Day 8: Planned for God’s Pleasure – 40 Days of Purpose-Driven Life

Purpose #1: You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure

Point to Ponder: I was planned for God’s pleasure.

Verse to Remember: “The Lord takes pleasure in his people.” — Psalm 149:4a (TEV)

Question to Consider: What common task could i start doing as if I were doing it directly for Jesus*

[Read More] thoughts on Day 8 of Rick Warren‘s Purpose-Driven Life* including his novel approach to hedonism!

“Bringing enjoyment to God, living for his pleasure, is the first purpose of your life.”

The most surprising thing to me about this chapter is not Rick’s focus on God (rather than ourselves), but his use of the term pleasure:

* Bringing pleasure to God is called “worship.”
* Worship is far more than music.
* Worship is not for your benefit.
* Worship is not a part of your life; it is your life.

“Pleasure” isn’t a popular term in Christian circles today (and vice versa, I suppose). In fact, I suspect Rick may have actually found a fairly innovative (and biblical) solution to the controversial question of “Christian hedonism.” That is, our desire for pleasure (or happiness) is only valid if we subsume it for the sake of God’s happiness and pleasure.

It this paradox — what I sometimes call second-order thinking — that is a stumbling block for many on both sides of this issue. However, it also central to marriage, business, and a great many other human activities (and arguably even the natural world). In short, the only way to maximize our happiness is to die to it for the sake of something greater. In particular, focusing on our own pleasure will ultimately lead to misery, but by being willing to embrace suffering for the sake of God’s pleasure, we open ourselves to a world of delight (and more than the world).

Prayer: God, teach me to find true pleasure in you, by dying to my need to fulfill myself, and seeking to please you instead. Help me to find a healthy focus on making You happy; motivated not by fear or insecurity, but by love. Rewrite the laws of my heart, and open my eyes, that I may fall in love with you all over again. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

In case any of you were wondering how yesterday turned out: I spent a fairly relaxing day (which, weirdly, was its own kind of strain for my Type A personality). I did a little bit of everything on my list, except problem-solving (and ice cream). I don’t know if I could do that very often, but I suspect my soul, body, and even mind needed the break. Thanks, God.