than each bowl can contain, so water overflows. The bowl displays the beauty of the water, but doesn’t retain it and allow it to stagnate, but it sends the abundance of water on to the bowl beneath it.

When our little Zu-Zu saw her Poppy and lit up with delight, she was communicating her joy in the one she loves and adores, and she spread that delight to us as we watched the joy take hold and transform her entire wiggly body! Her joy overflowed, her little “bowl” couldn’t contain it!

That’s what should happen as we get glimpses of God in our daily lives. As I “see God” by encountering Him in His Word, by recognizing His artistry in creation, or through reflecting on His amazing love demonstrated on the cross, it brings me to a place of awe and wonder. “Seeing God” initially brings me to my knees in realization and confession of my sin (like it did when Isaiah had his encounter), and leads me to a lifetime of worship and praise.

“Seeing God” deepens my love for Him. 

Picture that fountain in your mind again. Let the overflowing water represent God’s presence and work in your life. The first bowl represents the love we experience in response to entering into a relationship with God. Focusing on God’s love (as demonstrated at the cross) cultivates a response of love toward Him. He pours love into our lives, and love for Him should then overflow and be demonstrated through specific acts of obedience.

Love for God is directly linked with obedience to Him. I’ve found that obedience, although difficult at times, comes far more easily when I focus on God’s love for me. That’s when and how I want to return that love. “Loving God” is then fleshed out through obedience to God. Laying down my selfish inclinations, self-centered way of thinking, slothful tendencies, and picking up the mission God has for this moment.

When I focus on God’s enormous love and gracious mercy toward me, it compels me to respond in obedience.

Love for others is also fleshed out through obedience to God, by obeying the mission He has for you, or the mission He has for me, to carry out that mission in service to others, for His glory (as illustrated in Jesus’ story of the Samaritan in Luke 10).

Let the second bowl of the fountain represent acts of obedience. Each descending bowl can represent in your mind, specific ways of demonstrating His love to Him and others: sharing the gospel with the lost, displaying His glory through doing hard things, confessing sin to Him and to others, living unselfishly, being thankful in all things, discipling a young woman, generously sharing with those who have need, caring for the “least of these,” potty-training your toddler, or responding graciously to the grumpy sales clerk.

Every day we have myriads of opportunities to “treasure God above all things” in our thought life, in our heart attitudes, and in our actions.

Today, how will you specifically glorify God?

This completes the “Top Ten” series, but if you missed any of it, you can check out the entire series by clicking on the titles below: 

#1 Embrace the Cross

#2 Abide in Christ

#3 Feed on the Word Daily

#4 Tremble at the Word

#5 Ask a Lot and Listen Well 

#6 Breathe in Grace and Exhale Worship 

#7 Nurture Your Soul with Good Reading Material 

#8 Become a vital member of the Body 

#9 Surround Yourself with Truth-Speakers