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May 19, 2017 Enjoying the Lord

 

 

Scripture reading: I Peter 1:8; Genesis 2:8-9.

 

[I. Introduction] Recently, we have been studying the Judgment seat of Christ. We observed that you seldom hear teaching on this subject with respect to followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is another subject that one seldom hears about. That is enjoying the Lord. God is the most enjoyable Person in the universe. So, it is strange that we hear so little about this subject. Why is this? It could be that there are not very many explicit verses about this. Much of this revelation, that God is enjoyable and desires that we enjoy him, is implicit and may be missed.

 

One explicit passage is in Psalm 36:

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!

The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8 They feast on the abundance of your house,

and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

9 For with you is the fountain of life;

in your light do we see light. [1]

 

When someone loves you, protects you, gives you an abundance of food so that you can feast, and causes you delight…that is enjoyment!

 

Another such passage is in Psalm 84:

How lovely is your dwelling place,

O Lord of hosts!

2 My soul longs, yes, faints

for the courts of the Lord;

my heart and flesh sing for joy

to the living God. [2]

 

Enjoyment!!

 

Perhaps the implicit passages, though, are even more persuasive than the explicit. Consider the verses we read from Genesis.

 

8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. [3]

 

The Lord made pleasant trees that bore fruit that was good food. The detail of the Lord placing the tree of life in the midst of the garden indicates that it was God’s desire that man partake of it. It wasn’t until man sinned that he excluded him from partaking of that blessed tree.

 

The tree of life signifies God Himself. God is the source of life. As one man of God has insightfully observed:

 

“When God says that he wants man to come to the tree of life, He means that he wants man to touch him. God wants to enter into man to be his life.”[4]

 

What is it about food that brings satisfaction? There are two things about food that are universally true. Food sustains us and, if it is delectable, it brings enjoyment. These are reasons why God likens himself to food. God sustains us. Every Christian knows that God sustains us, upholds us, and empowers us. But, the Lord is also delectable and enjoyable, too! Come taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8; I Peter 2:3)

 

The Lord Jesus often likened himself to food and drink (John 4:10-14; 6:48-51; 55-58; 7:37-38; Matthew 26:26-28). He desires that we enjoy him!

 

After God created man, he placed him in front of the tree of life so that man would enjoy the fruit of the tree. The tree of life is just God Himself. This shows that God wants to be man’s enjoyment.

 

When we eat and drink, what we take in goes into us and becomes a part of us. We enjoy the tasting, but we also enjoy the life that we receive from food and drink. It is a double enjoyment! So it is with the Lord. We enjoy receiving him and we enjoy the life that grows within us!

 

Do you remember when you first repented of your sins and believed in Christ? There was great joy, was there not? So very often, though, the joy of our initial salvation wanes. The fact that we were filled with joy upon our coming to Christ shows that the moving of the Spirit within us results in enjoyment. We need to enjoy the Lord again!

 

[II.] We should enjoy the Lord because this fulfills the very purpose of our living. What is the purpose of life? This is one of the questions we ask on our survey when we go door to door during outreach. Sadly, no one knows the answer to this question. Often, we come across those who claim to follow Christ and neither do they know. It’s like having a brand new car in a garage, say a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz, and a neighbor comes over and says, “How come I never see you driving your car?” The person replies, “A car? What are cars for?” What a waste to have a nice, reliable, new car and not know what it is for! But to not know the purpose of life is much worse than not knowing the purpose of a car because a human life is infinitely more valuable than an auto.

 

The Baptist Catechism of 1689, which is based on the Bible, seeks to teach children and new adult converts the fundamentals of the faith. This was the same catechism that Charles Spurgeon promoted. He was not only the greatest Baptist preacher of history, but by most accounts, the greatest preacher of the whole church since the apostolic age. This catechism is still widely used.

 

The second question of the catechism asks: “What is the chief end of man?” In other words, what is man’s purpose?

 

The answer is: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”

 

It has been pointed out that these are not two separate things. As if, sometimes, we glorify God and, at other times, we enjoy him. They are the same thing! We glorify God by enjoying him! When you enjoy someone it is the highest compliment. When you enjoy someone, you are saying, without words, how beautiful and satisfying they are. So it is with the Lord! When we enjoy him we glorify him. It is so easy! We don’t have to work. We just enjoy! Praise Him!

 

[III.] We should enjoy the Lord because it will stir us up to fulfill the Great Commission. As you have been taught, the commission to spread the gospel and make disciples is not just for professional evangelists or church leaders. It is for every follower of Christ. It is for you. Your own experience and the simple observation of Western church life reveal that it is a struggle to share the gospel. Many Christians are apprehensive to talk about God and the gospel.

 

Do you know what makes any subject easy to talk about? It’s when you enjoy it! The more you enjoy something the easier it is to talk about it. In fact, we like sharing things that bring us joy. You see, the more you enjoy the Lord the more you will spontaneously talk about him. You will hardly have to give it a thought because it will just be the overflow of your enjoyment!

 

Enjoying the Lord opens our mouths! This is the way the Lord has made us!

 

[IV.] We should enjoy the Lord because enjoying him is…enjoyable! Can you see that enjoyment is its own reward? All men seek happiness. It is one thing that is always true. And, enjoyment is just a higher form of happiness! Our enjoyment makes life good and the Lord Himself is the best enjoyment!

 

[V. Conclusion] Maybe you have lost your enjoyment of the Lord. It is even possible to be a Christian and never had the enjoyment of the Lord. A person can belong to God but they may see their life as nothing but duty. I tell you, the Christian life is far more than duty. The best life is a life of enjoyment!

 

How do we enjoy the Lord? We really only need two things. First, we must know that the Lord is inside of us if we have been born again. He is not far away. If we want to enjoy him we should learn to turn to our inner being. This “inner being” is just our human spirit. The Lord is there. As we have an appreciation for his real presence and turn to our spirit where he dwells the enjoyment begins.

 

Second, we must learn to be calm as we pray; that is, when we talk to God we should be free from outward distractions, even from concerns. Because, whatever concerns you have, they are less important than your enjoyment of the Lord. Your enjoyment will be the strength to deal with your concerns! Enjoy the Lord first and you will be surprised how your concerns go away!

 

If we enjoy the Lord God will abide in us richly and will become our all!

 

Have done with lesser things and enjoy the goodness of the Lord!

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 36:7–9). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 84:1–2). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 2:8–9). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Witness Lee, How to Enjoy God (Anaheim, CA: Living Stream Ministry, 2006), 8