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Old 02-11-2020, 09:59 AM   #1
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Default The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

John Piper changes the Westminster Shorter Catechism from "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever," to "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever."

Two questions I think this brings up:

1. What do you think of this change?

2. Witness Lee's definition (as I remember it) of "God's glory" was "God expressed." That is, wherever God is expressed, there His glory is. Do you think this is an accurate description of glory?

Another question might be - Many define grace as "unmerited favor." Witness Lee says this is true and goes on to say that grace is "the enjoyment of Christ Himself." Is this a good definition of grace? see here for WL article on grace (Personally I like, "Grace is all that God has in Christ freely coming to us." Not sure where that came from . . .)
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

#1 There is no change. It is a difference without a distinction, and I really doubt that Piper meant to make any significant distinction. After all, what is the real distinction between "and enjoy him" and "by enjoying him"? That's a mighty fine hair to split, and since neither the Gospels nor the epistles make any such distinction, I think we should just let this one pass by.

#2 Firstly, I've never seen any strong scriptural references provided by Witness Lee or his followers that God desires (much less commanded) that man "express" him. I see many references where God has said that we should obey him, love him, praise him, exalt him, give him glory. I don't see where God has commanded us to express him. I don't think God needs our help for him to be expressed. God has been fully expressed for trillions upon trillions of eons. The heavens declare the glory of God. (Psalm 19) The Lord Jesus proclaimed that if his people are silent "the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19:40) My 50+ years of reading and studying the Bible, along with my experience, tells me that we are not qualified to express God. Maybe one day we will be qualified in the age to come. In the meantime, let us do what he has commanded - to love him with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

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#1 There is no change. It is a difference without a distinction, and I really doubt that Piper meant to make any significant distinction. After all, what is the real distinction between "and enjoy him" and "by enjoying him"? That's a mighty fine hair to split, and since neither the Gospels nor the epistles make any such distinction, I think we should just let this one pass by.

#2 Firstly, I've never seen any strong scriptural references provided by Witness Lee or his followers that God desires (much less commanded) that man "express" him. I see many references where God has said that we should obey him, love him, praise him, exalt him, give him glory. I don't see where God has commanded us to express him. I don't think God needs our help for him to be expressed. God has been fully expressed for trillions upon trillions of eons. The heavens declare the glory of God. (Psalm 19) The Lord Jesus proclaimed that if his people are silent "the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19:40) My 50+ years of reading and studying the Bible, along with my experience, tells me that we are not qualified to express God. Maybe one day we will be qualified in the age to come. In the meantime, let us do what he has commanded - to love him with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind.
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Sorry, but I don't agree with either.

1. "By" is a significant word, in my opinion. Piper actually devotes a lot of attention to that word in his book, Desiring God, where he introduces the modification to the old catechism. This is the same book where he uses the term, "Christian Hedonism," to say that man's purpose is about partaking in the highest form of enjoyment, namely God Himself. And therefore the way to really glorify God is to enjoy Him . . . and in tern we express Him.

2. If we are not meant to express God, what do we do with the beginning of Genesis when God makes man in His ("Our") image and likeness? And then Christ, who came as a man, is said to be the exact image and representation of the invisible God, right? Doesn't the Son express the Father? Further, Christ prays that the glory the Father has given Him, be given to us.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

And, of course, the NT tells us repeatedly that we are being conformed to the image of the Firstborn . . .

But I wanted to go back to this item I'd added to my first post that may have been missed:
Quote:
Another question might be - Many define grace as "unmerited favor." Witness Lee says this is true and goes on to say that grace is "the enjoyment of Christ Himself." Is this a good definition of grace? See here for WL article on grace (Personally I like, "Grace is all that God has in Christ freely coming to us." Not sure where that came from . . .)
Thoughts?
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Another question might be - Many define grace as "unmerited favor." Witness Lee says this is true and goes on to say that grace is "the enjoyment of Christ Himself." Is this a good definition of grace? See here for WL article on grace (Personally I like, "Grace is all that God has in Christ freely coming to us." Not sure where that came from . . .)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Witness Lee
It may be that the term grace is quite familiar to us, but we may have a very shallow understanding of this term.
This word grace (χάρις - charis) is one of the most profound and theologically rich words in the New Testament. It carries many different meanings throughout the NT, and it would be impossible to even begin to sum it up in one very lengthy book chapter, much, much less in one sound bite of a sentence. Sorry brother Lee, but your sound bite "grace is nothing less than Christ Himself as the very embodiment of the processed Triune God for our enjoyment" is woefully incomplete as it is theologically shallow and simplistic. It may serve very well as one of those banners hung up at one of the trainings, but coming from someone whose followers claim to be the One Minister with the One Ministry of the Age, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witness Lee
Our human understanding cannot realize this because the divine thought, the divine concept, is very much different from ours.
In the next breath Witness Lee goes on to give a very lengthy description of his human understanding of grace, all the while giving the readers the impression that his opinions and understandings contain "the divine thought and the divine concept". Now, to this very day, his followers consider that Lee's teachings are the only teachings that contain the divine thought and concept. May God have mercy.

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Personally I like, "Grace is all that God has in Christ freely coming to us."
I agree with this. I would only add that grace is not merely something that we receive. Grace is something that deeply affects who we are and how we treat and interact with others. The apostle Paul proclaimed that "his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." (1 Cor 15:10) I am afraid that a teaching that merely proclaims that grace "is the enjoyment of Christ", especially to young people and new believers, has great potential for the grace that God gives to become "in vain".

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And therefore the way to really glorify God is to enjoy Him . . . and in tern we express Him.
Sons to Glory! Could you please give us some practical examples of how we express God? I think there are lots of examples in the Bible of how we glorify God, but I don't find any that show how we practically express him. I'm all ears!
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

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I'd add that grace is not merely something that we receive. Grace is something that deeply affects who we are and how we treat and interact with others. The apostle Paul proclaimed that "his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." (1 Cor 15:10) I am afraid that a teaching that merely proclaims that grace "is the enjoyment of Christ", especially to young people and new believers, has great potential for the grace that God gives to become "in vain".
Grace like is an unemployed person getting a job. You still have to work, but are so happy with the opportunity to work, which was given, like a fry cook at Arby's making $100/hr. Look at our situation - cut off, without hope, but then in Christ we got redeemed and brought back, and given employment in the Kingdom!

The quote above from 1 Cor 15 says that Paul, by grace, got the opportunity to "work harder than any of them". Grace is a gift, an unmerited opportunity to work for God. Our Lord (Master, 'Kurios', 'Boss') is the best!
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Sons to Glory! Could you please give us some practical examples of how we express God? I think there are lots of examples in the Bible of how we glorify God, but I don't find any that show how we practically express him. I'm all ears!
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Well the only way we could possibly express God is through Christ, as Christ is the one, perfect expression of Him. So if we are really walking in Spirit as our source, then the outflow - our works - will be Christ who is the expression of God, right?

Regarding grace, I think this verse is telling us it's more than "unmerited favor:" And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Another verse along those lines: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Article: Grace is Much More than Unmerited Favor
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Old 02-18-2020, 02:21 PM   #8
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In my 30+ years in Poor, Poor Christianity (5+ years before the Local Church of Witness Lee and 25+ after) I have never, ever heard any teacher, preacher or apologist say that grace is solely or merely "unmerited favor". In fact, the only person I ever heard utter that nonsense was Witness Lee. For all we know, he picked up this unfounded concept from some missionary in early to mid-20th century China. But that's just speculation on my part.

Sons to Glory! Your answer is too spiritual! Please come down from the clouds my brother. How do we practically "express God"? What "works" are you referring to?
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

Actually, I've heard many radio, TV and internet preachers say specifically grace is "unmerited favor." Just Google it and I think you'll see many places that state that.

As to you your question - how about answering you the best I can in love - that's pretty practical! Really, not sure what you are looking for. Maybe you could help me out.
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Old 02-18-2020, 08:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

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Sons to Glory! Your answer is too spiritual! Please come down from the clouds my brother. How do we practically "express God"? What "works" are you referring to?
Can I contribute here? This is something the Lord has been reminding me of for the past few days, and, I think this qualifies as perfectly practical....

1 Peter 3:1 tells wives to be in subjection to your own husbands, that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

This presents to me a hope of a promise by the Lord, and it is precious to me because I have a spouse that not only doesn't obey the word, but refuses to read the word or hear the word.

But how practical....a clear outline for someone like me....a hope to win the husband without the word! This is what I see more and more....our obedience to God via the word.....this is enough 'expression' to win an unbelieving spouse, and, I think, our faith and obedience would probably touch others in the same way.

And I'm with you, UntoHim, it needs to be less 'in the clouds'.
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

I’ll just chime in here to say that topics of this sort make my head explode.

I think it’s more important to pay attention to what God actually said and that can be understood. I think the wisdom of man’s catechisms, etc., are foolishness to God.

What we need is...say...a list of things that are crystal clear, and that we can actually understand and not have to argue over. Maybe if this list could use phrases like DO THIS and DON’T DO THIS. Or, do as you are told. Love one another... .

Wait! I think there might be a list like that somewhere. Hummmm.....It might even be in the Bible somewhere. Maybe we should see if we can find such a list, if it’s actually there...somewhere...?

I know! Maybe the “chief end of man” is for man to behave himself.

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Old 02-18-2020, 09:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
This word grace (χάρις - charis) is one of the most profound and theologically rich words in the New Testament. It carries many different meanings throughout the NT, and it would be impossible to even begin to sum it up in one very lengthy book chapter, much, much less in one sound bite of a sentence.
I still remember Phil Comfort expounding on the word grace from the original Greek. It had nothing to do with our enjoyment per se, as the "receiver" of grace. Rather grace, in its core etymology, had everything to do with the "giver" and the gift.

God, as our Creator and Father, out of His great love for us and all mankind, longed to share with us from His incredibly great and loving heart, giving to us what He considered His greatest Treasure of all, His only Begotten Son.

Grace is both the act of love and the gift of love.
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by byHismercy View Post
And I'm with you, UntoHim, it needs to be less 'in the clouds'.
Ask and ye shall receive........

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Originally Posted by Nell View Post
I know! Maybe the “chief end of man” is for man to behave himself.
Leave it to Nell to bring us back to earth! Thanks sis.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

OK, let's just retract this whole thread!
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Old 02-19-2020, 07:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
OK, let's just retract this whole thread!
Negative - someone brought up a good point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by byHismercy View Post
1 Peter 3:1 tells wives to be in subjection to your own husbands, that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

This presents to me a hope of a promise by the Lord, and it is precious to me because I have a spouse that not only doesn't obey the word, but refuses to read the word or hear the word.

But how practical....a clear outline for someone like me....a hope to win the husband without the word! This is what I see more and more....our obedience to God via the word.....this is enough 'expression' to win an unbelieving spouse, and, I think, our faith and obedience would probably touch others in the same way.

And I'm with you, UntoHim, it needs to be less 'in the clouds'.
This is the kind of 'practical expression of grace' that I alluded to in my previous post (#6). Paul said that "the grace of God superabounded in me more and more" allowing him to do amazing works. These works were things that he wouldn't have done if he were merely looking out for himself. But because the grace of God re-oriented him towards the Kingdom of God through Christ Jesus the Lord, he (Paul) was able to do the things that he referenced.

In the quote above, the poster is able to have tolerance, meekness, humility and patience when the situation calls for a doubled fist. This is the grace of Christ, working out her own salvation in her, and being a testimony of the resurrection power of God. Jesus led, and now she follows. This is grace. We testify of God, and not of self.

In some sense it's an 'unmerited favour' in that 'it is no longer I but Christ', but it is not passive reception, or mere 'enjoyment' but rather the power of the unconquerable life that first dwelt in Christ and now manifesting outwardly in us through our works in a darkened and rejecting world, a world cut off from God. It's that manifest resurrection power that enables us to work for God, not ourselves, and to suffer temporal loss cheerfully as we see God's kingdom gain something precious and eternal. This is grace.

Again I quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
... grace is not merely something that we receive. Grace is something that deeply affects who we are and how we treat and interact with others. The apostle Paul proclaimed that "his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." (1 Cor 15:10) I am afraid that a teaching that merely proclaims that grace "is the enjoyment of Christ", especially to young people and new believers, has great potential for the grace that God gives to become "in vain".
The passive, go-to-meeting-and-absorb-Christ concept isn't grace but is (imho) 'in vain'. Paul's grace in 1 Cor 15 was doing works, ones that he'd never attempt or even contemplated otherwise This "work out your salvation in fear and trembling" is not "dead works" but rather "the grace of God in Christ indwelling me".
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Old 02-19-2020, 10:45 AM   #16
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Well the only way we could possibly express God is through Christ, as Christ is the one, perfect expression of Him. So if we are really walking in Spirit as our source, then the outflow - our works - will be Christ who is the expression of God, right?

Regarding grace, I think this verse is telling us it's more than "unmerited favor:" And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Another verse along those lines: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Article: Grace is Much More than Unmerited Favor
You know what I find so encouraging about Heb 4:16, is that I don't even need to fully understand nor define grace, in order to receive grace. I only need ask the Lord. How amazing, how wonderful, huh brother?
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:13 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

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The passive, go-to-meeting-and-absorb-Christ concept isn't grace but is (imho) 'in vain'. Paul's grace in 1 Cor 15 was doing works, ones that he'd never attempt or even contemplated otherwise This "work out your salvation in fear and trembling" is not "dead works" but rather "the grace of God in Christ indwelling me".
Yes - what Aron said! And I really like the concise (bolded) statement above!
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

So the main point I had in starting this thread is the matter of enjoying God. When I had my experience of the Lord in power when I was 18 (I believe I actually received Christ into me a number of years earlier), I was really struck with how little of the joy of the Lord seemed to be among the Lord's people. It appeared that people were engaged in various things and doing many things for Him, but the enjoyment of Him alone was severely lacking. The Lord was showing me this in Spirit, and caused me to strongly pray, "Lord, you have to take me to be with those who love you the way I do!" That is, to be with those who are in the enjoyment of You alone!

This was 1974, and a couple weeks and 2,500 miles later, I wound-up in the LC in Berkeley. There I was pleased to find many other crazy seekers of Jesus who wanted to be in the fresh and living enjoyment of Him. Now we all know how things went sideways in the LC, and the Lord got me out of meeting with that group. But I truly believe, and am reminded by Him frequently these days, that He has been completely faithful to that prayer (and after some necessary journey) - to be with those that love Him and enjoy Him alone!

Praise God!!!
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Old 02-23-2020, 07:42 PM   #19
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Severely lacking? How do you know? How can you judge someone else’s walk? Or you have some kind of standard that Christians must meet on your enjoy-o-meter? What do you want us to do? How does one “enjoy God “? I have my own walk with the living Lord whom I serve and I wouldn’t trade it to “enjoy God”.

What does “fresh and living” mean? If I don’t measure up, will the “enjoy God” police come and get me? Been there.

I leave you with the freedom to pursue your Maker by any means you choose, and ask that you provide me the same freedom and not judge my walk as “severely lacking” if I don’t measure up. You don’t know me.

I honestly don’t believe you are coming from this ugly place, but you are on thin ice here! Perhaps you have forgotten who you are talking to? I told you this makes my head explode.

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Old 02-24-2020, 08:37 AM   #20
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If it makes your head explode, then I would advise you to avoid it. I am simply conveying to you what the Spirit was showing ME back in 1974. And I recognize that there may have been others nearer at the time (Ohio), but the Lord decided to take me across country and planted me in the LC in Bazerkely CA, in response to my prayer, "Lord, you have to take me to be with those who love you like I do now!" And as I look back, He was, and still is, faithful to that prayer!

This was the light that I got back then, at that specific time. The Anointing was showing me things that were wonderful and new to me, and I had some very real experiences of the supernatural - spirit realm's affect on the physical. In fact, much of this speaking is still being unpackaged in me today and I marvel at it.

For instance, at that time, the Anointing very clearly said in me, "I is dead." I had absolutely no idea what that meant, but it was bubbling up inside of me. It was just me and God, having a love affair. I had no knowledge, at least that I was aware of, regarding the teaching of being crucified with Christ. Yet there it was, repeatedly coming up in me almost audibly - "I is dead." I was "tickled" inside by the thought, and would repeat it. When I did, there was pure enjoyment of the idea, as I was enjoying this amazing relationship and conversation with Him. Understanding of what that really meant is still coming 45 years later.

So I have to be faithful to what I've received, sister.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:27 PM   #21
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If it makes your head explode, then I would advise you to avoid it. I am simply conveying to you what the Spirit was showing ME back in 1974. And I recognize that there may have been others nearer at the time (Ohio), but the Lord decided to take me across country and planted me in the LC in Bazerkely CA, in response to my prayer, "Lord, you have to take me to be with those who love you like I do now!" And as I look back, He was, and still is, faithful to that prayer!

This was the light that I got back then, at that specific time. The Anointing was showing me things that were wonderful and new to me, and I had some very real experiences of the supernatural - spirit realm's affect on the physical. In fact, much of this speaking is still being unpackaged in me today and I marvel at it.

For instance, at that time, the Anointing very clearly said in me, "I is dead." I had absolutely no idea what that meant, but it was bubbling up inside of me. It was just me and God, having a love affair. I had no knowledge, at least that I was aware of, regarding the teaching of being crucified with Christ. Yet there it was, repeatedly coming up in me almost audibly - "I is dead." I was "tickled" inside by the thought, and would repeat it. When I did, there was pure enjoyment of the idea, as I was enjoying this amazing relationship and conversation with Him. Understanding of what that really meant is still coming 45 years later.

So I have to be faithful to what I've received, sister.
I'm not asking you to do otherwise. Your comments toward the walk of others...your brothers and sisters...had a familiar ring and I decided to point it out to you.

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Old 02-24-2020, 08:06 PM   #22
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

Sons to glory, can you show me in scripture Gods' call to us to 'enjoy' Him 'alone'? I really would love to see if this idea has a base set on the truth in the word. My fear is that you are putting another qualification on the salvation of the individual. I know He calls us to trust in Jesus, the Son of God, to walk in the light, as He is in the light, to believe Jesus died on the cross, to love one another as we love ourselves, to love God first and best, to reach out to widows and orphans.......there are so many items! I love Jesus and I agree with His word....but I need to see this matter in the light of His word.....

Also, how is this related to the gospel of Christ and an unbeliever taking the step to trust in His work on the cross, taking the step to believe into the precious finished work of the Lord?
If Jesus did not ask the unregenerated one to 'enjoy Him alone' as a requirement of salvation.....how can we ask this? Why should we? Can you imagine telling a beaten down, discouraged, abused, sad soul......it is not enough for you to trust in Jesus......now you must ENJOY Him, and Him ALONE.....no matter where you are at, emotionally....no matter what stage of healing you have reached....

Brother, I am glad you have this enjoyment in the Lord Jesus! But please, do not make it a requirement for the rest of the body. It is like asceticism in reverse. Great for you, if you like deprivation, or you find enlightenment by it. But why would you ask others to join, when the Lord never gave such a teaching?
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:31 PM   #23
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Default I love baseball.

I posted a story a few years ago about an amazing experience I had on a trip to St. Louis to watch 3 baseball games. I love baseball, I grew up with a father who loved baseball. If I didn’t love baseball, I would not have been in St. Louis to share a park bench with a disillusioned former Baptist pastor and his wife. He had attended seminary in the city where I was currently living. You might say his enjoyment was “severely lacking”.

I “shepherded” him! Whoa! Is that even possible? Not about baseball, but about my experiences as a Christian who loved the Lord and wanted to obey and serve him, and how the Lord had put some things into perspective for me. 3 hours.

If I had not followed the Lord, none of this would have happened. I followed the Lord to St. Louis. I don’t remember much about the 3-games but I am, to this day, still enjoying the blessing of sharing that park bench with a discouraged brother and sister. I had a divine appointment with Jesus that day because he had something he wanted me to share with someone who freely admitted that his life was “severely lacking”.

BTW, the guy sitting next to me at all 3 games...grew up next door to the preacher on the park bench. (Is that even possible?) They had previously scheduled to meet at the park bench. How ‘bout that? Two divine appointments I reckon.

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Old 02-25-2020, 08:23 AM   #24
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

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Sons to glory, can you show me in scripture Gods' call to us to 'enjoy' Him 'alone'? I really would love to see if this idea has a base set on the truth in the word. My fear is that you are putting another qualification on the salvation of the individual. I know He calls us to trust in Jesus, the Son of God, to walk in the light, as He is in the light, to believe Jesus died on the cross, to love one another as we love ourselves, to love God first and best, to reach out to widows and orphans.......there are so many items! I love Jesus and I agree with His word....but I need to see this matter in the light of His word.....

Also, how is this related to the gospel of Christ and an unbeliever taking the step to trust in His work on the cross, taking the step to believe into the precious finished work of the Lord?
If Jesus did not ask the unregenerated one to 'enjoy Him alone' as a requirement of salvation.....how can we ask this? Why should we? Can you imagine telling a beaten down, discouraged, abused, sad soul......it is not enough for you to trust in Jesus......now you must ENJOY Him, and Him ALONE.....no matter where you are at, emotionally....no matter what stage of healing you have reached....

Brother, I am glad you have this enjoyment in the Lord Jesus! But please, do not make it a requirement for the rest of the body. It is like asceticism in reverse. Great for you, if you like deprivation, or you find enlightenment by it. But why would you ask others to join, when the Lord never gave such a teaching?
No legal requirements here! The exhortation of the Lord in the NT was simple - love God; love others. And I certainly wouldn't put that requirement (i.e., you must give up everything and enjoy God exclusively) on an unsaved one. That is the Anointing's job to woo and draw regenerated people in that direction throughout their life, right? That's my experience - no heavy hand . . . just encouragement to enjoy Him more and more. Again, I am just sharing what the Spirit was and is showing me. We are all called to this glorious dance of joy with the Father and the Son!

As far as scripture is concerned in talking about enjoying God alone, so many of David's psalms are full of this . . . the language is undeniable. Song of Songs would be another place. "Love, joy, peace" - the fruit of the Spirit - is that not the best enjoyment and who wouldn't want that? John Piper's book, "Enjoying God" is all about this and gives hundreds of scriptures around this topic.

And of course there are other pleasures on this earth, but I find I enjoy them all the better when I'm enjoying Him!

I'm reminded of CS Lewis (who Piper quotes in the above cited book) who said: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” (from The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses)
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:56 AM   #25
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

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... but the enjoyment of Him alone was severely lacking. The Lord was showing me this in Spirit, and caused me to strongly pray, "Lord, you have to take me to be with those who love you the way I do!" That is, to be with those who are in the enjoyment of You alone!...

... - to be with those that love Him and enjoy Him alone! ...
It’s not about John Piper and CS Lewis, or even “enjoying God”. It’s about what you said. You have compared yourself to others and, from afar, determined their condition to be inferior...severely lacking...you can tell that you love God more than they do and you don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t love God as much as you do. “Enjoy God”, a TOTALLY subjective experience, can be measured outwardly, by you.

What’s wrong with this picture? Your judgy remarks sound something like “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are...”.

You seem to be dancing around your own words.

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Old 02-26-2020, 06:18 AM   #26
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

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It’s not about John Piper and CS Lewis, or even “enjoying God”. It’s about what you said. You have compared yourself to others and, from afar, determined their condition to be inferior...severely lacking...you can tell that you love God more than they do and you don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t love God as much as you do. “Enjoy God”, a TOTALLY subjective experience, can be measured outwardly, by you.

What’s wrong with this picture? Your judgy remarks sound something like “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are...”.

You seem to be dancing around your own words.

Nell
Okay. It doesn't seem we're communicating well here. I've said what I can I think - it's what was in me to pray way back then. I prayed it and all I know is he's been faithful to put me with those that love Him (even more than I do)! Amen.

Sorry that bothers you so much (but then again, perhaps it was meant to . . .).
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:16 AM   #27
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

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Okay. It doesn't seem we're communicating well here. I've said what I can I think - it's what was in me to pray way back then. I prayed it and all I know is he's been faithful to put me with those that love Him (even more than I do)! Amen.

Sorry that bothers you so much (but then again, perhaps it was meant to . . .).
I don’t know if that was some kind of slam...perhaps it was meant to...but OK. I’ll start you off...

I’m sorry I was judgy toward some of my brothers. That was not my intention, but that’s what came across and I apologize for that. I don’t know where my brothers are in their walk with the Lord, and I cannot know. I realize that we all need prayer, encouragement and support. We all will be severely lacking in our lives at some point and I would like to acknowledge my own lack.

I’m grateful for my experiences and leading from the Lord. If others enjoy God along their way, I rejoice with them. If not, I also rejoice with them.

Again, I misspoke and I’m sorry.

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Old 02-26-2020, 08:39 AM   #28
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

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I don’t know if that was some kind of slam...perhaps it was meant to...but OK. I’ll start you off...

I’m sorry I was judgy toward some of my brothers. That was not my intention, but that’s what came across and I apologize for that. I don’t know where my brothers are in their walk with the Lord, and I cannot know. I realize that we all need prayer, encouragement and support. We all will be severely lacking in our lives at some point and I would like to acknowledge my own lack.

I’m grateful for my experiences and leading from the Lord. If others enjoy God along their way, I rejoice with them. If not, I also rejoice with them.

Again, I misspoke and I’m sorry.

Nell
Thanks. All good!

Something came up in me yesterday as I was walking the dog, and I don't know if this would be helpful pursuant to the original topic. The old and new covenants can be likened to a marriage. In one case the wife is not loving or faithful. But the husband does his best to love her. She even asks the husband for a set of rules that will make her a good wife, so the husband complies. The wife then does her best to do all the things the husband has listed, and has some marginal success. She does her best to perform the proper marriage duties as prescribed. But her heart is not in it, and she fails over and over, even having affairs outside the marriage. (think of Gomer in the book of Hosea) The husband is not satisfied by her dutiful practice at all - there is no joy in the marriage and the enjoyment of the relationship is not possible.

But then the wife dies, and the widower marries another. This wife is full of love and energy for her husband and does all kinds of delightful things for him. No rules are needed, because she just acts out of love. She has total freedom in the marriage, because her love for her husband is to her a much better law - the law of love. The husband and wife are free to enjoy each other to the uttermost in this atmosphere.

To me this seems like a good picture of the enjoyment of God we've been called into.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:14 PM   #29
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

Nell, I loved reading your baseball story. God is amazing....and I agree, He set up both meetings, on the park bench and then at the games, with your seatmates. He used your interest in baseball for a divine appointment to encourage the Baptists.....He is awesome!

StG, thanks for responding. I'm glad you clarified for me. I took what you said the same way as Nell. Your account seemed to paint a picture of you ditching fellowship because their enjoyment of God was not up to your standards or your level of enjoyment. Maybe I misunderstood? I just think it is hard to read such a thing, the enjoyment of God, in a brother or sister in Christ. I do believe the Lord desires us to know nothing except Christ crucified, in each other. So I see that in you, and that is all! God bless you, brother!
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