In the last blog, we discussed the matter of God’s fullness. By way of quick review, His fullness is His glory (His understanding, His happiness and His holiness). God communicates His glory to us through creation, through His Spirit, and through His Son (the Word).
God created people for His glory (Is. 43:7). Our highest purpose in life is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever, thus we cannot find personal fulfillment unless we are fulfilling our ultimate purpose. When God manifests His glory to us, His purpose is both to bring fulfillment to His creatures and to receive glory back to Himself. Here is how our fulfillment and the glorification of God work together; I call it the glory cycle: God manifests His glory, we receive it and then remanate His glory back to Him (Latin; to remanate is to reflect back to the original source). Remember that God’s internal glory consists in these three things: His understanding, His happiness and His holiness. As we receive the outward manifestation of His internal glory, our appropriate response is to remanate back to Him in these three ways:
1. His understanding is remanated back to Him in prayer
2. His happiness is remanated back to Him in thanksgiving and praise
3. His holiness is remanated back to Him in righteous living (bearing good fruit)
When God speaks to us the message of redemption through His Son (Heb. 1:1-2), He is revealing Himself to us (His perfect understanding of Himself is incarnated in Christ—Col. 2:9). When we receive the message of the Gospel (the Word of God), believe it and agree with God about what He has declared of Himself, prayer is the way that we remanate back to Him the glory of His understanding. We find an example of remanating glory through prayer in Psalm 50:15:
“Call to Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.“
We understand that God is the only one who can deliver, so we call to Him in prayer (remanating His glory). His response to our prayer is to deliver us. Our prayer indicates our dependence and confidence in His power to do only what God can do, thus we glorify Him. Glory originates with God, is revealed to His creatures and remanated back to Him in prayer. This is the glory cycle.
The same cycle of glory can be discovered in the happiness and holiness of God. God pours out His love to us through His Spirit (Romans 5:5) and thus we are made aware of and able to experience His happiness and holiness. As we experience the joy of God as He exists in perfect, eternal fellowship within the Godhead, we are filled with His joy and this overflows (remanates) as thanksgiving and praise (John 16:24). As we become aware of and experience the holiness of God, His life in us enables us to live a holy life, which is remanated back to Him as good fruits of righteous living (John 15:8).
Christians experience fullness as they receive and remanate the glory of God. Since we were made to glorify God, we find fulfillment in fulfilling our purpose. When He shares Jesus with us, we have access to the satisfaction that God experiences within the fellowship of the Trinity. Our fullness is experienced in satisfaction with the person of Jesus Christ (Ps. 145:6), Who is the glory of God (John 1:14). When He invites us into His fellowship, God is inviting us to share in the glory cycle and that glory always originates from God and must be given back to Him. This cycle of glory is the nature of true worship.
Dr. Mike Hohenstein is a pastor serving at First Baptist Church in Covington, Indiana. An Ohio native, Mike moved to Indiana in 1994 where he met and married his wife Stephanie. They have three children and live in Veedersburg, Indiana where Mike also works part-time as a veterinarian.