In today’s world, many of us are ready to connect. There is a pleasure in connecting with someone and enjoying their company. Even for the introverts out there, your tank may be filled by solitude, but sooner or later, you will get hungry for connection with other people.
We see throughout the Scriptures that we were made to be satisfied in relationship. The problem is that life in a broken world finds us seeking enjoyment in all of the wrong places. We see how this grieves the heart of God in Jeremiah 2.
“for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.
There are several things to take away from this verse, but one of the most important is that God is a fountain of living water, meant to bring us relational satisfaction. Created in the image of God, we are made to enjoy Him.
Enjoying Jesus can be hard to really understand, but as we all know, we find pleasure in relationship with people. Jesus is the best kind of person there is. Ultimately, the pleasure we find in others is a shadow of the pleasure we can find in Him. Here are some great ways to enjoy Jesus today.
JESUS AS ADVOCATE
We all love moments when someone comes to our defense. The courtroom scenes we love the most are the ones in which, at the very last minute, a key witness or new piece of evidence steps in to advocate for the accused leading to a “not-guilty” verdict. Similarly, you are meant to enjoy the satisfying advocacy of Jesus in your place! Fill your hearts with the reality that Jesus advocates for you (Heb. 4:15, Luke 22:32, John 17, 1 John 2:1).
JESUS AS REFUGE
I used to think I loved cold weather and rain, but one day I began to consider what I do when winter or rain come. To all my fellow cold weather and rain lovers; you are all fakes. Imagine if when it began raining, you had no shelter to take. Would you still love the rain when you had no place to cover yourself? Really what we love, is the sensation of refuge that comes from enjoying the rain or cold inside our homes. God is referred to as refuge dozens of times in the Old Testament. In the same way, Colossians tells us that our lives are hidden with Christ. We are meant to take pleasure in the hiding place of God in Christ (Psalm 2, 5, 7, 11, 15, 17, 25, 28, 31, 34, 36, 71, 91, 118, Col. 3:3).
JESUS AS SALVATION
I have always found Jesus a bit awkward at the Feast of Booths (John 7), which commemorated the wanderings of the Jews in the wilderness. Jesus, on the last day of the feast, stood up and cried out,
“If anyone thirsts, let Him come to me… out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”
I always imagined something like a church service where Jesus stands up and shouts, interrupting the service. Historically speaking though, this would have been a very loud day. On the last day the people would gather and call out “Hosanna!” which means, “save now” asking the LORD to have mercy upon their sin. The priests would fill jugs of water and pour them out on the temple steps to remember the miraculous provision of water from the rock in the wilderness (Exodus 17). As the people cried for salvation and the water poured out, Jesus was asking them to quench their thirst for salvation in Him (John 3, 4, 10, 14, 1 Cor. 10).
THE ONLY WAY TO ENJOY JESUS IS TO FREELY RECEIVE JESUS
We are all searching for joy and satisfaction. As a follower of Jesus, you don’t need to trade away your joy. Jesus can be your joy! He requires only that you receive Him with empty hands. Our natural impulse is to recoil, because we don’t deserve it. I love the conversation we see in Scripture when Jesus washes Peter’s feet.
“Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” -John 13:8
Peter, in his overwhelming sense of unworthiness, refuses to allow Jesus to cleanse the dirtiest part of his body. “You’re too above this task!”, cries Peter. Jesus, simply replies, “This is the only way.” In a startling twist of religion, Jesus dispels the idea that Peter must punch his own ticket into relationship with God. Jesus makes it clear that He is the only one who grants us access. You will never enjoy Jesus until you trust only in Him for your right standing before God. Friends, let’s not run to other things for joy. There’s a merciful God, who is the source of joy, ready to give you all that you desire.