- Delten Ens
Evangelism of Delight
When the Westminster Shorter Catechism was written in 1647, the writers first wanted to know the answer to the question, "What is the chief end of man?" The response—"to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever"—shows that delighting in God is essential to a healthy Christian life. In fact, delighting in God is the source from where all godliness to flows. Without it, the Christian will lack fruit and be full of empty worship. Enjoying God includes mindful consideration of His character and His greats acts. This meditation brings us to praise Him and therefore delight in Him because of His grace over our lives and being able to benefit from a righteous and mighty God.
Matthew 5:16 is a well-known verse to help us further understand how this leads us to evangelism.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
In this verse, our good works are compared to a light that others can see. But the question becomes, "Where do the good works come from?" A life full of genuine good works that point others to Jesus comes from delighting in God. Enjoying God is the source that our lights of Christian witness are to draw from. If we are not delighting in God and yet we have good works, others can tell that there is an emptiness to our actions. But if we are enjoying God, our good deeds are authentic, and everyone can tell we have a relationship with God that changes the way we live. The light that shines is more than just our actions, too. It is also our words and our attitudes that are greatly changed by the enjoyment of God. When unbelievers see a life like this, they see the Christian life lived out as it should be.
But evangelism goes further than having a good witness to unbelievers. It takes intentional conversations and deep engagement with thoughts and ideas. In order to get to a place where this is a desire, one must first be enjoying God. When we truly enjoy God, our desire is also to have others enjoy Him. This includes helping fellow believers enjoy Him deeper and also for unbelievers to enjoy Him through conversion. A Christian who is continually delighting in God will be focused on the spread of the gospel. Furthermore, it won't be a burden, but rather it will be a joy to tell others about Jesus and the joy He brings to life.
Delighting in God helps us greatly with obeying the commands of God. If we aren't in a state of enjoying God, obedience is a drag, and our good works are done with partial motives. But if we have that delight in our hearts, carrying out obedience, particularly evangelism, becomes something that we want to do because of our love for God. This is a great place to be in the Christian life, enjoying God and carrying out the Great Commission.
Heaven will be both the fulfillment of evangelism and the pinnacle of enjoying God. Yes, the time for evangelism will be over, but the fact is that everyone who will be in heaven was evangelized. Or to put it another way, those who enjoyed God on earth will continue to enjoy Him, to a much greater degree, in heaven. And it will be those who enjoyed God the most who told others about Him. Here, the link between enjoying God and sharing the gospel is seen clearly.