Fellowship With God
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Psalm 34:8
A sustained satisfaction in God first begins with genuinely knowing God—His character, His attributes, His ways. It is rooted in the knowledge of God's revelation of Himself through the entire counsel of Scripture. God is not who or what our finite minds conceive Him to be. And how we've heard others describe God may or may not be accurate. Regrettably, many of our thoughts and ideas of God are simply misconceptions or wrong assumptions that do not accord with the canon of Scripture. In a word, they are secular.
As God's creation, we often do what should be unthinkable by thinking very little of God and very highly of ourselves. This biblically askew mindset belittles God. It egregiously dishonors the transcendent God of the universe and utterly corrupts His design for our lives. One of the immediate negative repercussions of this corruption—of misplaced glory—is that our failure to esteem God rightfully undermines our happiness in God.
Recall that we must accurately know God to be happy in God. Therefore we must know the truth of Who God is and what He has shown us of Himself in His Word. We attain a biblically-sound understanding of God's true character and nature through reading, studying, and meditating on Scripture. Also, through the clear, refining lens of Scripture, we understand how we, as creatures made in God's image, are to relate to Him properly. Absent this correct understanding, we undoubtedly become misguided and lose our way. Consequently, we will be miserable, disillusioned, and discontent, no matter how hard we try to find true happiness outside God.
It's both a biblical promise and an experiential reality that sustained happiness in God is borne out of daily fellowship with God. As we spend time with God in His Word, His Spirit breathes upon it and opens up the Scriptures to us. The eyes of our understanding are illumined, enabling us to truly apprehend God as the wondrously glorious, immeasurably gracious, and all-together lovely being that He is!
Eventually, we come to grasp something of just how kind, merciful, unshakable, and boundless is our heavenly Father's love. We become so captivated by His providential care towards us that it takes our breath away. If not a (relatively insignificant) sparrow falls from the sky outside of His visual span and knowledge (Matthew 10:29), how much more is God fixated upon and intimately involved in the lives of His dearly beloved children? Children whom He set His heart and affections upon even before the earth's foundations!! Oh, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)." "Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?" (Romans 8:32)
Understanding the sheer scope and unfathomable depth of God's love and sovereign goodness towards His children is an anchor that deepens our trust and confidence in Him. This trust in God's involvement in our lives grows and is increasingly solidified over time. We progressively develop the assurance that "Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? (Romans 8:32)." We humbly embrace that God always knows what we need at all times and in all situations; though we often may not understand, we acknowledge that God is never stumped about what is best for His children.
This all-encompassing knowledge and sovereignty of God buttresses our minds and steadies our hearts as we come to accept and hold fast to the rich truth that, "The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works" (Psalm 145:17). Our hearts are gladdened to know, "The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love" (Psalm 103:8). And we set our hearts to take God at His Word that, "His steadfast love never ceases; his mercies never come to an end" (Lamentations 3:22). In time, we cultivate and develop a refined spiritual acumen, one that gives us complete assurance that in all things, God is 100% for us—never against us (Romans 8:31). Always and all the time!
Thus, at any given moment, we are keenly aware that God is flawlessly directing and perfectly orchestrating the humanly inconceivable confluence of things, circumstances, decisions, choices, and events happening on the entire earth and in the lives of billions and billions of people.
As we progressively assimilate and experientially perceive the above truths, we learn over time to savor, with childlike faith, that sweetest of promises, "No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11). This tender, all-encompassing fatherly reassurance is intended to give us settled peace in the most challenging and harrowing of life circumstances. Amid the deep losses, heartaches, disappointments, and vicissitudes of life, we progressively learn to cultivate a rock-solid trust in our Father's masterful governance concerning everything in the universe.
So it is that God builds, tests, and refines our faith (1 Peter 1:7). We learn, by degrees, to wholly trust that everything which enters our lives—from the tiniest detail to the most significant event—has first been filtered through God's great love, infallible knowledge, and unsearchable omniscience; everything we experience has been carefully calibrated through His sovereign goodness and perfect wisdom to bring about an intended result. It is always for displaying His glory and our greatest good. This is all awe-inspiring! Indeed, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my [God's] ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9).
Synthesis of all the above pivotal truths fosters even greater confidence in our heavenly Father, substantiated and solidified in His just, holy, and righteous character. We spiritually grow to embrace the reality that if God withholds something we desire or takes away something we dearly love, we can have unwavering confidence that God always knows what is best within His plan for our lives. And a single mistake He never makes! Thus, our hearts become increasingly surrendered to His kind and providential care. Such a posture underscores our confidence in God alone and that we wholly trust in His trustworthiness.
Hence, we pray for the grace and peace to daily rest in the truth that our Father withholds nothing good from those who walk uprightly before Him. If we don't have or steward whatever it might be, it's because it isn't or wasn't in our greatest good. Oh, the great need for our souls to be deeply rooted in the truth that when we obediently take God at His Word, we decisively honor and glorify Him!
This twofold reality of both knowing God and trusting God plays a most prominent role in what it means to be satisfied in God. First, to know is to behold. And to behold is to become. (2 Corinthians 3:18) Hence, the more we behold God, the more we become like God—as we are transformed from one degree of glory to another. The result is that we are empowered to increasingly imitate God's nature (Ephesians 5:1). This enablement makes us more suitable reflectors of the communicable attributes of God, such as His love, justice, mercy, compassion, etc.
Concurrently, the more we become like God—and see as He sees—the more we love Him (and His glory), and the better fitted we are to love and care for others as He desires. In short, we progressively reflect His divine character in this dark world filled with hurting and hopeless people in need of the Savior.
Put more succinctly, the better we see and know God, the more we desire to love Him and live for Him. This reciprocal dynamic is precisely why daily time with God promotes and fuels our happiness in God. As we spend time in God's presence, we truly see His incomparable holiness, unparalleled beauty, unsurpassed perfections, and moral excellencies. These all bolster our delight in God, in Him whom our souls love. Joy inexpressible floods our hearts that we are God's and that the unspeakable gift of fellowship with Him is ours to enjoy forever and ever, through endless eternity!
Again, this happiness in God is akin to being satisfied and at peace with all God does or allows, knowing He does all things marvelously well. Thus, as we've previously mentioned, happiness in God enables us to humbly accept all His dealings in our lives, whether or not we understand—and often, we simply won't.
We hope that you are now awash with why our satisfaction in God is of such paramount importance. But if you're still wondering why, simply said, our satisfaction in God above all else glorifies God. The best way to glorify God and show Him as our supreme treasure is to treasure Him supremely. Practically, to live in such a way that demonstrates to the world that God—not its false gods—is our portion, our all in all. To show that above all things, we find our greatest delight in God. And since God is zealous to uphold His glory, has created all things for His glory, and governs all things to the end of displaying His glory, we are fulfilling our very purpose for existing when we are joyfully satisfied in Him. Indeed, God receives the most excellent glory from our lives when we receive our greatest satisfaction from Him.
Our deep satisfaction in God also brings Him glory as it displays that He is most to be desired and sought after—prized and pursued above all—precisely because He is the most gloriously satisfying Being in the universe. We are dead to the fleeting things of this world—and truly alive in Christ—only to the degree that we have found our most genuine joy, happiness, and satisfaction in God. And joyful, happy, and satisfied people are also grateful people who generously give out of the overflow of God's magnificent goodness towards them.
Indeed, the happiest people on planet earth are those who genuinely know their God. Those so captivated by His beauty, His goodness, and His limitless grace that they gladly ascribe life's greatest ambition to the daily pursuit of seeing Him more and more clearly, knowing Him more and more fully, and loving Him more and more completely. (And, intrinsic to loving God is loving others).
Oh, how sweet—how very sweet—is this beautiful fellowship!!!