“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18
It would be easy to argue different ways in which the word “enjoy” describes our lives, but I think the most important form of enjoyment we should have is in God. While I was in the Bahamas last summer on a Student Ministry mission trip, during our study of the book of Jonah one night, Joseph Dion asked our group of students and leaders if we enjoy God. Take away all the benefits of being a Christian, all the amenities that come with following Christ that make being a believer attractive, and ask yourself if you truly enjoy God for who He is. How excited are you just about God? Do you realize how awesome God is? Joseph posed some weighty questions to make us examine our faith and relationship with God.
Those questions have popped back into my head multiple times since last summer. As I think about whether I enjoy God and what all that encompasses, I realize that rather than “enjoying God” with the focus on Him, I have always pointed the focus on myself and the amount of joy I felt towards life. Joy that God gave me through the Holy Spirit, but joy that was directed toward the people and things in my life rather than at God Himself. Essentially my perspective has been that joy given to me by God was for the purpose of enjoying the life He has given me, rather than simply for the purpose of enjoying Him. I believe He wants us to enjoy our lives and what He has provided, but I think He wants our joy to start with Him.
To enjoy means to take pleasure or satisfaction in; adore; delight (in); love; revel (in). When you enjoy someone or something, it is because that person or thing has great value in your heart. God should have the greatest value in our heart, so we should enjoy Him. What does it look like to enjoy God? I could use each part of the above definition to answer that question – to enjoy God is to take pleasure or satisfaction in, adore, delight in, love, and revel in Him – but I think it goes deeper than that. I think to enjoy God means to take pleasure or satisfaction in Him through learning more about who He is; to adore Him through worshiping Him daily; to delight in Him through giving Him the glory and praise He is worthy to receive; to love Him by marveling at His love and desiring to love as He loves; to revel in Him by being amazed at His power and in awe of His greatness; and lastly, to rejoice purely and solely in God for who He is and what He has done.
John Piper writes, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” As each year comes to an end, we find ourselves asking one another about our resolutions for the new year. Often they involve ideas and desires to make us enjoy our lives and the people in them more. Perhaps we should examine how we can be more satisfied in God by simply enjoying Him more.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
- Nicky Darling, Elementary Coordinator