Posted on February 27, 2023 by Aaron Kauffman
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” —Habakkuk 2:14
God’s mission is first and foremost doxological. It’s about the pursuit of God’s glory. Yes, it includes us, but it is not primarily about our needs, ambitions or hopes. God’s burning desire is for all of creation to know God’s glory—his awesome and utterly unique presence—and to give him the praise he deserves so that we might enjoy him together forever.
This is not because God is selfish. God does not demand our worship to fill some unmet need. God knows that we exist only because he in his infinite power and wisdom brought us into being. It is only when we know God and know ourselves in relation to God that we can truly flourish the way God always intended. Like newborn children to their awestruck parents, we are precious to him. God desires loving communion with those made in his image.
That’s what makes idolatry so tragic. When we exchange “the glory of the immortal God for images” (Rom. 1:23)—whether of ourselves or anything else that is merely part of God’s creation—we aim our hearts at something lower than the one who made us. Since ultimately we become like what we worship (Ps. 115:8), worshiping anything but the living God results in the debasement of our very selves. And the results are disastrous for us and the rest of creation.
Without God in his rightful place as the cornerstone of our lives, the whole tower collapses into pieces. As C. S. Lewis once wrote, “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth ‘thrown in’: aim at Earth and you will get neither.”
Thankfully, God did not wait for us to turn our hearts to him, but revealed his glory to us in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
In other words, God takes the first step in mission by reaching out to us in Jesus. It’s our job to respond with repentance, obedience and praise. We do that at VMMissions by inviting people to encounter the living God through prayer, worship gatherings, Bible studies, spiritual friendships and more. In such encounters, we are “transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). One day God’s glory will be known the world over through the transformed lives of his people.
Mission is about God’s desire to redeem all things in heaven and on earth through the personal knowledge of his glorious presence. Our first step in joining God’s mission is on our knees in worship.