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Devotional, Theology

What a Lanky, Emaciated, Wig-wearing Pastor Can Teach You About Glorifying God

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Puritan pastor Jonathan Edwards has had a tremendous impact on my life, even though he often used big words that I don’t know. Reading his infamous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” in high school literature class started me on a journey of learning from this lanky, emaciated Puritan pastor who happened to wear a powdered wig (like many of the founders of America). One of my heroes wore a powdered wig! I don’t wear and don’t ever plan on wearing a powdered wig. Edwards’ fashion sense has not shaped me (you can thank me later), but the mind beneath that powdered wig has had a significant impact on my life.

What I’ve learned from Jonathan Edwards the most is the importance of joy in the Christian life. Listen up-

God is glorified within Himself these two ways: 1. By appearing… to Himself in His own perfect idea [of Himself], or in His Son, who is the brightness of His glory. 2. By enjoying and delighting in Himself, by flowing forth in infinite . . . delight towards Himself, or in his Holy Spirit…
So God glorifies Himself toward the creatures also in two ways: 1. By appearing to… their understanding. 2. In communicating Himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying, the manifestations which He makes of Himself…

God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. His glory is then received by the whole soul, both by the understanding and by the heart. God made the world that He might communicate, and the creature receive, His glory; and that it might [be] received both by the mind and heart. He that testifies his idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it. (Miscellanies)

Re-read that last paragraph.

What Edwards is saying is that God is only partially glorified in the lives of His people if we only affirm the truths we know about Him. It’s not enough for us to merely see or understand God’s glory. We must take the next step and delight in it. We must delight in what we see or understand about Him. God wants our minds and our hearts (feelings, affections) to embrace His glorious presence.

God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it.

The person who glorifies God the most is the person who-
1) Affirms (testifies) to all that the Bible says about God.
2) Delights in all that the Bible says about God.

It’s not enough to only know the facts about God. Those facts must travel from our brains to our hearts. But how do we get the truths that we affirm about God to stir our affections? We have to pray like the Psalmist:

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

We have to ask God to stir our hearts, to satisfy us. It’s a daily task. It’s a moment-by-moment prayer that we must pray. While we are on this side of eternity, we have to ask God to stir and arouse our affections for Him. It will not always be this way. One day, we will see God in all of His glory and we will enjoy, rejoice and delight in Him. Edwards preached about this in a Thanksgiving sermon in November 1734:

…they there see God. This is a blessedness promised to the saints, that they shall see God (Matt.8). That they see God, sufficiently shows the reason why they praise him. They that see God cannot but praise him. He is a being of such glory and excellency, that the sight of this excellency of his will necessarily influence them that behold it to praise him. Such a glorious sight will awaken and rouse all the powers of the soul, and will irresistibly impel them, and draw them into acts of praise. Such a sight enlarges their souls, and fills them with admiration, and with an unspeakable exultation of spirit. (“Praise, One of the Chief Employments of Heaven”)

One day we will see God in all His glory and we will be awakened, aroused and irresistibly drawn to enjoy Him and delight in Him. Until then, we must ask God to arouse and awaken us to know Him and delight in Him. Until then, we must ask God to satisfy us in the morning with His steadfast love that we might rejoice and be glad all our days. May God make us a church that longs to see Him and enjoy Him, both now and for eternity!

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Seeing and delighting in the Triune God,
~Pastor Benji

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About Benji Magness

Known in many circles as 'Rabbi', Ben-jamin is an artist and pastor who can often be seen with a scruffy beard, drinking Starbucks, listening to reggae, wearing black, changing a diaper or reading backwards. His name in Hebrew means "son of the right hand"- which ironically is the hand he would use to paint, draw or even type for this blog if he ever found the time to do so.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “What a Lanky, Emaciated, Wig-wearing Pastor Can Teach You About Glorifying God

  1. Of course, my name is Travis. Early morning.

    Posted by AnotherChristianBlog | November 4, 2011, 8:36 am
  2. Love Edwards! The dude was a genius that loved God.

    Keep Writing,

    Traivs (anotherchristianblog.org)

    Posted by AnotherChristianBlog | November 4, 2011, 8:36 am

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