Called to Enjoy God
We enjoy a lot of things in this life. Art. Books. Music. Sports. Traveling. Hobbies. Family. Friends. The list is endless!
I, for instance, enjoy reading Christian books. For the past few years, I’ve been borrowing and buying books. I really love when I learn something new. I find great delight in these books.
Another thing I enjoy (and you may find this odd) is watching mixed martial arts (MMA) fights. There was even a time I tried it myself. But I did not last long. I simply don’t have the time.
But have you ever thought of enjoying God?
We are to love God, trust Him, obey Him, worship Him, and glorify Him. But enjoy Him? Shouldn’t we be glorifying Him instead of being so concerned with our own enjoyment?
This is my belief: We are called to enjoy God! I repeat, enjoy God! Let me show you why.
First, the Westminster Shorter Catechism answers the question, What is the chief end of man?:
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.1 (Emphasis added)
And? You got that right. It’s like ham and eggs, or (Filipinos, don’t miss this) mangga at bagoong (Green mango and shrimp paste, a Filipino delicacy). We cannot separate glorifying and enjoying God from one another. They go together.
Second, the American theologian Jonathan Edwards says:
God glorifies Himself toward the creatures also in two ways: 1. By appearing to…their understanding. 2. In communicating Himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying, the manifestations which He makes of Himself…God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it…He that testifies his idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it.2
Few illustrations would be helpful. If we go to a concert and the singer or band or orchestra performs well, we give them a standing ovation. If we travel and see breath-taking scenes, such as a sunset in a beach, or the mountains, we say, “Beautiful!” If we watch a Manny Pacquiao match and he strikes to knock his opponent out, we jump from our seats in joy.
Likewise, if we are so consumed with the glory of God that it takes our breath away, we just can’t help but rejoice in it.
Lastly, we look at the Scripture. Psalm 37:4 says:
4Delight yourself in the LORD…
The Bible tells us to delight in Him! In God’s presence “there is fullness of joy,” and in His “right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). True enjoyment can only be found in Him alone and in nothing or no one else.
Here is a worthy saying: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.3 In other words, we give Him glory the most when we enjoy Him.
Our desire to glorify and enjoy God are not at odds. In fact, our enjoyment of Him proves that He alone truly satisfies. And that glorifies Him.
We are called to enjoy God.
2Quoted in John Piper, Desiring God (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2003), 22.
3This is the essence of Christian Hedonism. For a definition of Christian Hedonism, see my blog John Piper on Christian Hedonism. For further reading, I highly recommend Piper’s excellent book, Desiring God. This book can be read online or downloaded for free at the Desiring God Web site.