What is life? We often joke with this question in my family when we cannot explain what is going on or when we’re too overwhelmed to try. However, the answer is actually quite simple. Isaiah 43:7 we read, “Even everyone who is called by my name, whom I have created for my glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made. The purpose of my life, therefore, is to bring God glory. We are told time and again to “give God the glory” and in doing so, often quickly respond to praise by exclaiming “all to the glory of God,” but do we truly pause to contemplate what these phrases actually mean: “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with. . . . The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.” (C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms)
God does not care how much money we make, how many accolades we acquire, how many titles, trophies, or awards we achieve, for He defines and measures success from an eternal perspective. His reward is everlasting, unlike the glories of this world. God is most pleased with us when we simply live and abide in absolute love with him, “… Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him…” (Romans 12:1-2 MSG) As I spend time in prayer over this passage, I am reminded of Isaiah 43. God is making a declaration, proclaiming who He is. In this declaration of identity and nature, He also makes His faithfulness known in the truth that He is the one at work, He has already been at work since before we took our first breath, and He will continue to work thereafter. If man was made by God in His image, and we are in fact His masterpiece born with an innate sense of purpose, “good things He planned for us long ago,” then I’m inclined to believe that God enjoys working as well. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
When we insist on doing things our own way, without allowing God the space to do His work in and through us by the power of His Holy Spirit, are we not in some sense attempting to deny God what it is he loves to do? I think back to the days when my teachers would assign group projects for our class to complete in small teams. Inevitably I would find myself assigned to a team in which one student insisted on leading the group in a particular direction that would enable her to take over the project entirely, often changing or completely negating the contributions of other group members in order to as to complete the assignment as she thought best. But, this refusal to include the group always resulted in frustration and poor team moral, complacency and a lack of effort, and even a lesser grade for the group as a whole, let alone failing to bring the best out of each individual.
God wants us to abide in him, being one with him; a team. We need to be team players, and we need to listen and obey when He tells us to be still so He can work with us, for us. When the time is right, He will burn it on our hearts to do our part of the assignment, operating in a beautiful and harmonious relationship to achieve the good works He created each of us to walk in.