God commands us to keep our minds totally fixed on Him and His glory, and to turn from the sins that keep us from this.
Any and all of our sins are against God. Therefore, it distracts us from the image of His glory.
But there is a problem...
Sins take the place of God’s glory being first and foremost in our minds, and therefore, our sins must be found and turned away from. To find these sins, we need a clear image of God’s glory.
Think of the story of Isaiah. The first five chapters are filled with woes to the people of his day. That is, woes to everyone but himself. Then there was a vision:
"I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple.” - Isaiah 6:1
Isaiah saw the Lord seated on the throne, His robe filling the temple, and the angels worshipping Him. Isaiah saw the image of God and His glory, and only then did Isaiah begin proclaiming woes upon Himself.
To see, know and turn from sin, we need to see God’s glory.
But we are distracted from the image of God’s glory, because of our sins. So we are to find our sin by looking on the glory of God that sin distracts us from?
This poses a dilemma...
1. To know and see God’s glory, we must be free of sin.
2. To be free of sin, we must know it and turn from it.
3. To know and turn from it, we must see and know God’s glory.
Then we repeat the pattern. We never win. So how?
The only answer to this is that we cannot find and know our sin, but we must be shown it.
Psalm 139 tells us to ask God to search our hearts and "know them," and to show us the wicked ways of our heart. We know from Jeremiah that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" (17:9). God is the only one who can truly know the condition of our heart. Our part is not a finding, but a depending upon God’s grace to humble us and to receive, repent, and turn from our wicked ways that He reveals to us.
We must ask God to show us how we defile His glory, then we need to turn from the sin He shows us, and only then can we see and know and worship the glory of God -- thus fulfilling the chief end of man.
May we pray for this humility to repent, and turn from those ways that God shows us that are distracting us from the glory of God.