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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Desiring God Wednesday

Welcome to the first installment of "Desiring God Wednesday"!

Over the next several weeks, I will be posting each Wednesday about what I have read and pondered in John Piper's "Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist". I have made numerous attempts in the past to read this book and I am determined to complete the book this time around! Piper has a way of dishing up the meat of God's word and I am hungry for it!

I have only made it through the introduction and one appendix. Like I mentioned in the post yesterday, two little things called life and having three kids keep me from being able to read large chunks of anything at a time, especially anything written by John Piper.

The two main ideas behind this book are:

"God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him."
"The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him

Are you and am I satisfied in God ALONE? Plus NOTHING else?

Are you and am I enjoying God? Really enjoying Him? What does that even mean?

I would personally like to answer yes to both of those questions, but I'm not so sure I would always be honest in doing so. My desire is to be able to answer both with a resounding YES to the praise of God's glory!

Piper will spend the 300 plus remaining pages explaining what a life that enjoys God looks like.

Piper mentions in the preface to the book that he believes that Nehemiah 8:10 is crucial for living and dying well:
"The joy of the LORD is your strength."
He goes on to explain that the pursuit of joy in God does give us strength to endure, but it also is the "key to breaking the power of sin on our way to heaven." Piper gives us this quote from Matthew Henry that particularly spoke to me:
"The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual
enemies and put our mouths out of taste for those
pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks."
I want that! I want my mouth to be out of taste for anything that would dare take the place that God should have in my life! I am reminded of the passage in Psalm 34:8 and yes I must include verse 9:
"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.
Fear the LORD, you His saints,
for those who fear Him lack nothing."
The LORD is good when....
there isn't enough money to pay the bills,
that loved one gets sick,
that loved one dies,
your child is bullied at school,
friends just don't understand,
your husband doesn't understand,
no one understands!
You finish that sentence for yourself. The LORD is good when.....
Piper says, "I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term than to gain a distaste for it because of a superior satisfaction in God."
Superior satisfaction in God, yep, that's what I want!

My prayer for you and my prayer for myself is that of the Puritan Pastor, Richard Baxter:
"May the Living God, who is the portion and rest of the saints, make these our carnal minds so spiritual, and our earthly hearts so heavenly, that loving
Him, and delighting in Him, may be the work of our lives."

God's richest blessings,


Mariel said...

sounds like a good book...can't wait to hear your thoughts on it.

I, too, am a fellow book-lover conflicted by the 'little things'...thankfully my little ones are old enough to read, too, now and can celebrate quiet moments, too...(well, I celebrate, they tend to grumble about it! haha..)