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?
8 thoughts on “Lifestream Update – Fall 2016”
On your travel locations did you means Louisville In or Louisville Ky?
Louisville, KY. My bad. It has been changed now!
I look forward to reading the responses. As you say why would God’s love be less than human love for our children. Keep encouraging us to consider what kind of Lover God is.
Knowing that God enjoys me was one of the most life-changing and mindset-altering things for me. There was a poem that I found through following a link from your website that really helped me. I think that it may really help other people who feel like God could never enjoy them or delight in them, people who believe it’s not true for them. The poem is called ‘Then the whispers started’ by Jenny Rowbory (the link to it is here: http://www.jkrowbory.co.uk/2014/10/ten-years/#thenthewhispersstarted – it’s the last poem at the bottom of the webpage and it’s the second to last verse that really helped me).
It’s worth checking out the whole poem as these few short lines don’t really convey the full impact and power of it. But these lines especially helped:
I will tell you of the wonders I see within you,
I will tell you again and again and again
until you come to believe the truth
instead of the lies.
For I love you
I delight in you
and I say that you are good.
Love that poem, too Suzie. She has quite a perspective from her place of pain and her life in Jesus.
Buenas noches desde Colombia ley su libro no quiero asistir a la iglesia déjeme decirle que fue algo realmente revelador aunque ne mi ser sentía desde hace años una sensación sobre ciertas cosas que no me encajaban en mi mente y que l leer la biblia pues mas me hacían pensar en ello gracias por su libro, una pregunta como puedo comenzar o mejor como podrían enviarme material para que yo pueda aprender mas sobre la verdadera comunión con Dios y Jesús les agradezco mucho por su tiempo y paciencia gracias.
Un hermano mas en este caminar con Jesús.
Google Translate: Good night from Colombia law his book not want to attend church let me tell you it was something really revealing though ne my being felt for years a feeling about certain things that I did not fit in my mind and l read the Bible as more they made me think about it thanks for his book, a question as best as I can start or might send material so that I can learn more about the true communion with God and Jesus I thank you very much for your time and patience thanks.
A brother more on this walk with Jesus.
Luis, there is a whole list of Spanish translated articles and books here: (Luis, hay toda una lista de artículos traducidos españolas y libros aquí:) https://www.lifestream.org/international-translations/
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