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  • 12 Keys to Enjoying God

    Enjoying God is life’s grand purpose, and yet it remains a rare pursuit even for professing Christians. I should know. I was thirty-five before the thought of enjoying God crossed my mind. In my case, I was so busy ‘working’ for God that joy couldn’t enter the equation.

    One day while searching the Internet for information on childhood development and spiritual formation, I encountered the following statement, and it changed my life. 

    Man’s chief end is to glory God, and enjoy him forever.
    ~ The Westminster Shorter Catechism, 1647

    Incidentally, when I found the Westminster Shorter Catechism, I was searching online for information that might help my wife, Renee, and me. We were new parents, and Robert, was only months old. I was desperate to find a way to protect him from the legalism and rigidity that had been my norm.

    Isn’t it funny how in loving and parenting our children we’re often motivated to find the answers we’ve been lacking?

    Since that time, I’ve given considerable thought to what it means to enjoy God, and how to practice the same. I hope you’ll find some encouragement in my list of ways to practice enjoying God.  

     

    12 Ways to Practice Enjoying God

    1. Practice gratitude (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Begin your day grateful to be alive, perhaps to have slept well, and for the opportunity to begin again. Attach relational prayers of thanksgiving for all that you appreciate throughout the day. Close your day by sharing with God all that you have enjoyed. 
    2. Stay mindful of the difference between physical and spiritual. Christianity is a supernatural relationship that transcends the physical. No longer enslaved to circumstances, you’re free to experience joy even when you’re not happy with temporal events.  
    3. Pray to God – Father, Son, and Spirit. Our triune God gives himself to us in three persons – Father, Son, and Spirit. Pray to the Father when you’re hungry for parental assurance. Pray to the Son when you’re wanting companionship and empathy. Pray to the Spirit when you’re needing guidance, and the ability to obey what you know to be God’s will for your life.  
    4. Keep the Word percolating throughout the day. Go beyond the ‘quiet time’ that begins and ends as an event on your to-do list. Listen to the Bible online, write a verse on an index card and take it with you for quick review during breaks, or leave your Bible open on your desk. Whatever you do, ask the Spirit to personalize the Scriptures to your life.
    5. Practice the 9 fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)Begin to practice one of the nine fruit of the Spirit daily. Set up a reoccurring (every 9 days), all day appointment on your smart phone so that you’re staying mindful of that day’s fruit. As you practice a particular fruit, ask the Spirit to fill you with himself and that fruit, so that you can give the same freely to others. God never expects you to generate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control in your own ability. 
    6. Serve people rather than treating them as projects. Cease having agendas for people. Surrender the distorted thought that because you love someone you can control them. Simply take them where they are, love them in practical ways, and pray for God to bless them. 
    7. Trust God with the outcome of your simple witness. Don’t stress over your ability or inability to share the good news. Rest in God, knowing that he loves the person that you’re wanting to share your faith with. Be transparent and watch God work. 
    8. Resist negativity. Christianity is the most hopeful message on planet Earth. Let nothing negative or otherwise deter your outlook on the holiness of God, the sanctity of life, the inestimable value of people, and you the purpose of your life. Freely admit that there are negatives in a fallen world (at least as we experience them with finite minds), but don’t fret over them.
    9. Use media to your advantage. Exercise your choice to find helpful books, movies, web sites, blogs, and podcasts that strengthen your faith. The moment any media takes a turn that offends the Spirit of God, your heart, mind, or body, move away from it. 
    10. Keep community with other Christians who are bent on enjoying God. While joy isn’t dependent on a crowd, like embers in a fire, joy increases when you’re keeping company who others who are seeking to enjoy God. 
    11. Prioritize individual hearts over the collective culture. The larger culture is dependent on individual hearts. Begin at once to treat the person in front of you with the honor he or she deserves. God created that person – saved or not – for his purpose, and the moments you share with that person are sacred.  
    12. Overcome sin in the Spirit (Romans 8:13)Sin kills joy while it suffocates you with carnal pleasure. With each temptation ask the Spirit to defend God’s interest in you. Make enjoying God your highest goal, and stand amazed at how he fortifies your spiritual immunity. 

    Now, let me ask you a few questions.

    • Are you seeking to glorify God by enjoying him? If not, what’s standing in your way? 
    • When did you begin to enjoy God? Was it spontaneous, or like me did you read something that sparked the possibility?
    • John Piper who teaching the importance of enjoying God has stated that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” Do you agree? If so, why? If not, why not?

    I’m eager to hear from you. Tell me about your experience with enjoying God.