1 Praise is due to you,
O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
2 O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
3 When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
you forgive our transgressions.
4 Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
your holy temple.
5 By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas.
6 By your strength you established the mountains;
you are girded with might.
7 You silence the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples.
8 Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
9 You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide the people with grain,
for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
In 1986 a book was published that opened a whole new way of looking at God and the Christian life. The book's main idea wasn't completely original but for college students like myself it was revolutionary to see one's life in Christ in this "new" perspective. That book was John Piper's Desiring God. The book was not easy to read since Piper's prose was a bit plodding in places. But, boy, was the book powerful!
Now many of you know this book well. But some of you do not know the book well. For those who are not familiar with the book, let me quote from Piper himself about what this book is about (and you'll see how the thesis of the book lines up with the bold portion of the psalm above):
My shortest summary of Christian Hedonism is: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
We all make a god out of what we take the most pleasure in. Christian Hedonists want to make God their God by seeking after the greatest pleasure — pleasure in him.
By Christian Hedonism, we do not mean that our happiness is the highest good. We mean that pursuing the highest good will always result in our greatest happiness in the end. We should pursue this happiness, and pursue it with all our might. The desire to be happy is a proper motive for every good deed, and if you abandon the pursuit of your own joy, you cannot love man or please God.
The contrasting motivation to our pleasure or satisfaction in God is duty. Duty does have a role to play in our walk with God as it has a role to play in our relationships with other people. Without duty the whole range of responsibilities in our lives would not make much sense. But duty is subpar when it comes to God since we are called to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. The love that's mentioned here cannot be captured fully by dutifulness. Love is more, way more. The way more includes the joy, pleasure, and satisfaction of being in love, with God!
Let's ask the Lord to help out our love life today with the fullness of satisfaction, in the Triune God.
Let's pray: Father God, we come before you, number one, as lovers of you. As people who've experienced divine pleasure in being deeply loved by you and the pleasure of loving you. May our love life in you deepen. May the pleasure increase. May the joy increase. May the hope increase. You are our first love, O Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.