by Peter Swann
God loves to be enjoyed.
Scripture reflects this in subtle and striking ways. God created humankind for communion with Him, even walking with them in the garden (Genesis 3). Yet our first parents, Adam and Eve, rebelled, with their sin forcing them out of the garden, and far worse, out of the presence of God.
Ever since, humankind has wrestled through a broken and fallen world. We long for joy, yet look for it in almost anything other than God. We have forgotten what our original mother and father knew… that true joy is found only in the presence of God.
Instead, we look for it in food… and entertainment… and activities. These things become idols for us, false gods from which we seek joy. When we can’t find joy there, we go even further. Our joy is found in our escapes. Pornography and the like become our gods, our source of joy.
All the while we may claim the lordship of Christ, but the sheer source of our joy reflects the lies of our lips and the truth of our affections.
God loves to be enjoyed. And should be enjoyed. There is none like Him… no one with such love, or purity, or compassion, or majesty. There is none who has given to us like He has given to us. There is none who delights in us like God delights in us.
When we enjoy God, we simply reflect back to Him the enjoyment that He takes in us. It is intended to be the source of our allegiance and obedience. God does expect our service to Him, but it is intended to simply flow from our delight in Him. He is primarily Father, not judge.
The legalism that dominates many of us says so much. It points out not only our muted understanding of grace, but also our warped view of who God is. Even more, it generally reflects the absence of our joy in God … often meaning that we are looking for it elsewhere.
All the while, God loves to be enjoyed. For as the psalmist prayed to God, he expressed it well, “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11, ESV). For all of us, the “fullness” of joy is only ever found in His presence.
To dig into the root of it all for each of us, there’s just one question to ask. One question that has the potential to revolutionize our journey with Christ, inserting vibrancy and delight like never before. The question is simply this: How much do I enjoy God?
For God loves to be enjoyed.