Is God An Egomaniac?
Celebrities have often denounced God publically because they claim he is a jealous god, a god that seeks to be glorified, a god desiring our attention. So we develop this idea of a needy god.
Let’s take a look first at what does it mean to glorify God. Our concept of glorifying God seems to be rooted in our own experience and context of understanding. So we see glorifying as exalting or praise to lift the person up. We laud people or praise them for what they have done and to stroke them, to help them feel validated and to honor them.
When we think of god seeking to be glorified it sounds like a 4 year old yelling at their parent, “Look at me, look at me, look at what I’ve done.”
However, lets look at what the Bible teaches us. First of all, before we speak of glory of God and praise we need to establish a clear precept of reality. For this to be an issue we must first believe in God, not just any god but the God of scripture. The God of the bible, Genesis 1:1 predates creation. Therefore, the God of the Bible is the author of all creation. Not just us, but the macro and micro reality we live in. He extends far into the nebulae, galaxies and black holes of the universe as a whole and deep into the micro reality of microbiology and the deep universe of the atom. This God created all things, in order, with systems and laws, and set it all into motion. In order for this God to do this he could not be within the universe itself. He exists outside of our understanding of time and space in order to be able to create time and space itself.
C.S. Lewis claims that its akin to Hamlet seeking to find Shakespeare. The only way Hamlet could even conceive of Shakespeare, Shakespeare would have to write himself into the story for Hamlet to be conscious of him. Yet, we contend this is exactly what God did. He created the story of humanity and then He wrote himself into it to draw humanity into relationship with Him.
So, if this is the nature of God. That He surpasses our understanding of awesome, surpasses all of reality and creativity, then to be conscious of Him is to be in awe.
This is what it means for God to be glorified. For glorified is not for us to stroke Him but to come to a place of consciousness of God. Once we are aware of God we can not help but be awed by His presence, character and definition.
For in God the very definitions of righteousness, truth, glory, and love are found. So if we are truly aware of God then our natural impulse will be to glorify him or to BEHOLD him.
To Behold is to become aware of him and hold onto Him for His nature surpasses all that is common and understandable to us. In beholding God, or becoming aware of God, we encounter His goodness and then we become desirous of being the image of God which means we become glorified in that His righteousness and goodness transcends us and is reflected in us to others.
Isaiah 43:6-7 declares, “…bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
This is a wonderful verse that provides insight into God’s purpose for us. For those of us who identify by his name, are created for God’s glory, for each of us was purposefully made by God. What does it mean to be created for God’s glory? To be created in God’s original intent, Genesis 1;27, to be made in God’s image. It doesn't mean we are copies of God, we are rather reflectors of His image which is righteousness, truth, and love. When we embrace and Behold God as God, we enter into relationship with Him, we see his glory and love in the cross and we reflect his love to others.
To glorify God is by no means to stroke God’s ego – He is so great that we have nothing to offer God and our limited praises are of no egotistical value to God. To glorify God is to behold Him, to be in awe, to know him, to be in relationship with Him and to live accordingly.
To glorify God is to see God in His fullness. So God’s purpose for us is for us to be aware of Him in His fullness. When this happens we are drawn to praise Him because of His magnificence not because we must.
The beauty of glorifying God is that when we do we are then glorified in that we are in our fullness. God doesn’t want our affirmation, he wants our awareness and relationship.
Glorfiy God with your life.