Saturday, March 11, 2006

Discerning God's Will (Part 2)

One of the greatest lines of any book I've ever read sums up the whole of Christian ministry, "Missions exists because worship doesn't." (John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad). The entire Christian life is a call to enjoyment, savoring, satisfaction, and awe of the Lord Jesus. An immature faith stops at the word "obedience" never realizing the joy of it all, that obedience is not a burden for the one who has faith in Christ (1 John 5:3). Rather, salvation includes being given a new set of fundamental desires.

We are called to have a joy in Christ that transcends circumstance. Consequently, we would expect this to radically affect our understanding of God's calling. As we discern his will, one question that is so obvious that it's shocking how much I've overlooked it is this: in what would I most find myself enjoying God. This is to be distinguished from God's circumstantial blessings; I'm referring to enjoying God HIMSELF, which means that I don't call something His will because I'd really enjoy the benefit of a few added comforts. In that capacity I easily enjoy his gifts more than Him. For example, I have found an incredible awareness and availability of God in some circumstances more than others. There are certainly personality dynamics involved, but not only.

Where God calls you, He aims to be savored above every competing pleasure. If a situation is too tempting for me, because it fosters jealousy, vanity, envy, gluttony, etc., then I will invariably find my joy diminished. In some circumstances, we find His giftings of us in rhythm with His work around us. A range of factors affect this. On a future blog, I've address how we must examine how weakness to see God's will and its effect on our ability to enjoy in one situation or another.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Salvation: Forgiveness or Joy

A growing conviction I've had in the past few years is this: We have short-changed the gospel by sayingthat salvation is merely abot forgiveness and belief; I would argue that Scripture paints a much bigegr picture. Salvation is about finding the the apex of our joy in fellowship with Christ (1 Cor. 1:9). It's a very practical question: Where do we pursue the height of our joy?

The traditional way of presetning salvation (as forgiveness) makes it a one time event where someone easily stops maturing in the faith. However, when salvation IS unyielding joy in Christ, then is is a perpetual pursuit, motivated by Himself, not fear or ambition or anything else. Such a joy is ultimately satisfying.

this joy is the very reason He cam to die (see John 17:13, 24). Forgiveness simply makes such a joy possible! Joy is not an optional part of the Christian life; it is a command :"Serve the Lord with gladness" (Ps. 100:1) "Delight yourself in the Lord" (Ps. 37:4) "Rejoice in the Lord" (Phil 3:1)

Seeing and Savoring Christ

The end for which we were created is simply this: to know, savor, and show Christ. I've been slowing meditating upon the thoughts of John Piper in his book Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ.

There is NO OTHER goal to the Christian life than to be fully satisfied and joyful in Christ, not the comfort of circumstances or the appeal of applause nor the security of familiarity. I hope you'll consider getting it. his website is: ( a free copy in online there)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Selah and the Car Seat

The other day Selah was trying to strap herself into her car seat. She always likes to do it herself. She wasn’t strong enough to get the buckle locked in and immediately, she went into a panic and was utterly stressed out and in a panic. She cried out, “I can’t get it”, now in near tears, though she had only tried to do it for a total of about 3 seconds. I just sat there waiting quietly. Finally, I just said, “Why don’t you ask me for help? I’d be glad to help you if you can’t get it.” In all her frenzy, she never imagined asking the one who could help her do it quite easily. I was inches from her just waiting to be asked. She had no need for anxiety.

Isn’t it exactly the same with the Lord? For someone who hasa lot to learn about not being so anxious or stressed out, it was a bit convicting to say the least.
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