What I've Learned So Far

23 Nov

For the last few days, I’ve been reading through John Piper’s When I Don’t Desire God (available for free here in pdf format). I thought it’d be a good place now (having read through over half of it) to write down some observations in bullet-point in order to keep stock of what I’ve learned so far. As is the case for most of the Piper books I read, this has been another paradigm-shifter; a must-read for Christians and non-Christians alike.

1. Subjective Joy (in the Lord) is not only recommended, it is commanded. For otherwise, Christianity becomes a religion of external religious activities. If there is no experience of joy in the Lord, then all the religious activities we perform are dead and faithless. Therefore, there is no authentic saving faith.

2. The only one who is able to produce such joy in our lives is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we are helpless. If the Holy Spirit does not awaken our hearts to the joy found only in the Lord, then we remain under God’s wrath (and God is not unjust for this – nobody deserves joy in the Lord/salvation).

3. Yet, as helpless as we are, we are still called to fight for joy through the appointed means (reading Scripture, prayer, fellowship, hearing the proclamation of the Gospel, etc.) and plead with the Holy Spirit to give us affections/emotions of joy in the Lord.

4. He (the Spirit) – if willing – does so by opening the eyes of our hearts to see and savor the glories of Christ in the Gospel.

5. If and when the Spirit does, in fact, open the eyes of our hearts to see the glories of Christ in the Gospel, thereby producing joy in our hearts, this is not time, then, to relax, for our sinful hearts, Satan, and others will work extremely hard to make ship-wreck of our faith by questioning the authenticity of that joy.

6. Therefore, we are to fight everyday (once again, through the appointed means) and plead with the Holy Spirit to open up our eyes to the reality that the joy in Christ that we experienced is better than the joy offered by the deceitfulness of sin.

7. There are those who have tasted this joy – but who, have not heeded Scripture’s exhortation to fight and make war and plead with the Holy Spirit to maintain that joy – and therefore, they are either extremely weak in their faith (or never had faith/joy in the first place).

A more detailed list with Scripture references to come later. I highly recommend all to read this book.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: