This morning I stuck a Christian book back on the shelf. I think it was a good book, but it wasn’t clicking. God wasn’t speaking. I wasn’t getting it, even though it may have been good stuff. It was like an apple that should have been great—that looked bright and juicy—but tasted dry.
That’s how I felt my relationship with God and quiet time had been lately. I’d read Scripture and I could understand it with my mind, but my spirit wasn’t being fed. I knew these great passages should encourage, excite, and teach me—but it just wasn’t there. The words just sat on the page. I didn’t know what God wanted to teach me.
And I didn’t know what to do about it.
Can you relate?
For some reason I had put the first book back on the shelf because God had wanted me to pick up another. It happened to be Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life by John Piper.
It didn’t take me long after starting the first devotional to realize that this was God’s answer to my dryness. Somehow the book pointed me to God to see Him in a new light.
Sometimes a new mindset changes everything.
“and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (Ephesians 4:23, NKJV)
John Piper wrote:
“If the church is going to reassert God’s rightful place in the soul of man and the center of all life, we will need a sharpened focus of who he is and what he is like…What we need is a big picture of a great God who is utterly committed to joyfully demonstrating his greatness in doing us good…We must experience this magnificence as the explosion of God’s uncontainable zeal to satisfy his creatures by showing them himself.”
It hit me: I had been focusing on what I could get out of this quiet time, this relationship with God. I was unsatisfied because I was trying to fulfill me with my own security. I had been searching for verses about God’s being with me, clinging to them in order to make me feel better.
But I learned: that doesn’t satisfy. Instead, I must turn my focus to God and his glory. I must enjoy His greatness. I need a “big picture of a great God.” In light of Him and His greatness and His magnificent love, He does satisfy and His gifts are enough.
Maybe I was just looking for the gifts instead of enjoying the indescribable character of the Giver.
I don’t know if I’m describing this right. But I tasted it—it’s perfect. I want you to taste it, too.
I am convinced of this: God delights in loving and blessing His children. “For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you” (Deuteronomy 30:9, ESV). That’s one of the verses John Piper cited. It amazed me. God loves to love us. Not so that we can go confidently and independently along with our lives, but so that we can turn back and praise Him for His great love…and simply, for His greatness.
We are so small; God is so large. And yet He is glorified when we take delight in His person. And He “takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” (Psalm 147:11, ESV). (Thanks for including that verse as well, Mr. Piper.)
Now this makes me excited. This puts a spring into my step and a smile upon my face.
Lord, please open my eyes to see more of Your greatness.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/intherough/3373002114/”>…-Wink-…</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>