30 December 2008

A Quest For More - Presuming on God

I've used my holiday vacation to relax, re-energize, and spend time with family. As you may have noticed, I've taken back up 'riting. I've laid off on the 'rithmetic. And naturally, I've taken up more reading.

I just finished Paul David Tripp's A Quest For More. The basic premise is that as humans we were made to live for God's kingdom, but our sinful tendency is to live for our own personal kingdoms. I really like how he takes seriously everyday life, avoiding making the material lofty philosophy but instead practical.

Since you likely have your own books to read, I don't expect you to read this one. So I'll give a little excerpt that I found profound. It touches on a concept I once dealt with: I made a deal with God. I told him I would make a certain sacrifice, and in return I trusted that he would bring what I wanted (real vague, I know). Well the basic fact of the matter is God doesn't work like this. The whole thing was my idea, not connected to or based on any promise in Scripture. And so the excerpt:

The problem is that when you elevate your little kingdom desires to "needs," you no longer live with guarantees. But God has not promised to deliver all the things you have hoped, desired, and convinced yourself that you cannot live without. You have attached your happiness to a deeply romantic marriage, but God hasn't promised to give you one. You have connected your identity to a long and successful career, but God has not promised to deliver it...Of course these things are all wonderful to desire and worthwhile to experience, but they are out of your control, and your Redeemer has not guaranteed to give them to you.

Further, when these things control your heart and command your hopes, you will tend to judge God's faithfulness, not by whether he has been true to his promises, but by whether he has given you the things that you have set your heart on. But this is right where the redemptive quandary lies. If God gives you the things that are playing a role in your life that only he is supposed to play, wouldn't he be encouraging in you the very addictions from which his grace is meant to free you?

In fact, I am convinced that much of the resistance we attribute to the enemy is actually the resistance of the Lord. He stands against us, not because he doesn't love us, but because he does love us.
(emphasis in original)


What are you expecting from God? Our hopes will only disappoint if they are not founded upon God's truth.

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