“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26 ESV)
In our daily life, we encounter various throughs and valleys, highs and lows. Many things can occupy our time, attention and energy. But what makes us truly happy from within? When push comes to shove, what do we consider as our highest joy? Success? Accomplishments? Fame? Riches? Good relationships? These things are great in themselves, but they are somewhat shallow – they do not last for long and forever. They are only valuable for a short time, and then we get tired of it. We get restless, and we look for something else. It is as if God created a hole in our hearts that only He can fill and make us satisfied. And then there is a matter of eternity. If life is only for this earthly life, those things are fantastic. But there is a life after this one – are you prepared to look beyond the busyness of our daily living and make God our highest joy every day?
So How Do You Make God Your Highest Joy?
- Have a long term vision for your life. What are you actually living for? Is it only for this temporal life, or is it something beyond this earthly life? Jesus said the greatest thing we can aspire for is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength [Mark 12:30]. God does not want half-hearted discipleship – see Rev. 3:16.
- Let your heart be under God’s sovereignty. Do not let anything in this world captivate your heart, mind and life. Good things like great relationships, successes, and rewards, can make us attached to this life we are quickly passing through. Remember that we are only short term sojourners on earth, not permanent residents. Live a life detached from this world and attached only to the Lord. He is your all, and nothing else matters.
- Make good use of your resources in life in loving God. We want to be rich in God’s eyes, not our own or even others’ eyes. Be generous and purposeful in using your resources for the glory of God. Build your eternal riches, not earthly ones. Live your life well, fulfilling well the roles God has given you. Serve the Lord and glorify Him with the talents and resources you have. Let God’s will be done in your life.
- Live in freedom from anger, resentment or grudges. Let the Lord form your self-esteem if you have little while you were growing up. Your primary identity should come from God, who loves you tremendously regardless of your past. You are God’s precious child, valuable enough for God the Son to die for you.
- Loving God with your mind means letting God’s word form your thoughts and opinions.
- Be zealous for others to know the Lord. They, too, live temporary lives. The best thing we can ever give to a dear friend is something lasting: a living relationship with God.
- Eagerly await your eternal destiny, where you will see God face to face. In heaven, all these temporal things will fade away, including all pains and sorrows.
God alone! God alone!John Keating
In Your courts, O my Lord is my home
You are my treasure, my portion delight of my soul
My life my salvation, my fortress, my God and my all
O my soul, claim nothing as your own
For you there is God, and God alone.
Other Scripture passages:
- I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 ESV)
- Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)
- Other references: Mark 10: 21-22; Romans: 12:1-2; 1 Peter 5:6-10; Proverbs 3:5-6; and Mark 8:34-35.
For personal reflection or group sharing
- Can I honestly say that God has captivated my heart and mind, even if I still struggle to be holy?
- What attachments do I have that I cannot live without?
Top image credit: earnest prayer to God, from Bigstock.com
Tom Caballes is a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with seven branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters [with his son-in-law and grand-daughter] live in Wellington, New Zealand.