God is mighty. He is Holy. We should have a reverential fear of Him, but He also wants his children to enjoy him. He wants us to delight in him as he delights in us. He is not a taskmaster, but a sovereign savior who has loved us with the purest form of love. However, there are times in life when he feels distant and far from being the one who knows our hearts and souls better than we know our own. We seek joy then lose it because we search for it in places that offer little in comparison to that which is found in His presence. So how can we enjoy God today?
These ten practices will help you experience joy as you treasure Christ.
1. Remember what God has done.
Believers needs to bask in the glory of the gospel daily. In the revealing of God’s mercy, we find the freedom and forgiveness our souls need to rejoice. Even when we do not purposefully reflect on the fallenness of our nature and our propensity to sin, we know it is there. But by his grace, we can also grasp the truth that Christ covered it all the moment we asked him to save us and cleanse our sin-stained soul. Our enjoyment of God starts here, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
2. Spend time in his word.
To enjoy something you must interact with it. Likewise, enjoying someone requires intimacy – knowing evermore about them. So often we find ourselves feeling far from God only to realize we have not looked for him. He is always there. He is always listening. He sees us. Stories of his grace throughout the ages is available for us in his letters to us. If we want to enjoy God we must know him, and the best way to know his goodness, character, justice, and love is reading his word. God has given us many lovely things, and his word holds beauty eternal, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8
3. Share him with others.
Once we have tasted the sweetness of God’s love, it begins to flow out to others around us. This treasure is better enjoyed when it is shared. We multiply our joy by sharing the profound, life-changing love of Jesus with others. Whether introducing someone who has never known Him to the truth of who He is, or reminding a hurting friend of the healing He offers, celebrating Him is what he desires for all people. There is great power, peace, and pleasure in rejoicing together. As 1 Acts 15:3 highlights this well, “The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad.”
4. Tell him what you are thankful for today.
Look around you. What would you be sad to lose? When we realize God’s good gifts are as near as our very breath—that every breath is a good gift—our hearts begin to swell with thankfulness. Do not wait till you have lost something you cherish to be thankful, start the practice of looking around each day and telling God “thank you” as you take notice of the blessings he has placed in your path.
5. Look for the good works he has prepared for you.
The looks of excitement and anticipation on the faces of children right before Christmas morning or at the start of an Easter egg hunt are priceless. We can wake with that excitement each day, because Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that God has already planned out good works for us, so as we set our course for the day ahead, we can be on the lookout for what He has planned. Maybe it is as simple as serving others with a meal, or it could require a far less comfortable, risky, faith-pushing move. As you seek out what appointments he has set for your day, may you enjoy watching the Holy Spirit’s guidance and preparation unfold before you.
6. Get out into his creation.
It is possible to spend our whole day with screens instead of sunshine. Let’s step outside instead of beginning the next television binge. Yes, we should be thankful for our shelters and heated homes, but a breath of fresh air along a windy trail through the hills will help us enjoy the God who created it all.
“In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:3
Witness the blessing of a blue sky, the peace of branches swaying in the wind, or wait until dark and gaze at the wondrous beauty that He hung in the star-accented canopy.
7. Be still and know him.
In a world filled with noise clamoring for our attention, we often miss the gift found in stillness, listening for the voice of God that calms the frantic heart. God says in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Leave your phone in another room; leave behind the bedlam of busyness, and know that your thoughts, entangled with questions and worries, can find rest in the hands of He who will be exalted above it all.
8. Sing to him.
Like it or not Christians are a singing people. We gather to worship and lift our voices together in praise, united. Yet this joyful noise was never meant to be resigned to Sunday mornings alone. We can lift our voices in private as well as public, and in doing so – our joy is increased. In Psalm 5:11 David says, “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”
9. Tell him you love him.
When we go to prayer, it is easy to forget that it is meant for more than confession or catharsis; it is a conversation with God. What joy we get from being able to tell the people around us that we love them, may we never discount the privilege it is to be able to tell our very creator the same thing. This one is simple, don’t forget to tell God you love him everyday.
10. End your day answering the question: “How did I enjoy God today?”
As we lay our head down to sleep each night, we can end our day just as we began it—with intention. By checking in with ourselves, we can evaluate where our focus was, what kept us from the joy God has for us, new joys he brought us to, and be thankful for what He has done.
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