Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ignition

You'll have to excuse my ramblings here - Chapter 3 of Desiring God has my mind spinning with all kinds of thoughts. All of the quotes below are from Piper unless otherwise stated. I guess the main point that I take with me from chapter 3 is that worship is an end in itself. That getting pleasure from loving God, does not make worship wrong, it testifies to its "rightness". I really like the idea that Piper gives stating that worship is not just a nice rest from the wicked world on Sundays...


The first thing we learn is that worship has to do with real life. It is not a mythical interlude in a week of reality. Worship has to do with adultery and hunger and racial conflict.
But although worship is all about feeling deeply, it is about knowing deeply as well. Worship is about spirit AND truth.


It matters whether you know the One you worship!

My next sermon series is going to be on Passion - Igniting the fire of love for God. But in order to have a fire, we must be first indwelt by God's Spirit.


The fuel of worship is the truth of God, the furnace of worship is the spirit of man, and the heat of worship is the vital affections of reverence, contrition, trust, gratitude and joy.But there is something missing from this picture. There is furnace, fuel and heat, but no fire. The fuel of truth in the furnace of our spirit does not automatically produce the heat of worship. There must be ignition and fire. This is the Holy Spirit.
A clearer picture...


The fuel of worship is a true vision of the greatness of God; the fire that makes the fuel burn white hot is the quickening of the Holy Spirit; the furnace made alive and warm by the flame of truth is our renewed spirit; and the resulting heat of our affections is powerful worship, pushing its way out in confessions, longings, acclamations, tears, songs, shouts, bowed heads, lifted hands and obedient lives.
Worship is spontaneous adoration for God. It is when we can't help but say that we love him. We can't help but sing his praises.


Worship is authentic when affections for God arise in the heart as an end in them selves.
Now onto the problem: We are a pleasure seeking people, but we seek pathetic pleasures or as Piper puts it...


The great hindrance to worship is not that we are a pleasure-seeking people, but that we are willing to settle for such pitiful pleasures.
We need to bring back the sense of awe and wonder into the Church. Where has it gone?

Worship services across the land bear the scars of this process. For many, Christianity has become the grinding out of general doctrinal laws from collections of biblical facts. But childlike wonder and awe have died. The scenery and poetry and music of the majesty of God have dried up like a forgotten peach at the back of the refrigerator.
We need a love like this...


Jesus, priceless treasure
Source of purest pleasure,
Truest friend to me:
Long my heart hath panted,
`Til it well-nigh fainted,
Thirsting after Thee.
Thine I am,
O spotless Lamb,
I will suffer nought to hide Thee,
Ask for nought beside Thee.
--Johann Franck

Another picture of the way we have chosen to "settle."

The irony of our human condition is that God has put us within sight of the Himalayas of his glory in Jesus Christ, but we have chosen to pull down the
shades of our chalet and show slides of Buck Hill-even in church.
I should probably write another post about David's undignified dance before the Lord, but let it suffice to say that he reminded me to please the Lord first and worry about the exhibition of my passion second.

I really enjoy Desiring God. Can you tell?

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