In Isaiah 61:4, God prophesied that the Messiah would fundamentally change who we are and that God would be glorified as we lived more and more like who he would make us. Look at what he says:
“So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” NASB
In this verse, God calls us oaks of righteousness. When an oak tree first pushes through the ground as a seedling, it is 100% an oak tree already. The remainder of its life it will simply grow more and more into the oak tree it already is. In the same way, God wants you to understand that you’re as righteous as you will ever be the moment you are saved. You and I will never be more righteous no matter how long we live. However, from that point until we die, we can grow more and more like who we already are as a righteous person in Christ.
That verse ends by saying that because God made us righteous, we can glorify Him. The clear meaning is that because we are righteous in our identity in Christ, we can live like who we are. This is spiritual growth and spiritual maturity. This is what gives God glory.
Excerpt from God’s Best-Kept Secret. Copyright 2017 by Mark Maulding. Published by Baker, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission.
For many of us, the attempt to live for God can leave us feeling burdened rather than free. Yet that’s not the kind of life God intends for us to experience. What if he never meant for us to try so hard? What if overcoming sin doesn’t rely on our own self-control? What if loving others isn’t about saying and doing all the right things? What if we could feel closer to God without doing anything?