The believers who abide in Christ are also walking the Walk by Faith. They are running the race set before them. They are genuine disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are taking on His character. Along with the spiritual growth, these processes also draw the believer into a deep desire to know God intimately. How does a believer do this? The Bible is our source of knowledge about God and Man. The believers who draw close to God experience God drawing close to them. (James 4:8) He will put into them the hunger to study and learn the truth about Him and His ways that He desires to teach them.
31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (LSB)
Some have said that God’s demand that He be glorified above all things (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:4; John 8:29; Romans 8:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; Ephesians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 5:9) while commanding that His people remain humble, puts Him in a bad light. The scriptures tell us that God created humankind for His glory. Doesn’t this make God selfish, vain, and overly proud? That viewpoint comes from a distorted view of God and Man. That viewpoint is at the core of Humanism.
Each of our sinful natures is still very much alive. If we do not live self-denying lifestyles, the sin that lives within us will consume us. It will push for self-gratification above all things. It sees genuine humility as a losing proposition. Since our Souls are especially vulnerable to the appeal of self above all, we must learn to live Spirit-led lives. The Spirit-led walk puts our Souls on the cross and Jesus on the throne of our hearts.
The call to do all for the glory of God is not God selfishly demanding His due for His sake alone. Instead, God knows that His people maximize their fulfillment, joy, and peace when they are most satisfied in Him.
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. John 15:7-11 (LSB)
Abiding in Jesus Christ carries with it a remarkable guarantee for the believer. Those who abide in the savior are fruitful in the Kingdom. The abiding believer will also bring glory to God by doing so. God’s joy brings believers fulfillment and it is their strength to abide and be obedient to the Lord. Who is excluded from abiding in Jesus Christ? No one can abide in Christ while being dominated by self-focus. Abiding requires our hearts to become directed to the Lord for fulfillment rather than what our fleshly sin nature wants. We maximize our fulfillment when we seek God’s glory in everything we do. Our fulfillment diminishes when we seek our own glory in anything.
One of my favorite books is The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. There is a place in this book called the Valley of Humiliation. This place allegorically represents the time in each believer’s walk with God when he or she departs from all self-focus while fellowshipping and communing with God in a warm, deep, personal way. Bunyan represented the Pilgrim’s time in the Valley of Humiliation as the time of deep spiritual growth and satisfaction in the Lord. On the outside looking in, however, the world would see a Christian who is a walking paradox. He or she would be suffering in a way that would consume a non-believer, but the suffering saint is joyful and full of inner strength that makes little sense to them.