A walnut in God's handWhen we say God is "glorious" I'm sure we characteristically think of his majesty, his supremacy, his omnipotence and any or all of the things that express his difference from and superiority over his creation. That makes sense—why wouldn't it? It makes sense especially since we can find that sort of speech throughout the Bible even where the term "glorious" is not used.
But God's glory is not to be confined to certain attributes or characteristics that we normally speak of when we're thinking of power. The Christian must insist on what the complete biblical witness tells us—there is no limit to God's power but the glory of God is to be seen also in how he exercises that power and the purposes for which he exercises it. We're not especially impressed with, and we certainly don't admire, a human who has massive powers if he/she doesn't use them for the good of others. We may well be astonished at the physical power of a weightlifter but if we knew him well as a person we might judge him to be a poor human regardless of his great strength. To concede that God has limitless power only assures us and leads to praise and admire him because we know from the "big picture" that his power serves his infinite and holy generosity. We're unafraid of a God with limitless power when we know what he thinks of power (Philippians 2:5) and when he comes to us in and as Jesus Christ exercising that power for human salvation.
The glory of God's power brings condemnation on unbridled wickedness (Genesis 6—7, for example) but that same glorious power brings rescue to the oppressed and justice to the defenceless. We see this with special clarity in the book of Ezekiel when God repeatedly brings judgment and rescue and says he is doing it, "for my name's sake" and so that people might know him. A patient reading of the whole of Ezekiel 20 (and elsewhere) makes this very clear. Even the Genesis flood is in service of God's redeeming purpose.
John 12:23-33 thrillingly makes it clear that God glorifies himself in the cross of our Lord Jesus and in the meaning and consequences of that cross. The glory of God is the glory of God! But, astonishingly, the glory of God is that he is a God of holy love and generosity, a God who is not self-absorbed, so we find him eternally purposing to share his joy-filled life with the human family even though it costs him dearly to do it!
So, insist on proclaiming that God created us to glorify himself but don't say or imply, choke before you say or imply, that God's self-glorification is a form of vanity and self-centredness or the divine need to flex his divine muscles. A man or woman who builds an empire sheerly for his/her own aggrandisement is ugly. God needs none of that! In the mystic's vision God stands with a tiny, nut-sized thing in his hand and when she asked him what it was God said it was all created things. God isn't impressed (as we should be) with his limitless power but he rejoices, exults and is filled with delight in blessing and saving his human family.
This is the glory of God!