Our last post demonstrated that the first part of the purpose of life is to glorify God. The second part of our central purpose is to enjoy God.
We read in Jeremiah 32:38: “they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” This verse sums up our dual purpose. But what is it to “enjoy God”, to have God for our God? Psalm 73:25-26 is one of the richest expressions of desiring God.
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
Such an expression of desire sounds like a couple earnestly desiring marriage and indeed, that is a good analogy for understanding this idea “to enjoy God”. The Song of Solomon presents both God’s desire for us and our desire for him in terms of courtship and marriage. And from Ephesians 5:29-32, we conclude that one of the purposes of marriage is to serve as a living metaphor for enjoying God.
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Another passage which expresses an overwhelming longing for fellowship with God is the beginning of Psalm 42:
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (verses 1-2)
Without water the hart, or deer, will faint and, ultimately, perish; we, too, must desire God more than anything else, having no other god before Him. By His grace, we learn to value God more than our very lives: “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee” (Ps 63:3). When we value God this highly, we see how to die is gain. Knowing that our time here is short, we rejoice, and are exceeding glad, even when men revile and persecute us (Mt 5:11-12). When we have God for our God, we have our chief desire.
What is our purpose? Our purpose, our chief end, is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Glorify Him in eating, drinking, and in whatsoever ye do, by doing all to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). Enjoy Him by being united to Christ by faith.
- Theology 101, Lesson 1A: Why Are We Here? (rightontheology.wordpress.com)
- What Is the Purpose of Life? (repost of Theology 101, 1A at caffeinatedtheology.com)
- Biblical Marriage: The Manifold Wisdom of God Made Known In Heavenly Places (rightontheology.wordpress.com)
- Of Man’s Chief End and Happiness (the-highway.com)