Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our Need of God

I am rereading John Piper's book The Pleasures of God which is an anthem on God delighting in being God.  In his chapter The Pleasure of God in doing good to all who hope in Him, Piper wrote this simple phrase:

We have a God whose nature is such that what pleases him is not our work for him but our need of him.

Piper is talking about the pleasure and delight we find in knowing God.  We find our infinite joy and pleasure in knowing him.  In him is where are dependence ought to be found.  I found this sentence helpful in killing legalism.  It is a sinful tendency to think we can work for God as if he needs our help.  As if once we are in the family we can bear the work load to pay back what God has done for us.  But this is not the God of the Bible.  The God of the Bible is not asking us to pay back any debt we owe.  For starters that would be impossible so we ought to be glad he does not require us to pay him back.  What pleases God is holding on to him for grace. He is the Savior but he is also the Sustainer.   In our sinful nature this doesn't make sense.  The God of the universe, the Creator of all wants nothing more than our dependence upon him?  Could this be true?  Yes.

"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?  Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food." (Isaiah 55:1-2)

Or how about Jesus with the woman at the well?

"Everyone who drinks of this water (the well) will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.  The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 5:13-14)

Come freely and drink from an eternal spring of life.  He doesn't want our work but he wants us to drink.  It pleases him to know we need him.  May our complete dependence be upon God.

Grace upon grace,

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