Imposter Syndrome and Giving God Glory: High Priestly Prayer, Pt 3

Have you ever been hired for a job you didn’t really know how to do, and you had to ‘fake it til you make it’? It’s so common an experience that there’s a term for it: imposter syndrome, where you feel like an imposter. But you know what’s worse than feeling like an imposter? Actually being an imposter. In the last decade, there’s been a growing number of medical imposters—fake doctors.

For example, in 2015, a Florida teenager, Malachi Love-Robinson, graduated high school, and promptly opened a medical practice. He paid for an online divinity degree from Universal Life Church, which enabled him to place the title “Dr” in front of his name. He rented office space, hired staff, and began seeing patients. He used terminology he learned from medical soap operas on TV.

In Australia no fewer than seventeen medical imposters have been prosecuted in the last five years, and in India fake doctors are arrested so frequently that a program was launched to train convicted imposters to get real qualifications in the medical field.

How does one manage to fake that kind of specialized knowledge? Dr Danny Sullivan (a real doctor of psychiatry) of Monash University is a specialist in criminal fraud. He found similar methods used by conmen: they learn jargon from TV shows and then mimic the behavior of other doctors. They tend to restrict themselves to relatively unspecialized procedures, like taking blood, giving injections, and prescribing antibiotics for pretty much anything. Over time, they grow bolder and start assisting in surgery.

But eventually, they expose that they don’t know what they are doing.

Churchgoers too, can have imposter syndrome, or even be imposters. You know that your main job as a Christian is to glorify God, but deep down perhaps you feel like you have no idea how to do that.

You don’t know what glorifying God looks like, so you mimic terminology and behavior you see in others, hoping no one notices you don’t have a clue what you’re doing.

Well, in John 17 we see Jesus Christ himself modeling what glorifying God looks like, so that you can learn how to do your main job.

In our series on the High Priestly Prayer we have seen Our Man Inside and How Not to Die, today…



John 17:4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

Notice here that Jesus describes glorifying the Father as “work.” Glorifying God is not a state of enlightenment or peace. It’s something you do that may involve effort or sacrifice. It is a belief that leads to action.

What was Christ’s work? He kept busy with performing miracles, preaching the good news, training up the apostles, living a perfect life by keeping every Law of God perfectly, and then dying on the cross to pay for our sins and secure for us eternal life.

This is what drove Jesus and fulfilled him. That was Christ’s mission. But what about us? We can’t raise the dead, walk on water, live the perfect life, die on the cross for sins. So, what do we do? Different Christians have different capacities or callings. Some are single, others married. Some are trained, healthy, smart, old, young, rich… but we all have something to do for God’s glory.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Matthew 5: 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Christians do good works to the glory of God. We teach people to read, we clothe the poor, we feed the hungry, we visit the lonely, we proclaim the good news, we support missions, we adopt orphans, we help our neighbors and bless our enemies.

Why? So that they will know what our God is like, which spreads his glory.

But there is another way Jesus glorified the Father than we can emulate… 


John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

This is really mind-blowing to contemplate. The pre-existent Christ enjoyed intimacy with his Father before he was born, and he knows that. Jesus is longing for the previously experienced level of intimacy that is simply not possible when you are bodily removed from the direct presence of someone. Just ask any couple who is enduring a long-distance relationship.

Do you crave intimacy with God? Are you making use of what you can get in the meantime?

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Do you long for intimacy with God?

What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy him forever! That is how you glorify him, by enjoying him. (If you need convincing of this, just read … anything… by John Piper).

You glorify God by knowing him and loving him and obeying him and meditating on him, by gathering to sing and hear his word and pray and by appreciating him and reading his word slowly and by savoring every bite.


 John 17:6-8“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.  For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 

Another way Jesus glorified God was to impart his experience of the Father to others.

6“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world.

Jesus manifested God’s name, he made known his Father’s reputation.

Here Jesus is referring primarily to the apostles—the twelve men to whom he imparted the Father’s ways, so they could impart it to others.

He imparted God’s ways to the apostles, they imparted it to the church, and we continue to impart this knowledge of God to the next generation, to unbelievers, to everyone who will listen.

There are two ways to increase the light in your closet: you can buy a brighter bulb, or you can add a second lightbulb.

In the same way you can give God glory when you sing to him more, pray to him more, serve him more zealously, or… you can glorify him more by adding more people who worship him, sing, pray, appreciate, and enjoy him.

And that is why we exist: to be part of expanding and extending the glory of God through more people worshipping Jesus rightly.


If you are not a believer and have no desire to work, worship, or witness, then ask Jesus to save you. He will give you a new heart, with new desires. And he will equip you with a new capacity for work and worship. And you will want to impart to others what God has done for you.

 Because he is worthy, and he is glorious.

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