So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
I was recently speaking to a group about embracing destiny and pointed out that we must first align our purpose with God's purpose for us. "Our reason to exist is to glorify God," I said. A young lady was incredulous and asked, "Why should we live for another's glory when we have so much in us that needs to be expressed?"
It is a valid question, especially in a culture that has placed self-discovery and self-expression as high values. So, why?
Glorifying God is consistent with our design. We are made in his image for the purpose of representing him on earth. When creation cooperates with its design and purpose, it finds fulfillment. When cats meow and dogs bark, they seem to find some sense of distinct fulfillment. When humans live for the glory of God, we align with our design. In the process we discover the highest level of fulfillment possible. Self-discovery is a dead-end street. We can only truly know ourselves in the process of knowing God through faith in Jesus Christ. When self-discovery becomes our goal, it becomes impossible to attain.
Our joy in living is determined by the quality of the object that delights us. If our joy is based on changeable circumstances, it is a shallow and insecure joy. If it is based on our own abilities and glory, it will be delusional and disappointing. If it is based on achievements, the trophies tarnish. If it is based on possessions, the moth and rust celebrate our foolishness. If it is based on the toys that amuse us, they become dull and boring. The highest possible level of joy comes when we delight in the highest possible object of delight: God himself. Why cheat our chances of real joy by delighting in anything less that him? Of course, when we live to glorify him, we aren't thinking about how to measure our joy. The focus is on that which is greater than our own fulfillment and joy. Unconscious of meeting our own needs, we are caught up in something greater. True joy is being "free from me."
God has offered us a life beyond the clutches of self-centeredness. This life was demonstrated by Jesus while on the earth. It is made available through the Holy Spirit who lives in the believer. There is no good reason to live for anything less than the glory of God.