“I will thank the Lord at all times. My lips will always praise him.
I will honor the Lord. Let those who are hurting hear and be joyful. Join me in giving glory to the Lord. Let us honor him together. … Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who goes to him for safety.” (Psalm 34:1-3, 8)
What’s the point of going to your favorite restaurant if you had to rush in and eat your favorite meal for twenty minutes and then immediately fill yourself up with junk food afterwards?
Your favorite meal is supposed to be savored (enjoyed and relished with unhurried appreciation). In the same way, God’s greatness and presence are meant to be savored.
You probably wouldn’t use that exact word, but the Bible is clear that to know God is to enjoy Him. When we worship God, we should savor (enjoy) His presence and His wonderful love because there is nothing more magnificent in the entire universe. As Psalm 16:11 says: “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
In a world of fast food and continual multi-tasking, we easily forget to savor God’s presence and greatness. It is so sad how we often enter His presence for a few minutes and they hurriedly rush to fill ourselves with what is next. Savoring God is different. For when I “taste and see” the greatness and goodness of God, I experience God’s life and joy—something this world cannot take away from me.
When I begin to focus on and enjoy the greatness of God and His love for me, four things happen in my everyday life:
- My desire for sin and selfishness decrease.
If God’s presence brings eternal pleasures (Psalm 16:11), then why would I want to lose that for the sake of some sin that isn’t as pleasurable or doesn’t last as long? Trying to live a sinless life without the experience of the joy of His presence is pointless and powerless. Most of our morality problems are really worship problems. We lack God’s pleasures so we are starving for any substitute.
- The power of fear and hopelessness decrease.
When I see how great and powerful God is, problems that seemed so big to me are put in perspective. God’s greatness and His perfect love drive away all fear (1 John 4:18) as you realize that “if God is for you, who can be against you?” (Romans 8:31). Worry isn’t a personality type. It’s a lack of worship.
- My desire for the things of God increases.
In Matthew 13:12, Jesus said, “Whoever has will be given more, and he will have in abundance.” The more I enjoy God, the more I want to be around Him and His ways. The more I am in His presence, the more I hunger for more of His presence and His Word. Your education level has very little to do with your desire and success in reading God’s Word. It’s directly related to how strong of a true worshiper you are.
- My desire to share Him with other people increases.
You love to share things you savor. Whether it is a great song, movie, or meal, joy increases when you share it with others. You enjoy other people enjoying it! If you know you should share God more, but don’t, it may not be an evangelism problem. It may be a worship problem.
So, how do you start to savor God, if that has never been your experience? The answer to that includes time, trust, and talent.
First, take the practical step of giving yourself time to focus on who God really is. Make yourself get up a little early (you’d do it for your favorite hobby on the weekends) and give yourself time to enjoy God’s presence.
Second, trust the Holy Spirit to bring you into God’s presence as you have an open heart and a willingness to hear from God through the Scriptures. Read about His life being given for you. Read about His miracles and His message of radical love for you and the whole world. Invite the Holy Spirit to make His presence real to you.
Finally, seek God in your talents. Ask yourself this question: “How did God make me to enjoy Him and serve Him? Outside of sin, what brings me enjoyment?”
While all of us should grow in savoring God in song and corporate worship, God also made each of us to enjoy Him in different ways. If you are having trouble savoring God, start with the things you enjoy the most and seek God’s greatness there. Some of us savor Him through music, some through study, and others through serving. Some of us like to draw and some of us like to explore. Some of us like consistent study routines and prayer lists. Whatever means God has given you to enjoy life is a gift from Him. Find God there. Just remember that savoring means to “enjoy or relish something with unhurried appreciation.” So, give yourself time to seek and discover God in the things you naturally love to learn about or experience.
As a busy dad in the suburbs, I love to break out of my routine and be with God in nature. Whether it’s under a tree on a hammock, out in the country side, or in front of the ocean, I can’t help but savor God’s greatness and majesty in the solitude of nature. When I give myself time to “taste and see” God’s creation, I always begin to enjoy, savor, and be filled with His presence. For me, that is always the best way to kick start a new season of feeling closer and more in love with God.
As you begin this day, I want to encourage you to savor God today. Take time to appreciate how good He is to you and how His promises will not fail. If you’re in a rush today, realize you need to slow down and seek Him first. Start planning time this weekend to really savor God in the way you would enjoy Him the most. I promise you won’t regret it.
Making Jesus the Center of Wednesday
God’s Promise to Remember: “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).
God’s Power to Pray For: Holy Spirit, show me how to savor Your presence and enjoy Your goodness. Let all sin, selfishness, fear, and hopelessness evaporate as I welcome Your presence and promises in my life today. Show me the ways You made me to especially enjoy Your company and Your greatness. I want to worship You in spirit and truth today. Here are some of the things I enjoy most about You:
God’s Person to Share With: How do you best connect with God and enjoy His Presence? What parts of the Bible do you enjoy reading the most? Hearing your prayer partner’s answers may spark new thoughts about how you can find your best moments of worship with God. This is a great question to ask the family at the dinner table.