Most of us would say that our purpose in life is to glorify God.

A simple way to understand what it means to glorify is this: causing other people to come to right conclusions about God – who He truly is and what He is really like.

Who God is and what He is like are questions of monumental, cosmic significance. Very few questions have the kind of significance to shape the contours and foundation of the life of a nation, a church, or an individual.

One’s belief about God determines the worldview through which they view life and frames the context in which they do life and serves as the foundation upon which they build life.

So who God is and what God is like is of immense significance.

What complicates matters even more is that our perception is often at odds with divine reality. We frame and form both the question and answer to this from a perspective shaped by one of two books – the book of circumstances or the Book of Scripture.

God’s reality, His identity and nature, exists independently and unchanged in spite of any perspective or experience, good or bad. However, we form our opinions and perspectives on who God is usually by what we believe to be true which is often affected by our own experience.

Experience has a place. To be sure, it does not have first place, but it does have a place in the framing of our answers with regard to our search to behold God.

For example, the Scripture affirms God’s care and provision for His people, and that truth is true independent of our experiences on a personal level. These truths and realities about God are true and real simply because God declares them and reveals them in His Word.

So this is why, on one side, we believe what we believe because God said it…period.

However, these realities declared by God must actually exist and they must be displayed at some level in some circumstance that is attestable and evident to mankind.

A claim to mercifulness from one who never shows mercy is empty.

A claim to goodness from one who never displays or grants goodness is also empty.

A claim to be Redeemer from one who never delivers and never rescues and never redeems is empty talk.

So in a very real sense God reveals who He is and what He is like in His names, and then He confirms, verifies, and displays these realities about Himself in His action!

For example, God calls Himself “Creator,” and He displays the truth of this reality by creating a universe, a planet, a human race, a nation, a body of believers/church, a new spiritually-alive soul free from death and blindness, and one day a new heaven and earth.

So if God is a Creator and has displayed this to be true in the framework of human history and on a cosmic canvas, surely He can create a new heart in me. Surely He can create a new life of usefulness for me after a time of failure. Surely He can create anew a right spirit in me. Surely our Creator can and will create for me. He will restore and remake what time and sin have broken and ravaged.

And as I experience this in the here and now in small and big ways, I stand amazed at my Creator and I rest in the assurance that I will stand before Him in a body that He has fully and completely remade.

I also live in the reality that I am the down-payment – the first display of a new Creation designed to show forth the glory of God (Eph. 4) in ways that the first Creation is unable to do (Ps. 19).

As God’s new Creation, the work of His Hands, God has ordained a set of good works for us to accomplish as we walk worthy of our calling as God’s new Creation (Eph. 2:10, 4:1).

God is Creator! And His actions throughout human history, on cosmic levels, and in my own life all display and confirm this to be true.

That is how God works. He declares Himself to be a certain way. But then He always proves that character through action.

Action that we can see in our own day-to-day lives, if we simply stop to behold our God.

Sam Horn

Posted by Sam Horn

Dr. Sam Horn is the EVP for enrollment and ministerial advancement at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. Prior to BJU, Sam served at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Northland International University, and various churches in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Sam and Beth have two children – a son in college and a daughter in middle school.