Monday, February 16, 2009

Stop Doing and Start Enjoying

I've been reading through the Samuels in the Old Testament. I tend to pore over single passages for long periods of time, gleaning every bit that I can, and I love this kind of study. But in the Samuels, I've just been reading them like a novel...big picture storyline from a wide-angle view. It has been great. It is amazing to me that God worked in David's heart in such a way that he did not seek revenge on Saul with repeated opportunities...he did not seek the throne before his time though he knew he was chosen...he was a musician and a warrior (nice...reminds me of my brother-in-law). The thing that struck me this morning was the whole "I want to build you a house, God" interaction in 2 Samuel. In short, David was struck that God did not have a permanent dwelling, so he was telling God of his desires to build Him a house. One would think that God would be pleased, honored, and revel in the praise. God said no. David's son would have the job instead. I don't claim to know God's reasons for things. It would be nice sometimes, so I think.
David had been a busy man up until this point. If you read from 1 Samuel straight through to this point, you would see how many wars he has fought, personal and national. It's as if God was giving him liberty to rest. Stop doing and start enjoying.
Do I have the ability to stop trying to accomplish things for God and just enjoy Him? Do I think my enjoyment of Him (or His enjoyment of me) is contigent upon my accomplishments for Him? Bigger yet, what can I really accomplish for God? His involving me in His stuff is completely by grace and I believe is really designed for me to see more of His glory and goodness rather than me 'accomplishing' anything at all.
Today, at least for a time...stop doing and start enjoying...He can 'do' without you.


  1. Is this what we are called to do? Enjoy? If that is the case, how do we "enjoy" God? How did the Apostles of Jesus enjoy God? How did the Disciples of Jesus enjoy God? What would bring joy to God? To me I would think the advancement of the Kingdom of God on Earth would bring joy to God, and if I could bring joy to God in this mannner I would enjoy it much as the Apostles and Disciples of Jesus enjoyed it.

  2. Thanks for posting Ortho!
    The Westminster Shorter Catechism starts off by saying, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever..." This is widely accepted and quoted in various theological circles: that our purpose should be to bring God glory.
    An excellent resource to look to for further thought on the idea of being called to enjoy God is John Piper's 'Desiring God.' It is a weighty read, but within it is contained his thesis for all other of his writings. The thesis of the work tweaks the Westminster Catechism in the smallest way word-wise, but in huge ways for its implications. John Piper states that man's chief end is to glorify God BY enjoying him forever. This work of Piper's is saturated with Scripture and also contains and explains his life thesis..."God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."
    Thanks be to God for His gift of John Piper to the Church in this generation.

  3. I'm not familiar with Piper, but it seems to me that to "enjoy" is subjective in the Westminster Cat. case. Our purpose is to "enjoy?" OK...what does that mean? Seems like a subjective order. Does scripture give us any clue as how to "enjoy" God?

  4. Good question. I don't have specific Scriptures in mind that I will point at...just an overall philosophy that I think the New Testament points to overall. That being: freedom in Christ...chosen by God...wholly and dearly longer condemned...sealed with the Spirit...whiter than snow...and so many more promises...meditation and really entering in to these truths, knowing that they apply to you, and truly truly resting in them...this I think is enjoying God. I really do think based on the Scriptures that God is much more all about us just reveling in the promises that He's gauranteed us in Christ...enjoying His blessings and provisions. All this is so supreme to getting wrapped up in what I 'need to do for God because He's done so much for me' or 'owing God our obedience' because He's blessed us. Yes, I want to serve God and yes I want to obey God, but out of joy, not compulsion...first enjoy, then service will be an overflow and outflow of the heart rather than a 'necessary response to what God has done.' Compulsion, indebtedness, and duty done for God all erase Grace from the picture and go back to a works-based faith.

  5. Good summary, Scott. To know, to love, and serve God = joy in God.