Perspective and Pleasant Places–Our Satisfaction

Lord, my allotted portion and my cup,
    you have made my destiny secure.
Pleasant places were measured out for me;
    fair to me indeed is my inheritance.

Those are the sentiments of the author of Psalm 16.

John Piper and Jonathan Edwards simply reword what had been stated earlier.  Consider these words from John Calvin (1502-1546):

The Psalmist confirms more fully what he had already said in the preceding verse with respect to his resting, with a composed and tranquil mind, in God alone; or rather, he so glories in God as nobly to despise all that the world imagines to be excellent and desirable without him. By magnifying God in such honorable and exalted strains, he gives us to understand that he does not desire any thing more as his portion and felicity. This doctrine may be profitable to us in many ways. It ought to draw us away not only from all the perverse inventions of superstition, but also from all the allurements of the flesh and of the world. Whenever, therefore, those things present themselves to us which would lead us away from resting in God alone, let us make use of this sentiment as an antidote against them, that we have sufficient cause for being contented, since he who has in himself an absolute fullness of all good has given himself to be enjoyed by us. In this way we will experience our condition to be always pleasant and comfortable; for he who has God as his portion is destitute of nothing which is requisite to constitute a happy life.

“We have sufficient cause for being contented”

Indeed!

God is enough.

That is an objective reality.  But how is it possible for our experience to match that objective reality?  How can we reach a point where we are fully-satisfied if all we have is God?

Is it by sampling the buffet of the options in the world around us?

Maybe.

You don’t know how good the burger is at Kenny’s Bar and Grill without having first tasted a McDonald’s sandwich.  Isn’t that the message of the book of Ecclesiastes?  A man with every flavor alternative found it all bland.  Nothing satisfied.  He had numbed his taste buds.

Another author offers a better approach.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

Two aspects of that verse are obvious:  (1) We can taste of God, and (2) When we taste of God, we find Him to be good.

First, we can taste of God.  This does not mean God is food or that food is God.  Instead, this teaches us that God can be experienced.  We can apprehend Him with our senses.  A vibrant relationship with a living God can be become a reality.

Second, when we taste of God, we find Him to be good.  The author is not meaning that we find the Lord to be omnibenevolent (all-good).  Rather, he is teaching us that God is satisfying.  When we truly experience God, we being to comprehend that He truly is all that we need.

Several passages in the New Testament proclaim this.  I have pasted them below.  As you read them, meditate upon your present experience with Christ.  Do you have a healthy, growing relationship with God?  Are you finding the Lord to be good–satisfying?  Are the sentiments offered below part of your own testimony?

Php 4:12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

 

Heb 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”

Heb 13:6 so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”

 

 

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