You were created for the glory of God.” Now, that is an ambiguous statement, and I have thrown it around for years and realize how ambiguous for the glory of God is in people’s ears. If you went around doing everything for your glory, nobody would call that love. God works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who first hoped in Christ might be for the praise of his glory. Walk by the light of your fire, I love the robust congregational affirmation of this recording of Capitol Hill Baptist Church singing it. The excuse is often, "I just don't feel like seeking Him." I followed up one such conversation recently with an email. Any pastor in the room has had it. I’m a flawed human and I have days where I do not feel God’s joy. That should be the number one thing you pray for. And I have to resist continually not preaching all that stuff again, because I love to preach it. The Word of God: He does exist, and just because we are asked to believe things on faith, not human understanding, many people have a problem with that. So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:24–25). You were made to see God, love God, delight in God, and be stunned by God. Subscribe to the Fighter Verses™ Blog: Email Address . Therefore, for God to be, loving must give himself. Therefore, God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation and self-presentation is synonymous with love. Is there a unifying motive for all that God does? It’s loving the truth that God does everything for God that turns a person’s life upside down. In this 10th anniversary edition, Piper offers us practical encouragement for holding onto the only source of true and lasting joy: God himself. Some of you have heard me say, I like to say it, “Nobody goes to the Grand Canyon to increase his self esteem,” because on the edge of the Grand Canyon, as you feel your soul being drawn out into this vast opening, that’s not what happens. He’s the only being in the universe for whom such behavior is love. “Encourage one another daily,” warns the author of Hebrews, “so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (3:13). After the conversation that I had recently with my friend, he followed up with an email. God does everything for the glory of God. I have a kind of person in my mind, and I do so because of a recent conversation at my church. Those are all in the book that you already read. God does everything that he does — everything that he does — in order to display his glory for the enjoyment of all those who find in Christ their highest treasure. trust in the name of the Lord Your kingdom come, your will be done.’” The very first petition that Jesus teaches us to pray is, make your name great in the world. Paying attention to what the early church prayed for can help keep your prayer life from falling into a rut. and set my feet upon a rock, May I recommend a song about God’s precious keeping power? It is a fearful thing when we are going through a season where we don’t feel it at all. I’m not bringing you a message of happiness as the icing on the cake of decision, but rather, I want to persuade you that if you understood saving faith aright, then delight in God would be a part of the cake, not just the icing, not the caboose at the end of the train, and not just something dispensable for stoical personalities. Want to desire God? God must be bent on self-exaltation if he loves us. Third, many simply do not want to seek God they enjoy carnal living and satisfying the flesh. These failures leave him feeling distant from God and, at times, wondering if he is a Christian, or perhaps whether he may even be an Esau who has spurned grace so often that true repentance is no longer possible (Hebrews 12:16–17). Christian preaching is a God-appointed means of transforming its hearers in both head and heart — not only in intellect, but also in affections. Pray for dawn and deliverance.      and obeys the voice of his servant? We want to work on this together. He died for us because we needed a substitute to bear our guilt and our wrath, and he died for God in that God needed to be shown vindicated, righteous, and holy in forgiving people like us. If you go through the world saying, “I’m going to exalt myself now, like God. That desire that God has given you is not going to be easy to obtain. Your heart begins to break as you wrap up a night of intimate worship because all your heart wants is Him! Second Corinthians 1:24 and Philippians 1:25, two apostolic mandates to me to get down there to Greenville and work for your joy, so that’s what I said, in a shorter form, to Jon in the airport this morning. I’m going to assume that conference. And this is such a … I am here to make you so happy in God — to help you feel so good about the glory, majesty, beauty, justice, love, truth, and power of God that in that you forget about yourself. Let me give you four things I’m not coming to do. “I’m an apostolic workman,” Paul says, for what? There is no gift that God can give you that would make him a loving person if he withholds Himself. Psalm 23:3: “He restores my soul. Paul speaks in a way that captures some of the mystery of the ongoing battle with sin: Wretched man that I am! We can never get too much wisdom. This is not theoretical for me. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it. Hearts tend to grow cold, and even the most on-fire Christians can struggle with maintaining their love and service to God. They hope they are. You wouldn’t. Redesigned with an updated cover and new preface. All the gifts that you think about — forgiveness, justification, redemption, reconciliation — all the glorious gospel gifts, if God says, “You can have all that, but you can’t have me on the other side,” he’s not loving toward me. Isaiah 43:25: “I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” I blot out your transgressions for my own sake, says the Lord. I am not minimizing the value of accumulated wisdom. Does it mean magnify God like a microscope magnifies or like a telescope magnifies? Isaiah 43:6–7: “Bring my sons from afar, my daughters from the ends of the Earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.” I know beyond the shadow of a doubt why you were made. In fact, in this world after the fall, God to most people is either not on their radar screen at all, or a little tiny dot that might show through the smog of sin every two or three weeks. Keep in mind that his struggle has to do with patterns of repeated sin which make him feel hopeless about ever getting victory. Worry is nothing more than fear, and fear and trust are opposites. All of these suggestions involve surrender. And so he must show us himself. They will know the truth (which may seem random to us), and the truth may set them free. It will be distracting from what will satisfy their souls, because what will satisfy their souls is God. Do not stop at experiences. p.s. No. You might be thinking you always desire God. He is exclusive in his desire. His Word becomes more precious. So I thought it might be helpful to share with you how I responded to my friend’s email. He must hold me fast. I am not bringing the message that Christ will make you healthy, Christ will make you wealthy, Christ will make you prosperous in this life so that you can have joy. I totally empathize with the frustration and fears of possibly being an Esau because of sinning so deeply against God’s mercy and light and patience. And they are in a season of darkness.      and rely on his God. Worship becomes more intimate. Now, which way are you called upon to magnify God? Hallowed be your name.” Number one petition in the church from your heart every day, and God the Son taught you to pray that. Just ask Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, John the Baptist, James, Peter, and Paul. But he also tells us that the way he fights as an imperfect saint is by the hope that Christ has a firmer grip on him than he does on Christ. When you don’t know what God is doing or don’t understand do not put your guard up. Through life’s fearful path. When I Don't Desire God.543173.i02.indd 7 8/8/13 1:24 PM. One of the messages was entitled, “Did Jesus die for us or for God?” Did Jesus die for us or for God? One answer is this: Don’t think that you need the tailor-made answer to the presenting problem. God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him. It’s the telescope-microscope analogy because magnify and glorify are very similar in their meaning biblically. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. God will straight up send you to Hell. (Psalm 40:1–2). His voice becomes beautiful. Why do you do all things? God would have to transform my heart to do what a heart cannot make itself do, namely, want what it ought to want. We desire God because we yearn for His comfort and everlasting life. The content of these several messages assumes now a foundation in another conference that I did, and a book that I wrote. Who will deliver me from this body of death? You’re most definitely not a loving person, and so it is with God. God wants me to belong to him as fully as I can in the life I am now living. But what is clear from all the psalms is that the psalmists never forsake God when they feel like he has forsaken them. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. My salvation is a miracle wrought by the Holy Spirit upon me doing what I cannot do for myself, bringing into being a new John Piper who has affections for God and is falling out of love with the world. Paul’s eagerness in all this is a reflection of God’s desire. And here, in Psalm 63 verse 1, we find perhaps the strongest expression of it. When you do not understand situations you are in, you need to surrender to God everything you have even if it’s not a lot. They seem contradictory. Troubles, even the most severe troubles you can imagine, are not evidence that God doesn’t care. Therefore, God is teaching you to pray for the glory of God. 4:19). I get in trouble with a lot of parents because of what kids do when they listen to messages like this. It’s getting this right. Answer: The fact that we should serve God is obvious in Scripture (see Luke 4:8). But he believes that Christ grips his fingernails: Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Philippians 3:12). We got to ask some huge questions. He looks away from himself, confesses his divided self, and presses on in the battle. But this must be of a pure heart. Perhaps you have considered this word from Isaiah: Who among you fears the Lord This is where Psalm 63 starts, and I want to look at it under three headings: God my Desire; God my Delight; and God my Defender. He is author of. It is a natural thing for us to worry, but our God is supernatural, and he does not want us to worry. Do you desire more of God’s presence? Just ask Jesus. And this is such a typical conversation. I want suffering people to come into this conference and come into our church and come into the door at Desiring God ministries and feel like these are not chipper people who have never tasted the dark night of the soul, never tasted the loss of a loved one, never tasted the love of a wayward child. You remember in Philippians 1:22–25 where he’s struggling: “Am I going to live, or am I not going to live?” He settles it, “Yes, I believe I probably will live. Having a baby was the desire of my heart; I was 42 when God said no. Christian Hedonism says that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. It is blasphemy to magnify God like a microscope. Once in a great while, we think we have found perfect beauty. Know this: his hands are on his children’s fingernails — day and night. Every Christian asked might have a different reason for serving God; different people are motivated by … And salvation has to do with getting where we need to be in our relationship with God. He said it in another place, lest you think that was kind of an isolated, exceptional statement. This might … That’s one of the big questions that is a foundation for these hours we have together. That’s a low salvation. You might read this title and feel this post is not for you because desire is a strong word. From my own experience, what I would say is this: If you have the grace to hold on to God’s mercy and not throw it away in apostasy, there is hope. Is that love? I have been asked, What would I say now, with the accumulated wisdom of 72 years, to those still struggling to “delight yourself in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4)? The Bible tells us clearly that God has a desire and a plan to fulfill that desire. It’s the essence of love. Editor’s Note: This message, which appears below as a lightly edited transcript, is the first part of a series of six messages based on the book When I Don’t Desire God. And all of you who’ve heard any of my talks ever would know the answer, because I say it over and over again, and I’ll say it now. Right at the center of the gospel, God is exalting God. Protip: if you want people to worship your God, try not to make him sound like a sadistic narcissist asshole. Forever. However, we have seen God do so much that we no longer question why God led us here. Trusting God is the cure for excessive worry. On the other hand, why God does things really matters, really, really matters. Jesus “increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52). Jon Bloom, my partner for ten years, who was at the piano before I came up here, asked me at the airport as we were flying down here today, “How do you feel? What does it mean for God to love me?” Here would be my answer. I am not coming with a health, wealth, and prosperity gospel, or on a health, wealth, and prosperity mission. From where I stand at age 72, I believe I can encourage you that it will come. By your behavior, your parenting, the way you do your job, the way you worship, and the way you handle your things in life, everyone should read off of your life: “God is great.” That’s why you exist. But that’s not what God has promised. Here’s the way I would define love to you. And yet there it is. Show yourself to the world, God. Regular, disciplined Bible intake is not optional for God’s people. For my name’s sake I defer my anger. A woman who comes into my office and says, like many of you feel, “It feels, Pastor John, as though the distance between my head, which is totally affirming of everything you preach, and my heart, is about a 1000 miles.” That’s why I wrote this book, and why we named this conference that. I am not here to make you feel good about yourself. 8 Preface to the Tenth-Anniversary Edition more than God. Something holds them. You also can give the sober counsel that struggling has hope of success, but forsaking the struggle does not. Happiness.      and by the torches that you have kindled! That’s a low-level American gospel message. Matthew 6:9–10: “Pray then like this, disciples, ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. He must exalt Himself. Get RID of anything or anyone that is hindering you. James tells us that if we “lack wisdom,” we should ask for it from God (James 1:5). Editor’s Note: This message, which appears below as a lightly edited transcript, is the first part of a series of six messages based on the book When I Don’t Desire God. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. One reason I have come to love the Psalms is that they are woven with desire for God. Or, to paraphrase, “I grasp for the hope for future perfection, because Christ has already grasped me and will not let me go.” Sometimes we feel his grasp more sweetly than at other times. If you get this right, almost everything else I say, I think, will follow. We’re supposed to be like God, so I’m going to exalt myself, and that will loving.” It won’t be loving. I’ve come up with this little analogy to clarify how you should not glorify God and how you should glorify God, how you should not magnify God and how you should magnify God. We should not consider it a mere religious performance, asking, “How often do I have to do it?” Instead, as Thomas Manton said, prayer is the conversation of “a loving soul with God,” and “acts of friendship and communion must not be rare and unfrequent, but constant and often.” If you’re seeking God’s will in a particular area of your life, one … This is not a comfortable answer. If you were to ask me, “Now, okay, in view of that, what does it mean for God to love me? Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith, it … Paul is ashamed of his inconsistency in these times of defeat. But our actions prove if our words are true or not. I think thousands of Christians, if they will pause to be painfully honest, will admit to the same struggles. It helps to clarify what you do do when you decide what you don’t do. I’m going to assume that, but since I know I can’t assume it totally, I have to squeeze in a few minutes of summary. We have to build on that. But if I’m not satisfied in God, it’s not because He isn’t enough. We do not think the same or act the same because we serve a different Master. Convinced of this, I know I will remain, and continue with you all, for your progress and joy of faith.” Yes, the Lord is going to leave me a little longer on planet Earth so that I might advance your joy of faith. I wrote it because hundreds of people who hear the message of Christian Hedonism with hope drift into discouragement because they don’t have the joy in God that they know they should. We are saved by the sovereign work of God by his Spirit causing us to be born again, which brings into being a new creature who has new affections for God and less affection for the world. The Bible says much about prayer — why is this? Format: PDF | Get this resource. You can’t copy him in this. It doesn’t say. It’s called “When I Don’t Desire God: How To Fight For Joy” because there are a lot of people like that, there are a lot of people who think that doesn’t matter, and there are some people that state the way it does matter in totally misleading ways. Let me say it again. Which makes matters worse if that satisfaction is missing. So if the pain full thing in your life (gay sexual desire) do not learn you to be drawn closer to Gods heart and love, then the pain is certainly not from the Fathers discipline. Let’s ask Him to work, do our part, and trust Him for the results! I’m suggesting that it would mean this: When the darkness of uncertainty and fear hangs over you, inasmuch as by grace it remains in you, don’t let go of the One you knew in the light. Why we should want to serve God is a more difficult question. That’s why the New Testament writers exhort us to seek God in community. As for your question, why does not God take it away? Your calling is you are on planet Earth to put a telescope to the eye of the world. Is that loving? It doesn’t speak in terms of simple certainties — namely, that you will definitely prove not to be an Esau. Paul calls us to admonish each other “in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). May God give you the grace to sing it anew. Now, I’m not saying that he won’t literally give you the desire, but more often than not you will have to … That’s my question. There’s nothing extraordinary about it. He loves you, just as if you were his own child, which is why you must never question your faith or you will burn for all eternity. Why are you forgiven? Heaven will not be a hall of mirrors in which you like what you see. If God has something and he doesn’t show it to us, even though it would bring us full and everlasting pleasure, God’s not loving toward us. But it is the only way forward into light and hope and relief. I am not on a mission to put your happiness above God’s glory. You’d have low-level, low-grade, non-satisfying measures of contentment. The number one prayer on your lips and springing from your heart, is “Hallowed be your name in my life, my family, my church, this city, this world. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” God leads you for his name’s sake. This you have from my hand: I prayed, hoped, and believed that God would give me the desires of my heart. When I Don’t Desire God. Do not stop at forgiveness. They do crazy things for Jesus after they learn that their joy can be rooted in something absolutely higher, more sure, more satisfying than the American dream, which dad had for them and now dad is really mad at me because they’re in Afghanistan. — If you’re not sure you even want to desire the Word… {And if you’re not sure why you should even want to desire the Word, just look at some of the benefits of reading the Bible and of immersing ourselves in the Word of God!! “Oh, poor God, he is so teeny, and so small, I must now make him look bigger than he is.” That’s blasphemy. So if you want to imitate God in God’s self-exaltation then you become God-exalting, not self-exalting, because what will satisfy people’s souls forever and ever and ever is seeing, knowing, loving, fellowshipping with God.      and has no light Just go ahead and overflow from your morning devotions. The Old Testament sage commands, “Get wisdom” (Proverbs 4:7). First Peter 4:11: “He supplies strength to us for his glory. It happens when our desire is no longer directed toward God. Trust In God. 3. We think that the solution is, “If I could just feel better about me, better about the way I look, better about my height, my weight, my complexion, my hair, my mathematical ability. How long was David in the miry bog? There is. The biggest question I’ve ever asked, I think, is this: Why does God do everything that he does? Get back to the heart of worship. As you read, i urge you to search your heart. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Isn’t that amazing that I can stand in front of these people and say, “I know totally with confidence why every one of you in this room was created. This is a terrifying position to be in. 
For my love is often cold,
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