Spiritual leaders desire that Christ would be lifted up and glorified in all things, especially through their ministry in the local church.
That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever.—2 Peter 4:11
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.—Ephesians 3:21
But how specifically does that happen? What choices do we as spiritual leaders make that magnify God’s glory? There are many, but below are seven specific ways we can glorify God in our ministry.
We glorify God when we…
1. Die to Self
This is what John the Baptist so humbly pointed out.
He must increase, but I must decrease.—John 3:30
We can say that we want God to be glorified one minute and then make self-serving, self-promoting choices the next moment. But giving God glory requires a conscious choice to die to self.Giving God glory requires a conscious choice to die to self. Click To Tweet
…I die daily.—1 Corinthians 15:31
2. Discover Our Identity in Christ
Death to self should lead us to the experience of a renewed joy in the fullness of Christ. We are “in Christ”…and that changes everything.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.—Galatians 2:20
What does our identity in Christ include? Here’s a shortlist:
- I am accepted (Ephesians 1:6).
- I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15).
- I have been justified (Romans 5:1).
- I am a saint (Ephesians 1:1).
- I have been redeemed and forgiven (Colossians 1:14).
- I am complete (Colossians 2:10).
- I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1–2).
- I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21–22).
- I can find grace and mercy in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
- I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18).
- I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15:1–5).
- I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 2:6).
- I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).
The more you remember who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will reflect your true identity. As Christ’s life then lives through you, He is glorified.
3. Develop Fruit for Christ
One of the ways Christ’s life flows through us is when we abide in Him, our vine. As we remember our source of power and sufficiency is only of God and as we draw near to Him, we pray for fruit, and we become bold in our witness. The result of this is that we bear fruit…for the glory of God.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit…—John 15:7–8
4. Discipline Ourselves to Plan
Many of us are good at having great dreams of big things we can do for God’s glory. But we’re not always as good at creating a plan and disciplining ourselves to live by it. I believe God is glorified when we pray Ephesians 3:20 prayers. But we should remember that He often uses us as His instruments to do “exceeding abundantly above.”God is glorified when we pray Ephesians 3:20 prayers. But we should remember that He often uses us as His instruments to do 'exceeding abundantly above.' Discipline and diligence enable us to serve God in ways that He blesses. Click To Tweet
Discipline and diligence enable us to serve God in ways that He blesses. After all, a dream without a plan is only a wish.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.—Colossians 3:23–24
So plan your week. Plan your day. Set goals, and plan how you will reach for them. And when the inevitable slump kicks in after the adrenaline of planning has worn off, stay the course—remembering that you are doing it for the glory of God.
5. Disturb Our Comfort Zones
It’s easy to get into a predictable rut of ministry. This rut usually includes spiritual lukewarmness, apathy for souls, and a lack of discipline in our personal lives.
If this describes you, ask God for a renewed fervency that will pull you out of your comfort zone to serve for His glory. Stir up the gift of God. Rouse yourself for action.Ask God for a renewed fervency that will pull you out of your comfort zone to serve for His glory. Click To Tweet
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God…—2 Timothy 1:6
6. Demonstrate Commitment to Christ
When we face difficult days and the temptation to throw in the towel, we can remember that perseverance glorifies God.
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.—2 Timothy 2:3
Jesus Himself endured suffering, and He calls us to look to Him and run our race with patience.
When we face difficult days and the temptation to throw in the towel, we can remember that perseverance glorifies God. Click To Tweet
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.—Hebrews 12:2
7. Deflect Praise to Christ
Incredibly, when God blesses our labor for Him, we are sometimes tempted to take the credit. If pride didn’t keep us from abiding in Christ, witnessing, reaching past our comfort zone, or remaining committed through difficulty, it can still creep in at the moment of a God-given victory.
How do we defeat this pride? We start by remembering that any blessings or goodness are not of us but come from God alone.
But more specifically, we proactively praise Christ for what He has done.
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.—Ephesians 1:6
That in all things He might have the preeminence.—Colossians 1:11
And remember that God inhabits the praises of His people.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.—Psalm 22:3
So give Him glory, honor, and praise!