How can we glorify God? We can do as he said, and we can believe what he said.
If you consider what it means to glorify God by doing what he said, then we have to remember what he said was the prime commandment, which was that we love him above all and that we walk with him through all. After all, the Lord Jesus said, “Love me with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. This is the first and the greatest commandment. The second is like unto it. Love you neighbor as yourself.”
If we truly want to honor the Savior, we do as he said. But that means not just obeying him because he’s going to get us. It’s not really that. It’s understanding how great is his love for us so that we, in love for him, want to walk with him. And that understanding means that we begin by saying, “I understand that he has loved me so much that my heart is responding in love for him.”
As I do that, I’m not now honoring God with a sense of Oh no, he’s going to get me if I don’t. That would mean I might obey him, but I would not enjoy him. No, true love for God means I delight in his law. I understand that what God has given me when he says, “Walk with me,” is a safe and good path in life. That’s really what the commandments of God are about. They are explaining, as he shows us his character and care, that he’s given us this safe path for life. If you get off the path, there are consequences, of course, because this is a safe and good path. But we are not staying on that path because we think somehow we are earning his affection. Rather, we understand, as he showed us through Christ and particularly the Lord’s sacrifice for us, how great is his love for us. When we understand that the law or the commandments are echoing the character of God and his care for us, then we delight to walk in that path because it lets us experience the goodness of our God. That means, no matter what I face, I love God in all of life, and I want to walk with him through all of life. In that way I’m both honoring his heart—I glorify him because of how great is his love for me—and I show my love for him by walking in the path, not just out of drudgery, but actually with the sense of enjoying his goodness for my heart and life.
So many times people think they’re glorifying God because they’re just kind of bowing their necks and doing the awful thing they hate because otherwise God is going to hurt them. Or sometimes they do the things that they think God wants so that he’ll give them more good stuff. But both those kinds of sanctified selfishness—I’m doing this so I will protect myself or promote myself—are not really love for God. When we understand that God gave his Son for me, that he’s shown me his character and his care, then I understand that loving him and enjoying him means that I will delight to walk on that which provides the good and safe path for my life.
I’ll walk with him and love him in all that he requires, because in doing so, I will actually enjoy the path that he has designed for the best life that he desires to give me.
As we receive all from God, so we should lay all at his feet, and say, “I will not live in a course of sin that will not stand with the favour of my God.” . . .
True freedom is found when by the Spirit the heart is renewed, is enlarged, and becomes subordinate to God in Christ. A man is in a sweet frame when his heart is made subject to God, and drawn out towards him, for the God of all grace sets it at liberty. God will have us make his glory our aim, and then he will bestow grace and glory too upon us.