“Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first and we lose both first and second things.” -C.S. Lewis
If we are going to align with God’s plan for us, we must focus on this first thing. If not, we may miss what God desires to do in and through us. I want to address what I believe is God’s strategic objective for mankind. This concept can be disturbing and threatening because it strikes at the very core of who we think we are and who God is. And ultimately, it is the framework of all our spiritual growth and brings understanding to the whys of life.
It explains why some people build businesses that succeed while others fail. It explains why some have strong athletic bodies while others struggle with sickness. It brings perspective on the good and bad times of life. It helps you understand when God hands you a sweet beverage and when He hands you a bitter one. In both moments, we get to trust like Jesus who said, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (John 18:11).
This concept is simple—the glory of God.
Jonathan Edwards said, “For it appears that all that is ever spoken of in the Scripture as an ultimate end of God’s work is included in that one phrase, ‘the glory of God.’” It is not difficult to give meaning to this phrase. To give glory to God means to give Him the proper weight of importance. If this is our chief end, it shows us that God is first and foremost about Himself.
“I am the Lord, that is my Name! I will not yield my glory to another … everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made … For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” -Isaiah 42:8; 43:7; 48:11
If we were to ask what God’s top priority is for us, He would say He is our first, second, and third priority. He is consumed with Himself and His glory and He can have it no other way. Now, that can be disturbing and threatening, especially if we think God is supposed to be focused on us. But ultimately, God’s glory removes us from center stage.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” - 1 Corinthians 10:31
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.