1st Jun, 2006

Desiring God

Writing from Philadelphia, PA, as I am preparing for a lengthy trial. I’m reading Desiring God by John Piper on the recommendation of my good friends over at www.arkansasrazorbaptist.blogspot.com. Fantastic!!! On p. 99 he quotes from a C.S. Lewis sermon as follows:

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.

And then, Piper continues: “That’s it! The enemy of worship is not that our desire for pleasure is too strong, but too weak! We have settled for a home, a family, a few friends, a job, a television, a microwave oven, an occasional night out, a yearly vacation, [a cell phone, a blog, a cool car, a great sound system, coffee, a fishing boat, a girls’ night out, etc. and etc.] and a … computer. We have accustomed ourselves to such meager short-lived pleasures that our capacity for joy has shriveled. And so our worship has shriveled.”

(emphasis mine)

People let themselves be ashamed to live for joy, to show true unfettered emotion, to shout, to cry, to moan, to simply live. Jesus called us to come to Him as the little children did, unashamed and full of joy. I watch my three children, 7, 4, and 2, and they beam with excitement when I walk through the door or when I simply sit and read to them. That is the joy we can have when we focus on our Heavenly Father. Why do we settle for anything less?! But we do every day, exchanging the truth of our Lord for a lie. Jesus set his eyes on the hope set before Him and that is how He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2), and that is what we are called to… to fix our eyes on Christ and live just as He lived, doing any and everything God wills for us because of the hope, the joy, the unfettered and incredible delight we have before us when we live for HIM!!!! AMAZING GRACE HOW SWEET THE SOUND!!! Let it be proclaimed in every breath we take, every step we make, every moment we have here on this earth. God commanded us to DELIGHT IN HIM!!! Psalm 37:4. What is keeping you from doing so? What distracts you? What idols have crept into your life that you are settling for something less than the true worship of the one true God?? Zealously examine yourself to see if you are settling for anything less than Him. Is the joy of your salvation real every moment? Psalm 51:10. Have you sold all you had because of the treasure of your salvation? Matthew 13:44. What keeps you from tasting and seeing how incredibly good God is? Psalm 34:8

I know i detoured from my focus on Him. And I praise Him for the discipline that has brought me back. May I keep rejoicing and thanking Him every moment for this joy He has so freely given. We are so deceived by this world.

A world of want
Ever unfulfilled;
More, the mantra…
The melody of discontent builds.
For what could be better
Than a new shirt,
A gas hungry SUV,
A work of art,
Or a garden canopy.
Surely our crowded closets
Can hold one more thing – or fifteen.
Come out and see
The latest fad;
Max out your credit card;
It can’t be that bad.
With our houses filled
But our hearts empty,
Our souls killed,
And on our lips
“Give me.”

Why??? Because we were created with a desire for joy. Let that God given blessing be what drives you to fill your joy with Him. He alone can fulfill it. He alone can satisfy. He alone can perfect and complete us. Let that cry of “Give me” be to Him.

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