Posts Tagged ‘Reverence for God’


Long ago in Sunday School, our teachers taught us proper respect for God. The rules of reverence included:

  1. Be quiet and solemn in worship.
  2. Bow your head, close your eyes, and fold your hands to pray.
  3. Always treat God’s house with utmost respect. Never run.
  4. Never place your Bible on the floor.

The first rule was the most difficult to keep. I failed many a Sunday. My legs wanted to swing, my hands wished for crayons and paper, my eyes longed for a book. Sitting still in church was tortuous.

Years later as an adult, I came across the Westminster Shorter Catechism, a list of 107 questions and answers that explain the Christian faith.

The first question asks, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer shocked me.

“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.”

The beginning of the statement made perfect sense. Paul clearly stated: “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

But I was caught off guard by the second part.

Enjoy God?”

That was a startling, new idea for me, even though the Shorter Catechism has been in use since 1647. (Yes, that was well before my days in Sunday School.)

That new idea warranted further consideration. Did I enjoy God?

His blessings and benefits certainly brought me joy. But God himself? How could I enjoy Someone who’s invisible and rarely speaks audibly?

As the years have passed, I’ve discovered that, although God deserves the utmost reverence and respect, we need not always be solemn. We can laugh and sing for joy in his presence (Psalm 68:3 MSG).

In fact, enthusiastic praise of God, especially in the company of others, is an invigorating way to enjoy him. We can revel in who he is—our God of goodness, grace, and love. We can celebrate what he has done—supplying our needs, guiding the way, and surprising us with gifts we didn’t even ask for.

While we’re worshiping, we can lift our hands toward God (Psalm 63:4). That simple act alone, symbolizing our openness,  augments our connection to him.

hands raised in prayer

Even hands placed palms up on the lap can add to our enjoyment of God. Steve and I learned this posture from one of his professors, when he attended seminary. After a teaching session on prayer, Dr. Stanger instructed us to place our hands in our laps, palms up. We sat in silence for a few moments, and suddenly I felt a tingling in my hands! Was the Spirit of God actually holding my hands as we prepared to pray?

Dr. Stanger explained that the pressure on the backs of our hands was causing the phenomenon.   But wasn’t it wonderful to imagine God gracing each of us with his personal touch? Yes, supremely delightful.

We can also take the celebration outside and enjoy God as the Creator and King of the universe. Look to the sky and contemplate the galaxies of stars in infinite space. Smile at him in wonder because each one of those infinite celestial bodies is under his control.


Another way to enjoy God is to take delight in his scripture. We can express appreciation to him for the strength, comfort, and peace his Word provides, as well as those passages that are the joy of our hearts (Psalm 119:111).

Those of us who like to write find great joy in composing journal entries, poetry, personal psalms, and more, addressed to God, as a way of expressing our pleasure in him. Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, has inspired some of us to follow her example and go a step further: record thoughts or impressions we receive from God as we wait in his presence.

In these ways and more God has made it possible for us to enjoy him now and forever.

Psalm 89 15, 16(1)

 “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,

Who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.

They rejoice in your name all day long;

They exult in your righteousness.

For you are their glory and strength”

(Psalm 89:15-16).

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Dare I say it?  Is it too irreverent? You are FUN, God! I love spending time with you, rejoicing in you, celebrating your works, reveling in your presence, taking delight in our communication back and forth. What a glorious privilege you have granted us, Father, to nestle close to you and experience fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore.  Thank you for being our ultimate delight!

(Psalm 100:1-2; John 10:27; Psalm 65:2; Isaiah 40:11; Psalm 16:11)


What are some ways YOU enjoy God?  Please share in the comment section below!


(Photo credits:  www.imgarcade.com; http://www.pam-intheshadowof his wings.blogspot.com; http://www.sciencedaily.com; www. specificfeeds.com.)


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Breathe in this truth, long and deep:  God delights in you.

“That’s impossible,” you may say.  “I can be downright self-centered, lazy, and prideful.  Some days I can’t seem to do anything right.  How could God possibly be pleased with me?”  (I am quite familiar with this train of thought myself!)

Listen carefully.  “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love (Psalm 147:11).”


Fear, in this case, does not refer to terror.  Fear refers to these attitudes:

  • reverence
  • trust
  • respect
  • awe
  • consideration
  • appreciation

The second half of that verse makes clear that God rejoices in those who turn to him with faith.

If those terms describe your heart, then the following statements are true of you:

He smiles upon you as you express appreciation for his blessings.

His eyes glisten with love as you pray for guidance and strength.

He revels in the time you spend immersed in his Word.

His heart fills with joy as you exult in creation.

He beams with pleasure when you help a stranger.

He rejoices when your heart is filled with peace and joy.

Yes, there are going to be moments when we stumble back into selfishness and pride.  We’re not perfect—at least I’m not.  But hallelujah!   God does not leave it up to us to work through the perfecting-process alone.

Consider this good news the writer of Hebrews shared:  “May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:20-21).

Wow.  God not only makes clear what pleases him, he works in our hearts and minds to mold us into those kind of people.

Meanwhile, I think he takes great pleasure in progress, just like human parents do.

You know how it is.  Mom and Dad practically shiver with excitement when their little tyke takes his first step and speaks his first word.

baby walking with mother small

But did they leave their little one to learn these skills on his own?  Hardly.  With loving attention they held the little guy upright so he could practice taking steps.  They repeated words countless times until their toddler could form them on his own.

Now relate this situation to our Heavenly Father.  Isn’t it probable he experiences the same joy as we take faltering steps toward spiritual maturity?  And he’s not leaving us alone to find our own way.  He’s equipping us and working in us all along the way.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    

Thank you, Lord, for being a gracious God who actually delights in his children.  Thank you for loving us in spite of our failings and for smiling upon our efforts, meager as they may be.  Our hearts are filled with awe and gratitude to realize you, the ultimate, all-powerful King of the universe, not only care about each step of progress we make, you are right beside us.  You are magnificent—I can never praise you enough!

(Photo credits:  www.pinterest.com; http://www.bsna.co.uk.)


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