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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What is the glory of God?

In my last post, I shared how God glorifies Himself for our sake (see here). It was brought to my attention however, that the concept of glory and glorification are abstract in this day and age. As soon as I heard my friend share her thoughts on my previous blog post, I was immediately taken back to when I began to take understanding God more seriously and found myself perplexed at this very thing. To be honest, I still feel like I only have a shell of what God's glory is.

John Piper defines God's glory as "the radiance of his holiness, the radiance of his manifold, infinitely worthy and valuable perfections."

The thing is, we aren't able to see God's holiness as we aren't able to stare into the sun from a foot away. God's holiness, when we sinned, was covered from us as it would've obliterated us from all existence if it was still clearly exposed to us. God's glory, then, is the process in which we are able to see a little more of God.

I used two analogies in the last post to describe this process: First, a dirty window that slowly gets the layers of dirt wiped away. We stare from one side and slowly the picture of what is on the other side of the window becomes more and more clear. Second, the layers of cloud (and for those of us in LA - smog) that cover the sun. As the clouds clear out, it brings light and warmth to all it reaches and exposes its luminosity to all who are able to gaze.

The important thing in all of this is the process of revelation. This happens through conversion, which Paul, in the book of Acts, uses the word that means "to turn around completely." In other words, as Tim Keller says, it isn't a replacing of yourself, but a refacing - where you we're once headed in one direction, you have changed directions to face something else completely. As we find ourselves converted daily, to face God and to continue to reface Him as He calls us, we find ourselves seeing more of who He is. As we see more of Him, as we experience His glory, we find the picture of God to be more clear, as if more pieces of the puzzle have been inserted for us to see that God is so much greater than we could've ever imagined. Our only duty is to receive and keep receiving.

Dedicated to M.Y.

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