Ephesians 1: To the Praise of His Glory
He blessed us…He chose us…He adopted us…to the praise of the glory of His grace (v. 6)…so that we might be to the praise of His glory (v. 12)…to the praise of His glory (v.14).
God speaks clearly and often to me in Ephesians 1 that I should be to the praise of His glory. I have been thinking about this for many days now. How can something God repeated so often just draw a blank when I ask myself what that looks like?
I was thinking about something the Colonel told me many times over the years while we worked to restore God’s law to public policy. He would say, “You have to be strategic before you get to tactical.” As a war hero Marine, he always saw way down the road and could articulate what victory would look like (strategic) long before we had the steps to get there (tactical). Being “to the praise of His glory” is an utterly strategic concept. I can’t list ten steps to a life that is to the praise of His glory. I sit again this morning, and I look into the glory—beyond light, beyond words—the glory that made John fall on his face as dead (Revelation 1:17); the glory Moses was only able to see in the shadows (Exodus 33). Moses understands the dilemma. When he asked God, “show me Your glory,” he did not know what he wanted to see. So God passed by Moses. That glimpse of glory energized him. He spent 40 days and 40 nights without food or water in God’s presence, and then had to wear a veil on his face because of the brightness of the reflection of God’s glory!
So we need only to get a tiny glimpse of the shadow of God so we can be to the praise of His glory. It is the sustenance of life, and the promise of eternity, now seeing through a glass darkly, but then face to face.
I am going out today to live the gift of life, but I do not have a “to do” list of things I could do to reflect God’s glory. My mind is captured in the seeing. God will reveal all I can possibly see and still live. And I revel in the fact that all I see is a shadow; yet from me, even with so small a revelation, can reflect the praise of the glory of His grace.
There are some hints in Ephesians 1 about the grand strategy for being to the praise of His glory. I will walk today as a daughter of the King. I am blessed, chosen, predestined, adopted; I am destined to see Him face to face one day. He reminds me that to reflect the glory of His grace, I must trust him fully. He has the power, the desire, and the indefinable Father love to work everything for my good. And if one single word comes out of my heart or my mouth that falls short of the praise of His glory, He reminds me of my inheritance, which the Holy Spirit has sealed. He stirs my spirit to see it; mere shadows—it is all I can bear.
Can I live today to the praise of His glory? I am abiding under the shadow of the Almighty, and when I dare to look, I can see I am already there.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18