Its 3:30 a.m. and once again I can't sleep! I've been tossing and turning in bed and just gave in, got up and here I am. For the last few weeks I have been wrestling with somethings that I have been learning while going through this study, “When I Don't Desire God”, by John Piper. Well actually there are a few things, well really there are... Arugh... have you ever felt as though you had so much to say and its all in there, cause you can't turn your mind off and the thoughts are zooming this way and that at 200 miles per hour and if it were possible that your head could explode... it would??? Hi there, this is ME!!!
One thing that I gets me so frustrated is that while I'm muling things over, chewing on, studying and researching these things, the one that I need most to hear from is God and it's always a one sided conversation. Are you like me in that you scream in your heart, "WHERE ARE YOU? CAN YOU HEAR ME? CAN YOU PLEASE JUST SPEAK TO ME, I WANT TO HEAR YOUR VOICE..." Oh to hear His voice... I'd probably shutter, fall to my knees & drop a terd if I did!
In a book called; “A Godward Life”, also by Piper, there is a small chapter on, “What is Communion with God” ~ Wisdom from John Owen and in this he talks of Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” He says, "The old Puritans called this drawing near "communication" with God. Communion with God was a great thing to them and today is a comparatively small thing. The Puritans were concerned about communion with God in a way we are not. The measure of our unconcern is the little that we say about it. When Christians meet, they talk to each other about their Christian work and Christian interests, their Christian acquaintances, the state of the churches and the problems of theology - but rarely of their daily experience of God. According to J.I. Packer, the greatest of the Puritans was John Owen. In a letter Mr. Owen wrote in 1674 he said to a friend, "Christ is our best friend and ere long will be our only friend. I pray with all my heart that I may be weary of everything else but converse and communion with Him."
I agree with this whole heartedly but my frustration still exist. Honestly it's not all the time, really only when I am trying so hard to understand His truths within my finite mind and there in-lies the problem... eddy-bitty mind -vs- infinite all powerful God.
O.k. So.. I know this post is long, but I would love your input and thoughts on this. I just recently sent an e-mail to John Piper asking the following...
“Reading through your book, “When I don’t desire God ~ How to Fight for Joy” I am struggling with... how man, once saved does not become a puppet? If there is NOTHING good that can come from me, but that which God ordains... how then can I fight for something which is good & commanded of me... Micah 6:8: Do justice, to love kindness, walk humbly with God, Ephesians 4: Compassion, humble gentle; patient, bearing in love towards one another, Psalms 100: Gratitude, 1 Peter 1:13: Self controlled & Hope, James 1:2: Joy, etc., etc. Even the act of “fighting for good” itself can only come from God Himself in the 1st place? Philippians 2:13: “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.”
I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, Psalm 34.8... I desire to be in that place all the time, yet even that desire is not of me, but comes from Him alone! Even my best is as filthy rags, Isaiah 64:6. How then am I not a regenerated spiritual puppet for Christ? Of course, I’d rather be this than a lost soul “puppet” in bondage that returns to his vomit, Proverbs 26:11.
In the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter IX section IV it says, “When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he frees him from his natural bondage under sin; and, by His grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so, as that by reason of his remaining corruption, he does not perfectly, or only, will that which is good, but does also will that which is evil.”
Now, that’s a mouthful and trying to chew on that alone is a bit more than this simple minded child can handle, but the one part that rubs me the wrong way is... “enables him freely to will...” WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?? Freely and Will are opposites! You are either free (1 not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes| a free choice. or put into submission (1 the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.) to will something, right? Again I insert Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
I wish you could see the perplexed look on my face right now and the twists in my heart as I can not GET THIS! I love this book and man oh man it is really boosting me into a place that is challenging me as I work out my salvation, Philippians 2:12: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling...”. I would appreciate anything you can offer in regards to this, Thank You Tamara”
So do you have any input? I know God is faithful and will either reveal this to me or will cause my restlessness with this to be at peace. God has many mysterious ways about Him and many I will never fully understand or even begin to scratch the surface of their insurmountable layers. He is Good, He is my Savior, I fully trust Him and love His so... this has not changed for me no matter the outcome of my wrestling with this! Though it be confusing and down right irritating sometimes not to get the answers as quickly as I’d like or even maybe at all, I must admit, studying and trying to understand His ways is fun!