Every Christian should read and listen to the sermons of John Piper.
I have not always believed this. In fact, I would have laughed at such a suggestion for most of my adult life. But I’m convinced of this now more than ever.
Last year I wrote a post taking issue with John Piper’s advice on how to defeat lust. I took exception to the fact that one of his six steps was Enjoy Jesus more than sinful pleasure. In my thinking at the time, I felt like this was heaping unnecessary shame and guilt upon people who already know they should enjoy Jesus more, but don’t. Not a terrible feeling to have, but not a terribly correct one, either.
I think sometimes it’s easier to concern ourselves over the shame and guilt others might feel than we are with sharing them truth in love. In doing so, I think we rob people of opportunities to experience the power of God resurrecting their life (the resurrection assumes a death) in favor of ensuring they feel comfortable in this present life.
Piper will have none of that. His sole purpose is to glorify God. He wants everyone to discover that they are only truly happy when they find delight in God. And this is why everyone should read him.
I’m reading now his wonderful companion to Desiring God entitled When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. In this book he masterfully and pastorally handles the issue I took with him suggesting we enjoy Jesus more than sinful pleasure but, even more, he awakens in me a desire to know and love God more intimately than I ever have (a thirst that, to be sure, will never be fully quenched).
I have some theological disagreements with Piper to be sure, but there is no doubt in my mind that he is head over heels in love with Jesus and submits himself wholly to the holy words of God with child-like awe and wonder.
That is something I desire. And the good news, according to both Jesus Christ and John Piper, that desire is a gift of God and one which will grow and grow and be filled and filled, also as a gift of God, assuming we continue to pursue Christ and his righteousness. Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things…
If you are experiencing a lack of faith, a dry spell in your walk with God, or if you know it to be true of yourself that, quite frankly, you enjoy and find delight in many things more than God, then I commend to you the works of John Piper. It is often said that the reason we worship together corporately is so that in those seasons where we may not have faith, we can lean on the faith of others. If you are in such a season, I pray that Piper’s deep and abiding faith and utter joy he finds in the Person of God might serve as a crutch for you today, and inspire you to new heights and greater desire tomorrow.
Grace and peace,