Obedience and Enjoying God

It occurs to me that although a child can learn to play the piano because a parent insists that they practice, they will do far better if they love it. They will learn to play better faster if they enjoy playing. In a similar way, only those who enjoy God will reach the heights of worship, of obedience, of Christian living.

People who enjoy God do not struggle with obedience as they did when they merely respected God.

People who enjoy God do not struggle with obedience as they did when they merely respected God. They know God to be a benevolent God who can be trusted. This has affected them emotionally, which affects their response to God.

They love people because they see in them the image of God, all-be-it marred. They are fascinated by the remnant of the image of God—the sense of justice, a tinge of mercy, a bit of compassion. This fascination with the image of God in others overcomes some of the common irritations we find in human relationships.

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What about commitment?

Commitment is over billed in the evangelical community, just as joy is misunderstood in the world. Commitment is important. Commitment is the basis of our relationship with God, but it is not the goal. Much of the preaching on commitment assumes that the goal is to be committed. It is not. Commitment is the means. The goal is enjoying God. Commitment is also the basis of our relationships in our family. But the goal is to have a family that enjoys being together. We do not live on feelings; we live on commitment.

Commitment is the foundation, but it is not the goal. The goal is not to live a committed life; the goal is to live a joyous life of enjoying God because of our commitment. We must have commitment. We must start with commitment, but we must not end there. The world will admit they are after joy. They think they can get there without commitment. They cannot. Nor should we be content with commitment without joy. We must go beyond commitment to enjoying God. We will never win the world with commitment. It is joy they are looking for. We will only win them if we become so happy in God they think we are drunk.

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Enjoying God, introduction

The Christian life is either easy or impossible. It is either a day-to-day struggle that you are no doubt losing, or it is a delightful paradise of buoyant emotion. It either pulls you up with tremendous power to overcome all kinds of obstacles and circumstances, or it is a very heavy load. Jesus taught that if it is a heavy load, you purchased the wrong product:  “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ( Matthew 11:30). If Christianity is very heavy for you, this book is for you. I have written it with the hope that it will result in making your burden lighter.

The Puritans wisely wrote:

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter to a friend:

It is a Christian duty, as you know, for everyone to be as happy as he can.1

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