John Piper always grabs my attention. Why? I believe he preaches sincerely with a unequalled passion for God's word. It is truly God and His word that speak to me but John Piper is God's means of communicating to me in ways sometimes I feel like no one else can.
This morning I listened to one of Piper's sermons. It was on the verses above and some others. I have always been captivated by these verses. I have longed to have a heart like this but sometimes the practical application is hard for me to find. John Piper gave it to me today.
What does, "everything I have gained I now consider loss" mean practically for the Christian:
John Piper says it means four things:
“I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
Christ is all and all else is loss."
As I examined my heart this morning. I found places that I desperately need Him to come into. I thought back to times when I have chosen Christ over this world and how satisfied I truly felt in Him. And I realized that being home, inside my "comfort zone" challenges me even more than being away in terms of my relationship with Christ. I have to constantly fight myself to choose Christ since times aren't quite as desperate.
Some say, the harder headed you are, the more times you have to learn the same lesson. I hate to say it but I am pretty hard headed. I wonder sometimes if all of the heart ache I have been through has been because God could not teach me certain lessons otherwise. Regardless, looking back, I see those years of absolute desperation a gift. They were His ways of teaching me to treasure Him above all else.
I hate to say it but my heart sways a little more now. Times are "lighter" and I rely on myself more than I should. Sometimes I treasure my free time or shopping more than I treasure Christ. But, the interesting thing about all of that is that I am never satisfied in those places. God continues to draw me back to Himself. Even in my faithlessness; He is continually faithful to show Himself to me, to grab my attention, to show me my need for Him. What a good God.
Today I want these 4 applications from Phil 3 to be my prayer:
1) Oh God, whenever I have to make a decision between you and the world, help me Father to choose you.
2) God please help me to use the things of this world to draw me closer to you not make me farther away from you. Make my heart sensitive to things things and to you.
3) Father, satisfy my soul, making nothing else compare to knowing you.
4) Thank you for being all. Help me to see life through this lens. Desiring you above all else.
Thank you Father that I know because these prayers are your will, you are working to answer them in my life.