“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever” is the answer given by Westminster Shorter Catechism, mined out of Psalms 86:9, 16:5-11, 144:15; Isaiah 60:21, 12:2, Roman 11.36, 1 Corinthians 6:20, 10:31; Luke 2:10, Philippians 4.4 and Revelation 4:11, 21:3-4, to the question of what the chief end of man is.
It was not until I read Desiring God by John Piper did I start making a connection between glorifying God and enjoying and delighting in Him. Piper’s shortest summary of Christian Hedonism is: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
Piper argued that:
We all make a god out of what we take the most pleasure in. Christian Hedonists want to make God their God by seeking after the greatest pleasure—pleasure in him.
By Christian Hedonism, we do not mean that our happiness is the highest good. We mean that pursuing the highest good will always result in our greatest happiness in the end. We should pursue this happiness, and pursue it with all our might. The desire to be happy is a proper motive for every good deed, and if you abandon the pursuit of your own joy you cannot love man or please God.
When The Mind Meets The Heart
It is one thing to grasp this idea in your mind and quite another to experience it. Four months ago my father-in-law and I went to watch a European 2012 qualifying football game between Denmark and Norway. The atmosphere in the stadium, which was almost full, was electric. Songs were loudly and proudly sang. We cheered and chanted as we up and down jumped with joy when Denmark scored. The more we praised/cheered them, the more joy we received.
When the game was over, I started reflecting on the connecting between praise given and joy received. I asked myself, as a Tanzanian, what made me cheer and delight in the Danish team? My answer was simple. They deserved to be praised. Their game was worthy of my praise. It was then my mind met my heart, as I asked myself how much more praise should I give to God, who is by far infinitely superior and worthy of my very being and who unlike Danish football team, never failed me. O how much joy would flow out of glorifying Him.
Do you crave to enjoy God? I would advise you to start praising Him. Are you craving for unfailing and unending joy? Pray that He would be your center, your treasure, and the supreme desire of your heart, mind, strength and soul. You will sing, dance; up and down you will jump with joy. He will receive the praise and you will receive the joy. That is your chief end.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”