Sunday, July 18, 2010

Practical tips for enjoying God

In his book on developing a passion for the beauty of God, entitled One Thing(Storms, C. Samuel. One Thing: Developing a Passion for the Beauty of God. Fearn, Ross-Shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2004. Print.), Sam Storms gives some practical tips on how one might develop a passion for God's beauty:

"First, we should 'endeavor to increase spiritual appetites by meditating on spiritual objects'. Each time we surrender our minds to meditate on base and sordid objects their grip on our lives is intensified. To think we can decrease our affinity for sinful pleasure apart from a concentrated fixation on the spiritually sublime is simply delusional ... we must actually 'think' about them, ponder them, pore over them, and become vulnerable to the power God has invested in them to transform our values and feelings and to energize our volitions." (37)
Focusing our minds on anything, lustful fantasies or trivial daydreams, other than gospel truths will reinforce and reinvigorate their power in our lives. I don't want 'my neighbour's wife' or my co-workers car to have that power in my life. Neither should you. So don't put your affections and hence your thoughts on those things. But the mind is not a vacuum; it will meditate on something. So give it solid material to digest; Scripture, God-ward thoughts, Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Second, we "should 'endeavor to promote spiritual appetites by laying yourself in the way of allurement'. Posture your life so that you may be easily enticed by the beauty of Christ. Make it easy on your soul by exposing your senses to those things that awaken spiritual desire and deepen holy longings."(41)
If we are always about watching TV, browsing internet stores, listening to the radio, reading carnal books and magazine, we are putting ourselves under the enticing powers of the wrong things. We are making it hard on our souls to enjoy God. So think about those things which strengthen your passion and solidify your resolve to pursue God; sermons by great preachers, books by sanctifying authors, fellowship with like-minded believers, worship music that entices you to relish the beauty of God. That will help us maintain a posture where we can fall under the enticing beauty of Christ.

"Third, 'we should express our longings to God; they will increase by being expressed'. Passions often wither in silence. Undeclared delight is a virtual contradiction in terms. God never intended for our joy to be quiescent. 'I think we delight to praise what we enjoy,' said Lewis. 'because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.'"(42)
God's not interested in secret admirers. God wants us, commands us, to express our love and enjoyment of Him. Find ways to release the God-formed pressure that builds inside of you when you enjoy God. Sing, shout, discuss, argue, share, 'tweet', blog, compose, write; do something to give expression to the wonder of God. This expressing of our longings will feed the fire and fan the flames of our passion for God. It has that effect on our affections.

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