God is Most Glorified in Us When We Are Most Satisfied in Him

There are a number of sentences that have changed and shaped my life. Over the next few posts, I’m going to share them. Here’s the first: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him

This sentence was coined by John Piper as a statement to summarize his life philosophy, Christian Hedonism. It changed my life because it helped me see that the biblical command to glorify God in all things (1 Cor 10:31) was not at odds with my desire to be fulfilled. God’s glory and our joy are not opposites.

But notice, the phrase is NOT “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied.” God does not receive glory from any kind of human satisfaction.

God is not most glorified when I receive my highest satisfaction from food, sex, football, friends, or family. This actually minimizes God, making it seem like created things are more valuable than him (Rom 1:25).

In reality, God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. When I see God as the treasure that he is…when I go to him as the fountain of living water…when I trust in him to be enough for me…when I see that in his presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11)…that’s when God is most glorified.

The more I can find my joy in God, the more I will fulfill my purpose for existing.

Resources to Explore

CRAWL: Listen to John Piper’s sermon, “Undoing the Destruction of Pleasure,” a message he gave at the University of Minnesota.

WALK: Read John Piper’s short book, The Dangerous Duty of Delight.

RUN: Read John Piper’s long, magnum-opus book, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (link has a free PDF version) or watch Piper teach the material as a seminar.

Published by Luke Simmons

I was born and raised in Denver, CO and lived there through high school. Then I moved to Champaign, IL where I attended the University of Illinois and played on the Fighting Illini baseball team. I was married in December, 2001 to Molly, who I met at the U of I. In June of 2002, we moved to Phoenix and have been here ever since.

4 thoughts on “God is Most Glorified in Us When We Are Most Satisfied in Him

  1. I think this statement by Piper, while attractive, is wrong. God is most glorified in us when we are ‘most obedient’ (or just ‘obedient’) to him.

    When Jesus was in gethsemane he placed his obedience to God above his personal satisfaction in God. He said, “Take this cup from me, but not my will. . . Be done”. Had Jesus prioritized his personal ‘satisfaction in God’ he would have carried out his own will and bypassed the cross. Instead he prioritized God’s glory by obeying the Father and saying, “. . . Not my will but Thine be done.”. Our obedience to God trumps our ‘satisfaction in Him’, at least it did for Jesus.

    In Hebrews Chapter 12, the author tells us that Jesus ‘endured the cross’ in order that he might experience the ‘joy’ (the ‘joy set before him’) of being with his people forever. Here, Jesus’ obedience to the Father (Hebrews 10:4ff.) precedes in both importance and time, his personal joy – or satisfaction.

    1. Drew,
      I certainly appreciate your value of obedience. You sited verses stating it’s importance – I believe another half dozen further emphasize the point that obedience is big deal. Your description, though, begs the question, “Has he heard Piper talk about it?” There’s a two part sermon that Piper gave a number of years ago that many have stated changed their view of discipleship, evangelism, personal devotion, etc. One of my favorite aspects of this sermon series is the density of Scripture – a second component is the clarity and specificity of the scripture to the points made. Regardless of your opinion on the topic, this bath in the sovereignty of God is good for the soul.


      As an aside, the full text is available on the website if Piper’s slow speaking style is troublesome. You lose some of the emphasis that he is trying to make – but it’ll take you about half of the time to get through the material.

    2. I do not think that joy and obedience are mutually exclusive. Obedience with joy glorifies God more than obedience without joy, or worse still begrudging obedience. But it is also true that we struggle to see the joy behind obedience, and so we choose obedience even when we do not see the joy in it. But this does not nullify the point – if we see the joy and obey, that does not diminish the obedience. Consider Psalm 40:8 – the psalmist delights to do God’s will. If our hearts completely internalise God’s law and His perfect will, then obeying God is equivalent to pursuing joy in Him.

  2. Would obedience from a heart not satisfied in God and all His promises be an obedience to God because He is dominant, therefore becoming an obedience that looks like duty. Whereas obedience from a heart that is satisfied in all that God is for us in Christ is obedience from love.

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