For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it. The excuse is often, "I just don't feel like seeking Him." What I am doing in this letter is simply reminding you (1) that God is present in the darkness, (2) that he is holding on to his people when they feel barely able to hold on to him, and (3) that though you may feel unsure of your salvation in this struggle, you may be totally sure you will not have salvation if you give up the struggle and walk away. One of the messages was entitled, “Did Jesus die for us or for God?” Did Jesus die for us or for God? First Peter 4:11: “He leads us for his glory.”. It is blasphemy to magnify God like a microscope. THEN, stay there. But this must be of a pure heart. Right at the center of the gospel, God is exalting God. I’m a flawed human and I have days where I do not feel God’s joy. No. You hope they are. You wouldn’t. How should my name be profaned? So, while this book is a mere ten years old, the Why do you do all things? God works in response to faith. This is a terrifying position to be in. 8 Preface to the Tenth-Anniversary Edition more than God. We may not be able to describe adequately what it means both to walk in darkness and to trust the Lord. We desire God because we yearn for His comfort and everlasting life. And salvation has to do with getting where we need to be in our relationship with God. He is exclusive in his desire. Troubles, even the most severe troubles you can imagine, are not evidence that God doesn’t care. by John Piper. But my point is that if you are 30 instead of 70, you should not be intimidated or paralyzed by the fact that you still have 40 years of wisdom accumulation in front of you. LORD’S INVITATION – “11 Reasons Why People Do Not Respond to the Lord’s Invitation?” 3 b. Romans 1:16 - “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” C. The invitation is God’s call through God’s Word for you to become But what is clear from all the psalms is that the psalmists never forsake God when they feel like he has forsaken them. For God to love you is for him to do everything, even the death of his Son, even at the cost of his Son’s life, he will do everything he must do for his own in order that they might be enthralled with what will make them fully and eternally happy, namely himself. I’ve preached messages that have gotten me emails from philosophy professors and theology professors. Therefore, for God to be, loving must give himself. Here’s the way I would define love to you. God loves you in that he does everything necessary in order that you might be enthralled forever, and increasingly, with what will bring you full and lasting happiness, namely himself. Therefore, God is teaching you to pray for the glory of God.      and has no light 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. Which makes matters worse if that satisfaction is missing. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. You also can give the sober counsel that struggling has hope of success, but forsaking the struggle does not. But we must first discipline ourselves before desire comes. For my name’s sake I defer my anger. “When I Don’t Desire God: How To Fight For Joy”.      and by the torches that you have kindled! Parts of the following letter are exact quotes. — 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!! I am not coming with a health, wealth, and prosperity gospel, or on a health, wealth, and prosperity mission. That’s not my message. Carve out twenty minutes of unbroken silence. He must commend Himself. Paying attention to what the early church prayed for can help keep your prayer life from falling into a rut. Having a baby was the desire of my heart; I was 42 when God said no. 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. It helps to clarify what you do do when you decide what you don’t do. 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. The answer is like a telescope, not a microscope. I’m going to say that again because in our twenty-first century mold and time on the backend of the crest of the wave of self-esteem, it needs to still be said. God wants me to belong to him as fully as I can in the life I am now living. We know that in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom” (Colossians 2:3). I have a kind of person in my mind, and I do so because of a recent conversation at my church. It’s been fifteen years since I wrote When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy.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. May I recommend a song about God’s precious keeping power? Matthew 6:9–10: “Pray then like this, disciples, ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. It’s not the life Jesus’ followers have ever had. If you catch on to what I’m saying, or if any of you parents brought your kids, that’s risky. There’s nothing extraordinary about it. It is obvious by these verses that God does not want us to worry, but to bring our cares and concerns to him. He is author of. 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. 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? 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. But he does not despair. I get in trouble with a lot of parents because of what kids do when they listen to messages like this. Salvation is not my brain doing what it can do by itself. Those are all in the book that you already read. 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. Jesus “increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52). I could never keep my hold
 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. But it is the only way forward into light and hope and relief. Pray for dawn and deliverance. If you were to ask me, “Now, okay, in view of that, what does it mean for God to love me? A microscope makes little teeny things look bigger than they are, and a telescope makes gigantic things that to the naked eye look little look more like what they really are. That desire that God has given you is not going to be easy to obtain. Hearts tend to grow cold, and even the most on-fire Christians can struggle with maintaining their love and service to God. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. Protip: if you want people to worship your God, try not to make him sound like a sadistic narcissist asshole. If you lived that way nobody would call it love. That’s a low-level American gospel message. 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). I’m going to assume that conference. This is a very dangerous conference. It’s not power to get to heaven when you die. I’m not going to give you a list of ways to fight for your joy. Why are you forgiven? Paul’s eagerness in all this is a reflection of God’s desire. (Psalm 40:1–2). The Word of God: Only God can make the depraved heart desire God. You were made to see God, love God, delight in God, and be stunned by God. 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)? When I tell people to desire God, it doesn’t mean I always do and therefore my life is perfect and I’m perfectly happy. We’re on a mission to change that. I will not give my glory to another. 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. I have a theory that for some people silence comes … Get back to that place of worship. Renew your mind. The giver gets the glory. Over two decades of wondering, believing, and relying on God’s strength to keep moving forward. I’m here to help you feel good about God, and forget about yourself and give your life away in love to others. That’s a low salvation. Paul was speaking as man at the end of his life when he said, “I have fought the good fight” (2 Tim. Know this: his hands are on his children’s fingernails — day and night. Christians are unavoidably out of step with this world. Isn’t it amazing? And this is such a … And this is such a typical conversation. If you went around doing everything for your glory, nobody would call that love. And then we have to answer this second question briefly. Let him who walks in darkness For you to be love is to call attention to him. If you go through the world saying, “I’m going to exalt myself now, like God. Most of you have walked through it. You can’t copy him in this. We have to build on that. For the sake of my praise, I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. How do you feel about tonight?” I said, “I feel like I’m on an apostolic mission. Now let me put it another way. You’re not God. And so will diligence without God. 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. God is ours, we belong to him. That’s why I wrote the book. They seem contradictory. I am not here to make you feel good about yourself. Format: PDF | Get this resource. Answer: The fact that we should serve God is obvious in Scripture (see Luke 4:8). 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. He’s the only being in the universe for whom such behavior is love. The end is to know God, and nothing less. 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. You’d have low-level, low-grade, non-satisfying measures of contentment. 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 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. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. 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. His Word becomes more precious. You want to be one who hungers and thirsts after Christ, so what practically do you do when you don't? Why we should want to serve God is a more difficult question. Feelings come and go, and you may not always “feel” love for God. It’s power for salvation. It’s been fifteen years since I wrote When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. There is no comfortable answer to how one conquers such fears and escapes such a condition. And so he must show us himself. Paul speaks in a way that captures some of the mystery of the ongoing battle with sin: Wretched man that I am! I am on what I consider an apostolic mission. You are forgiven for God’s glory. 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. 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. When this happens we our deceiving ourselves with head knowledge, instead of a heart felt desire for God. This is not a comfortable answer. Paul says, “My aim is to magnify Jesus Christ.” That’s the same as glorify Jesus Christ, but oh how ambiguous the word magnify is. And we sever it with a superior pleasure. Oh, make your name holy, pure, righteous, set apart, valuable, big, one of a kind, magnificent. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, James tells us that if we “lack wisdom,” we should ask for it from God (James 1:5). It is a fearful thing when we are going through a season where we don’t feel it at all. Is that love? It is hard to admit this, because it is so scary. In short, when you don’t desire God.. it’s because He is no longer the object of your affection. 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.” You are going to have to work hard at it. 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. 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. I am not on a mission to add happy icing to the cake of your decision for Christ. Paul prays that we would be “filled with spiritual wisdom” (Colossians 1:9). First Peter 4:11: “He supplies strength to us for his glory. 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. He does exist, and just because we are asked to believe things on faith, not human understanding, many people have a problem with that. As you read your Bible tomorrow morning, praying for supernatural insight, God may grant you a glimpse of some precious truth that later in the day will be exactly the truth that your struggling friend needs. But that’s not what God has promised. All of these suggestions involve surrender. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am bringing you a message that Christ will give you himself so that you don’t need health, wealth, and prosperity in order to be happy, but can have so much invincible joy in the durable Christ you can give up health, wealth, and prosperity in the sacrifices of love if God so calls. Keep holding on, if only, it may seem, by your fingernails. When I Don't Desire God takes all of the concepts of Desiring God and puts those in real-world scenarios.It believe it's certainly his most practical and helpful. Happiness. It will be distracting. May God give you the grace to sing it anew. You have a job. That’s why the New Testament writers exhort us to seek God in community. In fact, I just have the suspicion there won’t be any mirrors in heaven, because anything good and beautiful about you will be radiated back to you from the other people that you’re loving so much it just bounces back to you. 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. And so he had to put forth his Son as a propitiation by his blood, so that he could be seen to be just and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus. The biggest question I’ve ever asked, I think, is this: Why does God do everything that he does? It is a natural thing for us to worry, but our God is supernatural, and he does not want us to worry. God’s word restores the soul, comforts the afflicted, emboldens the weak, and corrects the sinner, but only as we really read and hear it. I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. This Psalmist is able to say that he now desires God for His own sake, and not merely for what God gives and does. 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. “I’m an apostolic workman,” Paul says, for what? God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him. We must first empty ourselves in order to be filled. Behold, I have refined you, but not like silver. 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. Let’s sum it up with Ephesians 1:11: “God works all things according to the counsel of his will.” All things. It means that when I desire God fully, I am perfectly happy. 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. It happens when our desire is no longer directed toward God. Show yourself to the world, God. Remember—God has an unlimited, omnipotent perspective that is not bound by time or space. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. Regular, disciplined Bible intake is not optional for God’s people. For God to be love is to call attention to him and, therefore, in God’s case, he’s the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is identical to love. Subscribe to the Fighter Verses™ Blog: Email Address . God will straight up send you to Hell. Third, many simply do not want to seek God they enjoy carnal living and satisfying the flesh. We got to ask some huge questions. God must be bent on self-exaltation if he loves us. If you have no faith in Christ, then you have no relationship with God (John 14:6). Heaven will not be a hall of mirrors in which you like what you see. But first a caution. He must hold me fast. We do not think the same or act the same because we serve a different Master. Let’s ask Him to work, do our part, and trust Him for the results!      and obeys the voice of his servant? It all comes down to faith. Trusting God is the cure for excessive worry. When you don’t know what God is doing or don’t understand do not put your guard up. 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. It’s getting this right. Any pastor in the room has had it. You wouldn’t be healed. I think life is not over after our worldly existence. It’s loving the truth that God does everything for God that turns a person’s life upside down. From Desiring God, “For over twenty-five years John Piper has trumpeted the truth that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” He calls it Christian Hedonism. 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. 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. We don’t believe he can. Hallowed be your name.” Number one petition in the church from your heart every day, and God the Son taught you to pray that. Want to desire God? Get back to that place where you craved Him when you first got saved. Perhaps you have considered this word from Isaiah: Who among you fears the Lord What happens is wonder, awe, which is what you were made for. 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. Whoever serves let him serve in the strength that God supplies in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” If you serve, you should serve in the strength that God supplies, so that he may get the glory, not you. In the last several years, the song “He Will Hold Me Fast” has gone deep with me and become very sweet. When we take pleasure in the idea of someone going to hell, we do not know God. trust in the name of the Lord Let me say it again. We are going to spend some time asking the foundational questions in this initial talk, so that those of you who are not familiar with what I’m building on might be a little bit up to speed. I am not on a mission to put your happiness above God’s glory. Something holds them. They hope they are. Your heart begins to break as you wrap up a night of intimate worship because all your heart wants is Him! Just ask Jesus. Paul calls us to admonish each other “in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). 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. From where I stand at age 72, I believe I can encourage you that it will come. We want to work on this together. I’m going to share that with you below. He may feel like only his fingernails grip the cliff. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, Do you desire more of God’s presence? So I thought it might be helpful to share with you how I responded to my friend’s email. Once in a great while, we think we have found perfect beauty. With just a little twinkle that you might say exists, but significance, zero. Now, which way are you called upon to magnify God? 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. It will be distracting from what will satisfy their souls, because what will satisfy their souls is God. “Encourage one another daily,” warns the author of Hebrews, “so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (3:13). Does it mean magnify God like a microscope magnifies or like a telescope magnifies? Psalm 23:3: “He restores my soul. There is nothing more satisfying than more of God’s presence in your life. Worship becomes more intimate. Walk by the light of your fire, Paul is ashamed of his inconsistency in these times of defeat. It’s the essence of love.      and rely on his God. Let me give you four things I’m not coming to do. As you resolve to grow and change this year, remember that good intentions without diligence will fail. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. If you’ve ever thought about the apostolic mission of Paul on planet Earth, “Not that I lorded over your faith, Corinthians, I am called to work with you, alongside you, for your joy.” That’s the mission I am on here. 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. Christian Hedonism says that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. (The only thing that I’m saying to do that is not a suggestion is to surrender!) The Bible says much about prayer — why is this? That should be the number one thing you pray for. We find ourselves making series of excuses as to why we can’t spend time with God. God’s word speaks often about “waiting” for the Lord, as in Psalm 40: I waited patiently for the Lord; p.s. I prayed, hoped, and believed that God would give me the desires of my heart. Other desires will come in and choke out God’s Word (Mk. Although we may still go through religious motions, our heart can be far from God. What do you say when you feel you have said all you know to say — in the book and in conversation? Trust In God. Therefore, God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation and self-presentation is synonymous with love. Every Christian asked might have a different reason for serving God; different people are motivated by … When I Don't Desire God.543173.i02.indd 7 8/8/13 1:24 PM. If you have something that you know will give others full, lasting pleasure and instead of showing it to them, you elevate and exalt yourself, are you a loving person? See especially Chapter 8: How to Wield the Word in the Fight for Joy. 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. Just go ahead and overflow from your morning devotions. You were made for God’s glory. In this 10th anniversary edition, Piper offers us practical encouragement for holding onto the only source of true and lasting joy: God himself. We must first obey before receiving the blessing. Your calling is you are on planet Earth to put a telescope to the eye of the world. Regular, disciplined Bible intake is not optional for God’s people.      out of the miry bog, And yet there it is. Once when Jesus’ disciples wondered about the salvation of a man who desired money more than God, he said to them, “With man it is impossible, but not with God.      you shall lie down in torment. (Isaiah 50:10–11). You might read this title and feel this post is not for you because desire is a strong word. Isn’t that an amazing statement? This might … 4:19). As for your question, why does not God take it away? He must exalt Himself. The first time the Lord spoke to my heart that your desire is your destiny was one time when I was watching our 10 year old son playing the guitar and worshiping in a Sunday service. What you do know beyond doubt is: if they finally abandon Christ and hope, there is no hope. Forever. If you’re seeking God’s will in a particular area of your life, one … And they are in a season of darkness. Through life’s fearful path. Not only does the Bible speak of waiting for God in the miry bog, but it also speaks of true believers walking in a kind of darkness. 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. I have a kind of person in my mind, and I do so because of a recent conversation at my church. The Old Testament sage commands, “Get wisdom” (Proverbs 4:7). Left to ourselves, our desire for God will wane and drift. God my Desire. He looks away from himself, confesses his divided self, and presses on in the battle. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! We are not saved by mere decisions. But if I’m not satisfied in God, it’s not because He isn’t enough. I think thousands of Christians, if they will pause to be painfully honest, will admit to the same struggles. How long was David in the miry bog? “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13. It’s the telescope-microscope analogy because magnify and glorify are very similar in their meaning biblically. It is God’s plan for preserving us and bringing us safely to glory. So I’m not here to help you feel good about yourself. 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.      who equip yourselves with burning torches! After the conversation that I had recently with my friend, he followed up with an email. Desire for Perfect Beauty. This man not only desires God Himself, he desires nothing but God. They will know the truth (which may seem random to us), and the truth may set them free. What does it mean for God to love me?” Here would be my answer. He said it in another place, lest you think that was kind of an isolated, exceptional statement. That’s one of the big questions that is a foundation for these hours we have together. Whether we can help someone struggling with joylessness in the Christian life depends not primarily on the quantity of wisdom we have accumulated over the years, but on how we apply the truth we have, and whether the Spirit of God turns that truth into life and freedom and joy. 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). Other parts are altered enough so as not to betray any confidences. Now, I’m not saying that he won’t literally give you the desire, but more often than not you will have to … 
For my love is often cold,
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