Please read through the two quotes slowly and think about their implications when it comes to 1. Your daily pursuit for pleasure (what things will you do today to enjoy yourself?), 2. God’s desire for His own glory (what things will you do today to bring God glory?) Do you view these two questions as having little or nothing at all to do with each other?
These two quotes from Jonathan Edwards are the two most clear statements I have ever heard on this most critical issue…how can I live my life for the glory of God (the one thing that I am most fearful of failing at…to fail at this is to waste my life) when my heart has such a passion for pleasure…a passion often wrongly directed to things that have nothing to do with God or things that are contrary to the character of God. The path most chosen is “one or the other”…”either or”…Edwards thinks not and argues that the Bible calls for something different.
“Because God infinitely values His own glory consisting of knowledge of Himself, love to himself, joy in Himself He therefore valued the image communication or participation of these in the creature and it is because he values himself that he delights in the knowledge and joy and love of the creature as being Himself the object of this knowledge, love and complacence. Thus God’s respect to the creatures good and His respect for Himself is not a divided respect but both are united in one as the happiness in the creature aimed at is happiness in union with Himself” Jonathan Edwards
“God is glorified within Himself in these two ways, by appearing to Himself in His own perfect idea of Himself or in His Son who is the brightness of His glory. Two, by enjoying or delighting in Himself by flowing forth in infinite delight in Himself or in His Holy Spirit. So God glorifies Himself towards the creatures also in two ways; by appearing to their understanding and communicating Himself to their heart in their rejoicing and delighting in and enjoying the manifestations that He makes of Himself. God is glorified not only by His glories 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 may communicate and that the creature receive His glory, that it might be received by the mind and the heart. He that testifies his idea of Gods glory doesn’t glorify God so much as he that testifies his approbation of it and his delight in it.” Jonathan Edwards
These two paragraphs are quoted in Piper’s sermon;
A God-Entranced Vision of All Things: Why We Need Jonathan Edwards 300 Years Later (10-10-03) 56:49 John Piper A God Entranced Vision of All Things Conference Message 1
The passion for pleasure in our hearts is God given and He intends that we satisfy that passion in the One object that is infinitely satisfying, the One thing whose nature is pleasant, lovely, beautiful, (all of these in a holy/Godlike/unique way) enough so as to satisfy God Himself…the One object is God. To delight in anything else above, in the place of or alongside of God is to reduce the all satisfying glory of God and equate it/count it unworthy to be compared to that of infinitely lesser beings or things…this is the heart of all sin Jer 2:13; Rom 1:21. When our passion for pleasure finds its satisfaction in the knowledge of and delight in God…we attain the end for which we were created…the glory of God. Thus our pursuit for holiness is our fight for joy in Christ…the battle to turn our hearts from lesser pleasures that we might delight ourselves in the Fountain of delight. Although I had listened to his argument “God is most glorified in man when man is most satisfied in Him” these two quotes from Edwards have served to crystalized the point and impress the urgency to “violently vehemently pursue my joy in Christ” for that is the only way my God will be glorified in me.