The heart of God is to glorify His children. Have you felt glorified by God lately?
I asked myself this question recently after reading Romans 8:30, which says, “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” As I made a mental check-list from this passage, it was easy for me to recognize that I have been predestined. I can’t take any credit for the reality of my salvation. I love the thought that He thought my salvation up, and sent His Son to pay the price for a salvation I could never earn. He offered me salvation. I realize that the notion of predestination has kept theologians debating and interpreting scriptural passages for centuries and has created denominations. I don’t claim to fully understand the mystery of my salvation, and do believe that God has given me the gift of free will in the process. I accept both realities and am simply grateful that both are true.
So my mind quickly turned to the notion of being called. I do know what it means to know the call of God. I haven’t always answered the calls He cries out to my heart, but I have answered many of them. One example of a call was the one I received in 2001 to write an internet devotion. It was a call from His heart to mine. I’m not the most technologically savvy person so it was an interesting call—definitely not my own idea. I was relieved when Women of Faith provided the original opportunity to write the devotion for their website. Since then, my husband, Brian, has taken on the job of technical support, and I simply answer the call to write about whatever God has been speaking to me about that week. Yes, I know what He is talking about in this verse when He says that He calls those whom He predestines.
Justified is another easy one for me to recognize in my life. After living the Christian life for 40 years now, I easily see that it has to depend on Him and not me. I can’t even love Him without Him moving in my heart to give me the love. There is absolutely no way that I could justify myself. He is the one who justifies me.
Then I got to “he also glorified,” and this thought stopped me in my tracks. It would be easy to dismiss this phrase and consider that I will be glorified some day in heaven when my salvation is complete, and I am finally without sin. Yet, I sensed this glorification is for here and now—just like the way I experience the previous three concepts of this verse. He also glorifies me. He, the God of the Universe, who deserves all the honor and glory and praise, also glorifies me. He glorifies me in a way that doesn’t cause me to swell up in pride because He does it.
There is a big difference in how I try to glorify myself and how God glorifies me. He will not put up with my self-effort at glorification, and I’m truly grateful that He doesn’t. Glorifying myself is a trap that will lead directly to the same place it has led for Satan—a huge dead end. This is not what God is talking about. What He is talking about is the spiritual reality that happens as I center my life around accepting that I am predestined, answering His call, resting in my justification and becoming a woman who responds by desiring to fully glorify God. He can’t leave it at that. He goes one step further; He glorifies me. What a thought. What a generous God.