Purpose & Priorities
When God made the universe, His goal was not to make a habitat for man, but rather to make a statement about Himself. As He fashioned earth, God was not creating a global environment we all would really love and enjoy. He was thinking mostly about Himself.
When He initiated the first ocean wave and carved out earth's deepest canyons, forming the very dirt we call home, God intended that everything point back to Him. When He created the first man and woman, God was not obsessed with the glory of the human race, but with His own glory. Mysteriously woven into us is the image-stamp of the Creator, allowing us to share a unique intimacy with the Almighty and reflect His glory.
Everything God does is for His own glory. He approaches every decision with the question: "What will bring the most attention and honor to My name in this situation?" Then He does whatever that is.
God is into God. He is the highest in His own thoughts, foremost in His own affections. While it is true that God loves you, God's first and central love is Himself. God does not love anybody more than Himself, will exalt nothing above His own name, and does everything He does to the end of displaying His supremacy and unrivaled glory. Everything in all of Creation is singing His song, and the final confession of every human who has ever lived will be, "that Jesus Christ is Lord." Why? "To the glory of God the Father."
But if God does everything He does for His glory, if God is intent on having all of Creation bow down and worship Him, does that make Him an egotist? Let us back up and ask two more basic questions.
First, "Is God God?" Is God the truest, purest, most potent, most beautiful being in existence? Is He the sole proprietor of the universe, the originator of all that is, unchanging, eternal and all consuming? If the answer is yes, that leads us to the second question: "Does God know who He is?" Does God know that He is supreme in every way - unmatched in glory, might, rule and reign?
God says, "I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols." God knows who He is and knows that He is God alone. He knows that He is supreme in eternity (we know that only because He told us), God is fully aware that nothing and no one, holds any value greater than His. God is intrinsically and infinitely more valuable than all the worth of the world combined.
This does not make God self-centered as much as it makes Him God-centered. So if God is God, and He knows who He is, God must perpetually exalt Himself in all things. If God failed to exalt Himself in every possible way, He would exalt something or someone else as central. This would make God unwise and unloving - unwise, because it would demonstrate that He did not know what was best: unloving, because He would be allowing our attention and affection to be aimed toward something that was less than the very best. Since God encompasses all wisdom and is the source of pure love, He must exalt Himself above all things.
If that sounds arrogant or egocentric, remember we are not talking about little finite creatures like you and me, but about the God of gods who is before all things. If I seek to exalt myself above all things, claiming that I am first or best, in that moment I become an egotist because I am neither of those things. I am not God and I know it. But when God orchestrates life in such a way as to spotlight His fame, He is not arrogant. He is doing the most loving thing He can do. When He calls us to glorify Him (when He demands our complete and unadulterated worship) He is not egotistical at all, rather He is simply being God. He is causing us to stake our claim on the most beautiful and glorious One in all Creation. When God makes His glory the center of all things and of our affections, He gives us Himself - the very best gift He could give, and the ultimate expression of love.
To joyfully choose to make our lives count for His renown is to join His cause and to get on board with what He is already doing, with or without you and me.