Does God Enjoy You?
The Westminster Shorter Catechism of 1646 said that the chief end of man “is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” What a great statement and those words have resonated with many believers in the ensuing centuries.
The God most Christians know, however, is not one to be enjoyed. Most people associate fear or reverential awe with God’s presence and usually try and to please, appease, serve, or surrender to him without even thinking of enjoying him.
The fact is that none of us can truly enjoy him until we know how much he enjoys us. Now, that’s a mind bender for many. Even if we are to enjoy God, they think it is something we have to make ourselves do in spite of how holy and demanding he presents himself to be. And yet, Jesus wasn’t like that when he came in human flesh. He seemed to enjoy being around his creation, even those still lost in sin.
Now, I used to believe he could enjoy me when I could finally get my life together and do all the things he desired that would bring glory to him. I’m 63 and that hasn’t happened yet, even if I did pretend back in the day that I was at least doing more than most others I knew, so he must have thought himself fortunate to have a son like me. His love and freedom has allowed me to see my life in more honest terms, knowing the cracks and frailties I still have. And yet he seems to enjoy me, much like I enjoy my grandkids. I don’t think they’re perfect, and even when they are being completely obnoxious, I still love the little dears with all my heart. I may not enjoy what they are doing at any given moment, but I am no less delighted in them as people learning to find their way in a difficult world.
These days I hear many authors and sociologists using a new definition for friendship that includes enjoyment. Your friends are those you enjoy being with. When you know you’re going to meet them, your heart anticipates that time with joy. And friendship is best defined where your friends enjoy being with you as much as you enjoy being with them. Doesn’t that make sense? Aren’t those the people you treasure most and bring the most joy into your life?
What if it were true that you delight God’s heart even more today than I delight in my grandkids? What would it change in you if you truly believed it. Somehow God finds us humans quite endearing, even when we are lost in the pain and brokenness of a fallen world. He delights in you even in the midst of your doubts, fears, temptations, and failures. He does not see us as the summation of our brokenness, but as the person he made you to be that is being swallowed by those other things.
He delights in you, not in what you do! And he knows that the more you enjoy him, the more you’ll find freedom from the things that twist you. Transformation grows out of our knowing that God enjoys us and that we can enjoy him as a gracious Father.
(I sent this article out a few days ago to my mailing list and have had a number of fascinating responses. Some were greatly encouraged, others wrote me to tell me they didn’t believe it was true for them, that God cannot enjoy them. In a day or two I’m going to follow this up with some thoughts for those who feel as if God does not enjoy you. It is the greatest lie in the universe.)
Join Brad and I for TheGodJourney Tour of Israel. We had a couple of people drop out, so we can smash in a couple of more. We are headed to Israel January 25 through February 4, 2017. The pre-trip to Petra will be on January 22-25. If you’re interested in joining us you can get all the details here.
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The on-line book discussion of Wayne’s Finding Church continues in our new forum. Come join us if you’d like to discover how to embrace the church that Jesus is building in your own corner of the world.
Upcoming Travel: I will not be traveling as much to get to some writing I’ve been wanting to do, but still praying about the possibility of going to Eastern Tennessee, Michigan (near Flint and in the U.P.), Wisconsin, and the central Coast of California.
We are still working on some details for this fall, but this is how it looks like it’s shaping up so far. These could change. Check our Travel Page to make sure or sign up for Travel Updates sent to your email here.
- California Central Coast – September 22-24
- Evansville, Indiana – October 7-9
- Louisville, Kentucky – October 9-11
- Eastern Tennessee – October 21-30
- Appleton, Wisconsin – November 11-12
- Escanaba, MI – November 13-16
- North Branch, Michigan – November 18-20
In Case You Missed it…
- The work in Kenya is going well. We’re one year in to our five-year rebuilding process there. You can see the update here.
- The Things God Says to people who are just learning to hear his voice. (Wayne’s blog)
- At TheGodJourney.com we’ve been talking about how insidious the selfish self can be in the Fiefdom of Me and Has Legalism Hijacked the Bible?