Joy… The Key to Worship?

I can’t fully explain it right now, but for some reason the Lord has really been working on me. It all actually began a couple of years ago, but the intensity has really seemed to increase dramatically during the past six months – even more during the past few weeks. My prayer is simply that I’ll be able to keep pace!

Earlier this year I remember struggling with the thought that the last time I truly felt a steady and consistent “joy” in my life was back in my college days at SBU. The culmination of that mental journey was an article that I titled Repentance… The Key to Joy? And once again I may be diving into this one a little early, because it is very new in my mind and spirit, but I often find it helpful to write my thoughts down.

My new favorite preacher is John Piper. He is the founder of Desiring God and the Pastor for Preaching of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’ve been listening to his sermon podcasts while in my car for a few months now, and his enthusiasm for Scripture and Truth has forced me down this path of searching for more depth in my relationship with God. This newly found desire to become more passionate myself has naturally led me to his book which is appropriately titled Desiring God.

In the book (and his podcasts) he has introduced me to the phrase Christian Hedonism. I recall feeling a tad uncomfortable when I first heard the phrase; my initial response was that it seemed like an oxymoron – I’ve always viewed Hedonism as a bad thing! But now this Piper guy has me baffled, and yet in my bewilderment I’m being exposed to what very well may be becoming a reformation of my personal faith structure.

C.S. Lewis says, God in the Psalms is the “all-satisfying Object.” Psalm 16:11 states, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (ESV) If it is true that God is all-satisfying, then is it also true that to not enjoy God is dishonoring to him? Piper responds, “I must pursue joy in God if I am to glorify Him as the surpassingly valuable Reality in the universe. Joy is not a mere option alongside worship. It is an essential component of worship.”

The transformation has just begun, and I look forward to future posts.

The chief end of man is to glorify God
enjoying Him forever.

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