by Josh Hunt

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It occurs to me that although a child can learn to play the piano because a parent insists that they practice, they will do far better if they love it. They will learn to play better faster if they enjoy playing. In a similar way, only those who enjoy God will reach the heights of worship, of obedience, of Christian living.

People who enjoy God do not struggle with obedience as they did when they merely respected God. They know God to be a benevolent God who can be trusted. This has affected them emotionally, which affects their response to God.

They love people because they see in them the image of God, all-be-it marred. They are fascinated by the remnant of the image of God--the sense of justice, a tinge of mercy, a bit of compassion. This fascination with the image of God in others overcomes some of the common irritations we find in human relationships.

People who enjoy God live peacefully with themselves. They know they too were created in the image of God and have the potential through the Holy Spirit's work in their lives to become a Christlike person. This acceptance of themselves keeps them at peace with themselves. This acceptance is rooted in their trust in the creative power of the God they enjoy. There is nothing about how God created them that they are not thankful for. People who do not enjoy God are not all this way. They wish they were taller, shorter, had a different color or texture of hair--anything but the way they were created. People who enjoy God enjoy what He has done and is doing in them.

There is a tight relationship between

It is hard to imagine knowing God without loving God, believing in God, obeying, God and enjoying God. In some cases it is expressly stated that it is impossible to have one relationship without the other. For example, 1 John 5:1 assumes a tight relationship between believing and love, "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well." 1 John 2:3 assumes a close relationship between knowing God and obeying God, "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands." One more, this time from the mouth of Jesus. John 14:15 demonstrates the tight relationship between love and obedience: "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

It is also true that there is a tight relationship between enjoying God and the others. For example, in 1 John 2:15, 1 John 2:15 "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." What is meant by love? Duty? Commitment? Is he saying, "If anyone is committed to the world (whether of not they enjoy it . . .)? Or is it enjoying the object of our love? You make the call. Is John warning against having a sense of duty to the world, or a commitment to the world? Or, is he warning against enjoying the world too much? Micah 6:8 is another example. The prophet tells us we are to "act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God." Note that it is not enough to act mercifully, we must love it. Loving it implies, at least to me, enjoying being merciful. This is because we will never be obedient in the area of being merciful until we enjoy it.

Only those who enjoy obedience are truly obedient.