In Order To…

Published on July 6, 2010 by CT in Blog, Theology

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I write at this blog in order to create a platform to be read more widely.  I want a larger platform in order to provide me with a sense that my life and my work have value.  I want this sense of value in order to satisfy my longing for joy in life.

In short, I write for the wrong reasons.

In God’s Passion For His Glory, John Piper teaches us:

The essence of authentic, corporate worship is the collective experiment of heartfelt satisfaction in the glory of God, or a trembling that we do not have it and a great longing for it…[So] if the essence of worship is satisfaction in God, then worship can’t be a means to anything else.  We simply can’t say to God, ‘I want to be satisfied in you so that I can have something else.’  For that would mean that we are not really satisfied in God but in that something else.  And that would dishonor God, not worship him.

But, in fact, for thousands of people, and for many pastors, the event of ‘worship’ at [church] is conceived of as a means to accomplish something other than worship.  We ‘worship’ to raise money; we ‘worship’ to attract crowds; we ‘worship’ to heal human hearts; to recruit workers; to improve church morale; to give talented musicians an opportunity to fulfill their calling; to teach our children the way of righteousness; to help marriages stay together; to evangelize the lost; to motivate people for service projects; to give our churches a family feeling.

In all this we bear witness that we do not know what true worship is.  Genuine affections for God are an end in themselves.  I cannot say to my wife:  ‘I feel a strong delight in you so that you will make me a nice meal.’  That is not the way delight works.  It terminates on her.  It does not have a nice meal in view.  I cannot say to my son:  ‘I love playing ball with you—so that you will cut the grass.’  If your heart really delights in playing ball with him, that delight cannot be performed as a means to getting him to do something.

I do not deny that authentic corporate worship may have a hundred good effects on the life of the church.  It will, just like true affection in marriage, make everything better.  My point is that to the degree we do ‘worship’ for these reasons, to that degree it ceases to be authentic worship.  Keeping satisfaction in God at the center guards us from that tragedy.

I think Piper is on to something here.  I think the picture he is painting can be seen in Paul’s exhortation to each of us:  “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

May God grant me a heart that desires to write for His glory alone with no subsequent end in view.  And may He give you, or continue to maintain, a heart to do the same for whatever work you do.

Question:  What is your “in order to…”?

  • kisstheplow

    Your life and work have value, please understand you do what you do because of who you are, and that is because of the One to whom you belong. Just like the fruit tree naturally bares fruit, just as each of us breathe.

    This race is not about doing and doing. True enough faith without works is dead, but faith brings about good works. It's a natural progression. What is to you is to send the blessing out–what God has put within you to do–and let God be in charge of your motives and emotions. God will not mislead you!!