Just last month, we were celebrating the true joy of Christmas, our Lord Jesus Christ. But what does it mean to enjoy him? What do you do when you don’t desire God? More importantly, what can you do when you don’t desire God?
1. What is the book about?
I’m not sure about you but one statement I’m well-acquainted with is “I’m too busy to read” or the classic excuse “I wish I had time to pray more”. Usually it’s not that we can’t find any time to enjoy God, it’s more likely that we can’t find any joy in our time with God. Since our relationship with God is simply too important to ignore, this is indeed a good dilemma to reconcile! Author Tim Chester seeks to directly address this dilemma in Enjoying God. This book argues that enjoying God is possible in every season of life, throughout all the peaks and valleys in life. In one sense, the answer Chester offers is nothing new or unfamiliar – but rather, by returning to the means of grace, you place yourself on the frontline of the transforming work of the Spirit.
2. What did I learn?
Word. Spirit. Community. If you have been a Christian for a certain period of time, you’ve likely come across these three words – so much so that you may have turned a deaf ear to them and thought to yourself, “I can rehearse them backwards”! But here are three things I’ve gathered:
Regarding the Word – reading the Bible is both an informational and relational process whereby we hear the voice of our Creator and Heavenly Father, and we know His presence personally presented to us.
Regarding the Spirit – He is the Advocate given to us, through whom we have life, hope, freedom, power, and courage. These are the wonderful privileges of being God’s children.
Regarding community – we see, hear, touch and experience God’s love in the life of the Christian community. In other words, we can enjoy God when we receive and show love to one another.
Chester’s wisdom has fuelled and furthered my faith – faith that sees the extraordinary work of God in all the ordinary things of life. Do you see every pleasure, pain, joy, fear, failure, temptation and suffering as having the potential to draw us closer to God? Because the great reality is, they all do!
3. What did I enjoy?
This book is easy to read and well-structured – and who doesn’t like structures? Without spoiling much of the book, it started off with Mike and Emma’s Monday Morning. Mike and Emma are a Christian couple seeking to enjoy God in their different roles after a refreshing experience the day before at church. What does their Monday morning look like? Cramped train, spilt milk and a stained shirt to say the least! How can God possibly be working today? As Christians, Mike and Emma don’t doubt that God exists and is present – but how? Their story is one that threads throughout the entire book, but also one that we could undoubtedly relate to. Each chapter of the book helpfully contains reflection questions and action points that prompt deep contemplation and practical life implications.
4. Why should other people read it?
It sounds counterintuitive to read when you don’t feel like it. But be encouraged that if you’ve read this article thus far, you’re off to a bright start! This book sheds light into two great, but not unfathomable, ideas that makes enjoying God a reality for us – namely, our God as the three Persons of the Trinity and our unity with God in Christ.
Is it crazy to say that I was enjoying God as I was reading through the book!? If I were to describe my experience reading through the book, it would be this: Think of yourself as a champagne bottle, waiting to explode, fizzing and bubbling over – I hope that you too will find this to be your experience of enjoying God. Would you like to embark on your journey of finding lasting joy and comfort simply through enjoying our great God?