Glorifying God in Our Inner Lives
By Peter Amsterdam
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“Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.”—Revelation 4:11
In our inner lives we can be deeply aware of God and all that He is and has done. We can remember His attributes, His power, and His love. We can look at the incredible creation and its beauty and magnificence. We can deeply appreciate the goodness He has shown to all people and recognize that He loves each person. We can be in awe of the grace and mercy He has bestowed upon us through salvation. We can rejoice that we are adopted into His family through Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. We can be profoundly humbled that the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
We can understand that He is personal and has created us to be personal as well and thus able to have a relationship with Him. We can consistently nurture and strengthen that relationship. We can love Him, express our gratitude, communicate with Him in prayer, and listen to Him through the various ways in which He communicates with us.
We can praise Him. The Hebrew and Greek words translated as praise are, by their definitions, essentially telling us to give God the praise which is demanded by His qualities, deeds, and attributes: bless, adore; give thanksgiving, appreciation, and commendation. We can regularly express our admiration, gratitude, awe, appreciation, and love, as we come before Him in humility realizing what an awesome, wonderful, and loving God He is.
We can realize that God has told us about Himself through His Word—that He’s Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He’s told us what He’s like, what He’s done, how to be reconciled with Him, how to receive Him, how to have His Spirit dwell in us. Through His Word He’s shown us how to know and love Him, how to trust Him, what pleases Him. He’s expressed His love, His faithfulness, His care for us. We can therefore know Him, love Him, rely on Him, and confidently believe in, trust, and obey His Word.
In our inner lives, in our spirits, we can glorify God by always remembering that He is God, and what that means.—That He is the Supreme Being who has made us, who knows everything about us and everything else; and who, as majestic as He is, loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with us. When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was—or looked at in different words, what is the most important thing that humans are supposed to do in our lives—He said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”1
We are to love God, and thus glorify Him, from within our inward being, with our soul/spirit, with our rational minds, and with all that is within us. As Bible commentator Matthew Henry wrote: “We must love God with all our hearts, must look upon Him as the best of beings, in Himself most amiable, and infinitely perfect and excellent; as One whom we lie under the greatest obligations to, both in gratitude and interest.”2
Glorifying God in our actions
In our outer life we can glorify God in our actions. We glorify Him when we follow what His Word tells us to do, when we live in accordance with it, and put biblical principles into everyday action. Because we are personal beings who have a relationship with God, we can also follow Him by seeking His direction in prayer and doing those things He shows us. Each of us is different, and the Lord can give guidance that is specific to our life. We show Him honor when we ask Him to lead us and when we follow His leading by faith.
We bring glory to God when we live our lives in a manner which reflects God’s love and the principles of His Word. His Word instructs us to let our lights shine before others, so that they can see what we do and how we live, feel God’s love, and glorify Him because of it. Our godly interactions with others, our living in alignment with the instructions and principles of His Word, are seen by others and can affect them for good. We also glorify the Lord before others when we witness, when we tell our personal testimony, when we speak of how He has worked in our lives and hearts, when we give out literature or teach or by any means inform people about God and His love for them. We glorify Him when we help those in need, the widows and orphans, the needy, the poor—when we give of ourselves in any way that reflects God’s love and concern for others.
When we pray and ask Him for help for ourselves or others, when we claim His promises and stand on them, when we seek His guidance, we are giving Him glory. We are acknowledging our belief in His care and concern for us, in the truth of His Word, and in the dependability of His promises. We acknowledge our need and declare, through our prayers, that we trust that He will both hear and answer them. When we confess our sins to Him, we honor Him by acknowledging that we have done wrong and are in need of His forgiveness.
We glorify God when we love our neighbors as we love ourselves3; when we do to others as we’d have them do to us4; when we love in deed and in truth5; and when we love, obey, and revere God and do the things He says, for this is the whole duty of man.6 “All life activities, too, must be pursued with the aim of giving God homage, honor, and pleasure, which is glory-giving on the practical level.”78
When we understand that God created us to glorify Him, it should help us to do our best to live in a manner which brings Him glory. Living a God-glorifying life, however, isn’t a one-way street, with all the benefits going to Him. There are blessings received in this life and in the life to come for those who live to glorify Him.
“The one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”—James 1:25
“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”—Psalm 128:1–2
“Your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”—Matthew 6:6
As Christians who understand that the Lord desires us to live lives that glorify Him, which will be blessed by Him and will bless others, we have the opportunity to fulfill the purpose of our Creator in this life, and to live with Him forever in joy and happiness, always being able to give Him the glory He deserves.
Originally published August 2012. Excerpted and republished April 2020.
Read by Jon Marc.
1 Mark 12:30. All verses ESV unless noted.
2 Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Vol. V-II (n.p., 1700), 226.
3 Matthew 22:37–40.
4 Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31.
5 1 John 3:18.
6 Ecclesiastes 12:13.
7 1 Corinthians 10:31.
8 J. I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Wheaton: Tyndale, 1993), 60.