1997-01-06 - Delighting in God
Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
We all have our natural desires and cravings, but we are often too apt to exceed the proper bounds and measures in these areas. This passage reminds us to delight in God and to set our affections after the affections of His heart. We do not need to operosely wonder who this passage speaks about. It is clear that it is the common duty of all to delight in God. However we delight in God because of who He is in and of Himself. We do not delight in God because of How the existence and mercy of God effects us. The saints delight in the Lord because of who the Lord is not because of anything he does for us. This is the great fallacy of the Christian hedonism movement that the Baptist minister from St. Paul, John Piper has been the advocate of. Piper says that we delight in God because of what He does for us. Rather than answering the question, "What is the chief end of man?" as "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever", Piper says it should be, "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever". This is crucial and the simple change makes the greatest difference in the true meaning of this vital question.
There is a difference between the joy of the hypocrite and the joy of the true Saint. The joy of the hypocrite is in himself. Self is the foundation of all the hypocrites joy. The joy of the saint is in God. The hypocrite has as his or her primary goal the delight, privilege and happiness that is supposedly attained already. However, the true saint is not that way...The delight of the true Saint has its mind inexpressibly pleased and delighted with the sweet ideas of the nature and attributes of God. This is the defect of Christian hedonism. The focus is upon ourselves when it comes to delighting in God. This can not be the case with the follower of Christ. The focus of the believers delight must be on the greatness and wonder of our Saviour and Lord. True delight in God originates in God Himself and not in our response to Him.
"They whose affection to God is founded first on his profitableness to them, begin at the wrong end; they regard God only for the utmost limit of the stream of divine good, where it touches them, and reaches their interest. They have no respect to that infinite glory of God's nature, which is the original good, and the true fountain of all good and loveliness of every kind." -Jonathan Edwards
"Our esteem of God is fundamentally defective, if it be not primarily for the excellency of his nature, which is the foundation of all that is valuable in him in any respect. If we love not God because he is what he is, but only because he is profitable to us, in truth we love him not at all..." -Jonathan Edwards
The principle of worshiping God is a diligent love of him...We can never separate love and obedience. John Calvin on Daniel 2
Soli Deo Gloria,