How do we explain what it means to enjoy God to unbelievers?
Dr. Joel Beeke explains in this video that one thing that you certainly need to do is to tell unbelievers how much you enjoy the Lord -- that the Lord has given you eyes to see and ears to hear. The second thing you need to do is you need to tell them how empty life is without knowing the Lord. Third, it is helpful to use personal examples from your own life to communciate that when you enjoy the Lord, you have something that's worth so much more than everything you've ever known before. Everything else that you may have thought to be important pales in comparison to knowing and enjoying the only true God.
1 John 3:1 (NKJV) - "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him."
So how do we explain the enjoyment of God to unbelievers when they don't know what it means to enjoy God? Well, in one way it's very difficult. It's like trying to say to a blind person, How do you enjoy the mountain range that's before us, or the woods that's before us, and the green of the leaves, or the blades of grass at your feet? Or explaining to a deaf person How to enjoy a symphony. How do you do it?
Well, one thing you certainly need to do, you need to tell them how much you enjoy the Lord, that the Lord has given you eyes to see and ears to hear. The second thing you need to do is you need to tell them how empty life is without knowing the Lord. So to enjoy the Lord is absolutely critical. And the third thing, if you can do it autobiographically, so much the better, is you can say to such people, you know, when you enjoy the Lord, you have something that's worth so much more than everything you've ever known before. Everything you've ever known before.
And I often try to use myself as an example here and I also have another little illustration I want to share with you. When it comes to myself, I was converted when I was a teenager and I say to people, I really had almost everything going for me that teens wanted in my school at that day, at that time, at that age. And yet my life was empty. I realized I was missing something and I tried to tell people if you don't have the Lord you must feel some of that emptiness don't you think? But when God came into my life I began to enjoy Him.
All the things that I thought, you know, being being an excellent student or being a really good basketball player or being popular with with guys and with girls and being involved in the school store, which was a big thing in my school, or being the vice president of the student body. All of those things were very small. Because when you have God, He's in a category by Himself. He's so much better. He's so much more.
He gives so much more enjoyment than anything else. And the illustration I mentioned is this. There was a man named Galatius who was a very wealthy man. He had anything human flesh could desire. He had a mansion in Italy, But God showed him who he was and he came to enjoy God.
He was converted came to enjoy God and He left Italy and went to Geneva to study theology under John Calvin And the Roman Catholics in Italy were so upset with him that they wrote him a letter and they said, if you come back to Italy, we will give you back your entire estate if only you get away from that heretic Calvin. And the man wrote back and said, I have learned that one hour of enjoyment is worth a lifetime of accumulation of riches. Yes, more. So keep all my goods. Keep my mansion.
Do with it whatever you want. But I have found God and He's worth more to me than anything in this world. So I would use examples like that to try to reach unconverted people and say, don't go through all of life and miss the main thing.