We were created for God’s pleasure.
“You created everything and it is for Your pleasure that they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:11
“The Lord takes pleasure in His people.” Psalm 149:4
This means God takes time for pleasure. Do you think He completes His work then sits down to take pleasure in us or takes pleasure throughout His moments of time? I would say through out His time, just as we might stop what we are doing momentarily to watch a child discover something new or to listen to them laugh. We are taking pleasure watching someone else take pleasure! God does the same thing with us. It is hard to grasp that verse…we exist and were created for His pleasure. This shows us another whole dimension of God. He stops to enjoy things!
I can’t say that I stop to enjoy life or take pleasure often enough… I can’t even say that I do it daily. I feel as if I am always on a mission to accomplish or on a mission to withdraw and accomplish nothing, (but even in that I am trying to accomplish solitude, thought time, down time, etc.). Taking time for pleasure, or enjoyment, even if only for a moment, I too often look at as if it is an unwanted interruption. How mixed up is that thinking? We were created for God’s pleasure! Satan has tried to manipulate our thoughts and make us feel guilty if we stop to experience the pleasure. You don’t have time for that… This will make you late…This is only in the way…What you have to get done is too important… Enjoy this later...Wait until the next time....I know I am not the only one who tends to think this way.
Why wouldn’t we want to experience a little bit of pleasure, a moment of enjoyment interspersed throughout our days? What do we think we are proving by not allowing it or pretending not to notice that which would bring us pleasure? I am not in the habit of seeing things around me in which I can, and should, take pleasure. Actually, I am seeing them, but I am choosing not to acknowledge them. I will say that I acknowledge and take pleasure constantly in nature. As I write this, its 4:30 in the morning, the moon is bright, and yet, the light of the sun is beginning to fill the sky. The birds are beginning to chirp, I hear an owl nearby, the sky is blue, and the trees are perfectly still, after three days of rain and high winds. I am having a hard time writing because I am enjoying, taking pleasure, in the birds and the beauty that are distracting me. It reminds of something I wrote in my first blog post entitled, “My Michael”. I was describing Michael’s love for gardening together. “While we would work outside, he would stop just to watch me, come give me a kiss, or just pat me on the bottom. If it was a gritty workday, we would share a beer together at the close of the day, but if it was a tranquil day of planting flowers or pruning, it would be over a glass of wine strolling through the garden together or sitting on a garden bench. “ This is a great example of weaving pleasure in and out of work.
In the book, What on Earth am I Here For, Rick Warren says, “One of the greatest gifts God has given you is the ability to enjoy pleasure. He wired you with five senses and emotions so you can experience it. He wants you to enjoy it, not just endure it. The reason you are able to enjoy pleasure is that God made you in his image. … The Bible tells us that God grieves, gets jealous, and angry, and feels compassion, pity, sorrow, and sympathy as well as happiness, gladness, and satisfaction. God loves, delights, gets pleasure, rejoices, enjoys, and even laughs!” Do you love, delight, take pleasure, rejoice, enjoy or laugh enough each day? If not, why not? Why are we denying ourselves the best part of God’s image? Jesus stopped in the middle of a very busy, crowded moment of ministry to take pleasure in a group of children. Do we do the same? I am guilty of not having done this enough.
To know our purpose, we must know God. Rick Warren says we must practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. God does, and will, take pleasure in our worship in heaven. I am sure there will be plenty of things in which to take pleasure in heaven. Hosea 6:6 says, “I don’t want your sacrifices – I want your love! I don’t want your offerings – I want you to know Me!” Now that we know that God takes pleasure in us, that taking pleasure is part of His image, and we were made in His image, what will we do when a moment of enjoyment, beauty, or pleasure presents itself? Will we keep listening to the whispers of the enemy that we don’t have time for it or will we stop and scoop the moment up into our laps, like we would a child, and take pleasure in the beautiful moment that stands before us?
“Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going to work, walking around life – and place it before God as an offering.” Romans 12:1 Warren says, “Real purpose driven living happens in the ordinary, routine, mundane things of life.” In everything we do, as we operate in the daily-ness of our purpose, there can be moments of happiness, gladness, satisfaction, delight, pleasure, rejoicing, and even laughing. I want to know, and reflect, that part of God’s image a little bit better.
In 2 Corinthians 2:15, it says, "Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God..."
He takes pleasure in our sweet aroma.
If we are truly keeping our eyes straight ahead and our eyelids right before us, and we live fully in the moment, we will recognize the moments in which to take pleasure as they arise like a sweet aroma.