A couple of nights this week, I have woken up in the early morning hours and have had difficulty sleeping. It has given me a lot of time to think and pray. I began thinking about things that I enjoy and look forward to with eager expectation. God convicted me that I do not appreciate Jesus and look forward to my deliberate interactions with him and other believers as much as I should. He showed me that I frequently get more excited about a trip, a game, or other activity than those things regarding my relationship with Him.
I do love Jesus and long for his presence. I long for his return and my welcoming home. But daily, do I look forward to my devotional time? Or is it something to check off a list? I believe it is a little more than simply a habitual routine, but it is not something that I have recently if ever, thought about in the sense of eagerness to engage. It is just something that I do. I do not feel like I rush through it, but I also do not know that I give it the care and attention that I should each day. And then I move on.
I enjoy church and times of fellowship with other believers. But am I excited in the days and hours beforehand as I anticipate gathering together?
The Westminster Catechism states that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. “ John piper paraphrases that as “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.”
The enjoyment of Jesus is not just a future exercise that we must wait to experience. God means for us to enjoy Him here and now. How can we not enjoy the means of our eternal salvation? We were once dead in our sins, and God freed us and gave us life. Everything that we have in this life is temporal. It may provide momentary satisfaction but will not last. Jesus is the only thing that we can never lose. Revel in that. Soak it in. Meditate on God and His Word, and enjoy the time you spend focusing on the presence of God in your life.
Contemplate that He never leaves you no matter where you are or what you are doing. He is a friend who always has your best interest at heart and will never let you down. He knows what we need at every moment of our lives. He knows everything about us-our likes and dislikes, what makes us happy and sad, our faults and inconsistencies, our insecurities and struggles. Our lives are an open book that He has written and of which nothing escapes His gaze.
Consider that His knowledge wipes away all inhibitions when talking to Him because He already knows the intimate details of our lives. We have no secrets from Him. He knows our thoughts and intentions even before they come to be.
Everything that God allows us to go through is character building, used by Him to mold us into increasing Christ-likeness and enhancing our eternal relationship with Him.
In the waking moments of the night, I have found myself, on numerous occasions, contemplating Christ, my life, and eternal realities. When I get out of bed, often hours later, I have forgotten things that I wanted to remember. Unless I deliberately set aside time in the morning after getting up, many of my thoughts are lost. Reading devotionals while still in bed and reading my Bible throughout the day is easy for me, and I frequently think of things that I want to remember. Unfortunately, however, I am often not in a position to record my thoughts, and many of them I forget.
Waiting until the end of the day to write and record my thoughts has proven difficult. Once I get into my work mindset in the morning, I have difficulty diverting my focus, even after I clock out for the day. I have also experienced increasing pain in my back, and by evening, I’m more inclined to relax and spend time with my family. My job as a computer programmer has me sitting at a computer screen all day, and by evening, I have found that I need a break. Although, even then, I frequently allow support tickets to pull me back to the computer late into the evening and interrupt any time of relaxation. Working from home, it is sometimes difficult to separate work and family life.
I recently adjusted my work schedule to give me more time in the morning. In so doing, I found that I now have renewed vigor and excitement for my mornings, time to write, meditate quietly, and let God speak to me, which enables me to focus before opening the door to the day’s working world problems. I am looking forward to this time each day and cannot wait to see where God leads me. I am excited about the prospects for enjoying Jesus more tangibly, increasing hope for eternal rewards amid a world full of wickedness and despair.
Whether your priorities need reevaluating, your schedule adjusted, or you have not yet entered into a personal relationship with Jesus, refocusing your life on Jesus is the best decision available in a fallen, doomed world.
John Piper sums this up perfectly regarding Jesus and satisfaction.
He is the end of our quest for satisfaction. There is nothing beyond, and nothing better.
If you don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior in your life, pray and ask God to save you by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. He died to take the punishment for all of your sins, that you may enjoy an eternal relationship with Him. Repent and accept God’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life before your time on earth ends and you bear the eternal weight of sin and death, separated from God and all that is good forever.
If you know Jesus, and God has adopted you into His family, make every effort to align your life to enjoy Jesus now and forever. Nothing else can satisfy the longings in our souls, designed for God to fill.