“The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” I remember the first time I read this statement. My heart leaped. There was something about enjoying God that intrigued me. It captured my imagination. For weeks I found myself asking the same burning questions—“Is it possible for someone to truly enjoy God?” “Is this what my heart has been longing for all these years?” These questions kept swirling in my mind.
It was during this time that I read a comment that left an indelible mark on my life. As I mentioned in my last post, the writer suggested that the best way to capture the real meaning of this statement was to replace the word and with by. He concluded that “the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever”
Life with God was meant to be a love affair of the heart. It was intended to be a passionate, life-giving relationship that would make the things of this world appear dull in comparison. Song of Solomon 8:7 tells us, “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.”
When Solomon described love as “unquenchable,” he was speaking of his undying love for a Shulamite maiden. But through the centuries the Holy Spirit has also used the language of this verse to awaken the hearts of men and women to the ardent affections God has for them. It’s an invitation to something that He has instilled in the heart of every human being. Call it what you may—a vacuum, hole, pocket, or void—but there exists in everyone a place that longs for love and fulfillment. It’s a universal experience. And it’s placed in each of us by God, for God.
“There is only One who can ultimately satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.”
Consider the Garden of Eden. Can you imagine the intoxicating fragrance of God that Adam and Eve experienced as they walked with Him and enjoyed the beauty of a newly made world? Can you sense the invigorating fulfillment and pleasure in God that they experienced before there was sin? Can you picture the love and passion among the three of them? This was what Adam and Eve were created for: perfect relationship with the Father. They not only felt His presence; they walked in His presence. They experienced Him and enjoyed Him!
God has placed in everyone of us a deep-seated desire and hunger for divine fulfillment. We haven’t always understood what this was, so we have tried to satisfy the inner craving in a thousand different ways. Yet the fact remains that there is only One who can ultimately satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.
The great philosopher and Christian Blaise Pascal made this observation: “There once was in man a true happiness of which now remain to him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present. But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object, that is to say only by God Himself.”
Have you ever been in love? When you look into the eyes of the one you love, you realize your priorities have changed. Time, cost, distance, and sacrifice have a way of paling when you look at your beloved. Love has a way of taking you further than you want to go, making you offer more than you would naturally give, and prompting you to sacrifice the most precious things you have for the sake of another. It’s both powerful and beautiful. And it was intended to be that way before the beginning of time.
Eden is behind you. But the unfolding reality of enjoying God and walking with Him is awaiting you. The deep ache inside your heart for true fulfillment is really a blessing in disguise. It invites you to something greater than you could ever fathom: the lifelong experience of knowing and enjoying God.
This article was written by S. J. Hill who is the author of several books including What’s God Really Like?; Enjoying God; and A Love for the Ages. S. J. is a gifted Bible teacher with more than 40 years of ministry experience, at Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and Mike Bickle’s School of Ministry. His passion is to invite people to enjoy God out of an understanding of His enjoyment of them.