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God Commands Us to Take Pleasure in Him

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by Rod MacIlvaine in Uncategorized

Why does God command us to take pleasure in him?

Moses gives us the answer in Deuteronomy 14:22.  God says, Make an offering of ten percent…of all the produce which grows in your fields…. Bring this into the Presence of the Lord your God at the place he designates for worship, and there eat the tithe from your grain, wine, and oil and [from]…your…flocks. In this way you will learn to live in deep reverence before the Lord, your God, as long as you live” (Message [with edits]).

This is a surprising command, but it’s all about enjoying God.

After the people of Israel tithed 20% of their grain and cattle, they were tasked with reserving another 10% for a meal that they would eat later, at (or near) the tabernacle.

So imagine the scene: The family’s harvest is done. The seed for next year’s crops and food is tucked away in the barns. The family now finalizes plans to celebrate God’s provision…in his very presence.

Taking 10% of their remaining food, they load it onto their donkey and begin their journey.

Let’s assume the tabernacle is 50 miles away. This was a significant trek of three or four days. But it’s a journey of anticipation.

In those days the supernatural presence of God was visible in the Shekinah glory cloud that hovered over the tabernacle. To be in God’s presence was awe-inspiring. It was a privilege. After making their offerings, this family breaks out their store of food, and they enjoy it, feasting on it as an act of worship.

What are they feeling as they share this meal?

  • They’re encountering the supernatural presence of God.
  • They’re feeling close to each other as a family.
  • They’re feeling deep reverence for God’s providence, remembering their harvest was not due to hard work alone: it was a gift from the hand of a generous God.

They’re encountering the same feelings we might experience on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Eating this meal, in the presence of God, reminded them that God was the source of all they had. Sure, they worked hard to bring in the harvest, but God was the ultimate source.

This is our challenge as well.

There is a time for us to intentionally use our resources to enjoy the presence of God, remembering that he is the one gives us “all things to richly enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17).

Because we live in the New Testament era, we’re going to do this differently.

This means we weave worship into every facet of life. Any time we find ourselves enjoying the fruit of our hard-earned labor, we can shift our perspective to specifically enjoy the moment in the presence of the God who provided. In reality, God not only provided you with intelligence, strength, experience and aptitude for the tasks you do…he is the one who has blessed your efforts.

By intentionally taking pleasure in God’s provision, we glorify him and honor him as the one who sustains us moment-by-moment.

This has two effects: 1) It breaks the stronghold of our pride that lures us into thinking we are in control. And 2) it sparks generosity.

If God is our provider, then we can confidently invest in his kingdom priorities.

 

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