We each have an innate desire within us to worship. We were created that way. And whether we choose to admit it or not, every second of every day we are worshiping something.If you are in Christ, you have the opportunity to make much of Him in your everyday life, however; there is a tendency to worship the creation over the Creator. 1 Corinthians 10:31 states that whether we eat or drink or anything else we are to “do everything to the glory of God,” but what does that really mean?
In the 1st chapter of Daniel we see that a few people of Israel were selected to be educated and assimilated into the Babylonian culture. They were also said to be “without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom” (Daniel 1:4)… an obvious outward excellence. These people were given daily portions of the King’s food and wine for three years. However, the passage goes on to say that Daniel would not defile himself with the food or wine, affirming that he would stick to God’s statutes alone and not the King’s.
What’s interesting in this passage is that while Daniel was chosen for his seeming “excellence,” his excellence did not lie in his outward attributes as much as it did his inward convictions. While Daniel was skillful in wisdom and without blemish, it was his love for God and his belonging to God’s chosen people that drove Daniel’s decision to not defile himself with the King’s food or wine. Can you imagine the luxury of eating and drinking the King’s food and wine? Deciding to not partake would have been a difficult decision to say the least. Herein lies an important truth though. If we are to be excellent as representatives of Christ, then this cannot rely solely on an outward expression or identity but of an inward transformation and realization of who we are in Christ. Think about it… You can eat and drink all day and think it’s for the glory of God but if your heart’s not evoked in worship of God for creating that food and drink, wouldn’t your intentions be considered futile and pointless?
We were born into sin and in need of a Savior, someone to make all things new. Praise be to God, our penalty of sin was paid on the cross and the pursuit of “excellence” is not based solely upon what we do but upon who we are in Christ. Sure, we can do good deeds in the world, fight poverty, take care of the sick, etc. But apart from doing those good deeds out of a heart that loves God and therefore loves His people, it remains nothing more than a social gospel. I like how Peter puts it: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3). It is only through Christ that we can even attempt to pursue excellence as we allow Him to transform our hearts and minds.
In your daily life when you are faced with pursuing excellence and doing everything to the glory of God as Scripture says, remember Jesus’ words that “apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15). Doing everything to the glory of God is about seeing who He is and responding accordingly. May we all, like Daniel, worship and pursue godly excellence out of obedience and love for our Savior rather than a morality that is dictated by worldly good… all to the glory of God.