WSC Q1 Part 2

I am a bit clueless when it comes to the practical aspects of theology.  I love the more detached, technical aspects of theology, but when it comes to making more practical connections, I have a more difficult time of it.

When I posted on the first question to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, over 7 months ago, I thought what I posted was sufficient, but over a couple of months I began to become dissatisfied with it.  I realized, that my thoughts on it were very incomplete.

I have spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what needed to be added to my previous post.  A couple of weeks ago, I found it.  My pastor found a quote that just floored me.  The quote is by Jonathan Edwards:

“We must, therefore, be careful that our primary joy is in God, as he is in and of himself, and not in our experience of God. That we have been made recipients of his grace and are enabled to behold his beauty is a marvelous thing indeed. But it is secondary and consequential to a recognition of God’s inherent excellency. What brings you greatest and most immediate delight: your experience of a revelation of Christ, or Christ revealed?”

My first reaction when I read this was to repent of my obsession with theology that gets in the way of enjoying Him, not just His presence, not just His people, not just His Word, but Him. 

Psalm 73

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength [1] of my heart and my portion forever.

27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.

Here the Psalmist Asaph cries out for his own need for God.  Not just to enjoy His presence, but to enjoy Him.  Asaph’s reward is God Himself.  It is God who Asaph takes refuge in.

Me?  My tendency is to take refuge in my stack of theological books on my nightstand.  I certainly delight in His truth, and in His presence, and in His people.  I truly do enjoy Christ revealed, as Jonathan Edwards mentions.  But to just simply enjoy Him is not something I have been confronted with before. 

None of this means that enjoying His presence, or studying His Word for all it’s worth are things we should not pursue.  Quite the contrary, as a husband and wife should enjoy each other’s presence, and learn about each other, it is not a substitute for knowing Him, and enjoying Him.

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