THIS IS SIN…
the glory of GOD not honored
the holiness of GOD not reverenced
the greatness of GOD not admired
the power of GOD not praised
the truth of GOD not believed
the wisdom of GOD not esteemed
the beauty of GOD not treasured
the goodness of GOD not savored
the faithfulness of GOD not trusted
the commands of GOD not obeyed
the justice of GOD not respected
the wrath of GOD not feared
the grace of GOD not cherished
the presence of GOD not prized
the person of GOD not loved
the love of GOD not embraced
This is an excerpt from a sermon that John Piper gave, which grounded me and brought GOD back to the center of my life, which where He belongs. The fallen world we live in, combined with indwelling sin, and an enemy that hates truth, creates this constant “gravitational” environment, in which the individual that is not pursuing GOD with all of their heart, mind and soul, is being influenced in such a manner that GOD will ever so slowly and subtly become peripheral in their lives.
When this happens, EVERYTHING is affected. And that is no overstatement. We replace God’s goals and purposes with our goals and purposes. We stop desiring what He desires, and stop loathing what He loathes. And our whole life is shifted, and is in dis-order as we are self-focused, and in desperate need of our hearts to be re-calibrated to the lub-dub of God’s pulse which is His glory.
This is not to say you need to be living a life of debauchery or that your sins will end up on the 6:00 news. But what it is to say, is that you are not living to the purpose that our Designer created you for. It means you could be fully engaged with your local church, serving others, evangelizing, and daily in prayer and Gods word, all with yourself at the center!
This is a terribly frightening place to spend any length of time, because your external life is seemingly God-centered, but in the under current there is a paradigm shift that threatens to slowly and comfortably drag you out to the ocean of self.
Every so often God opens my eyes to this travesty, and I am coming to learn that it is not going to go away with some formula. Until our Majestic Lord returns, this is our battle front. If I battle sin, volunteer at church, serve others, or do anything else without GOD at the center, then I am precariously missing the point of my existence, and my joy and satisfaction will be at an all time low. [1 Cor 10:13].
Sin is primarily against GOD and although it is easy to nod in agreement with this statement, our own behavior testifies against us. A witness of our skewed practical theology is we have more anger, justified or not, when we get caught off in traffic, than when the Creator of the Universe is belittled every day by our actions.
“The main point of sin, or the essence of sin, is that it is a revolver in the face of GOD, trampling, blaspheming GOD, despising GOD, belittling GOD, and dishonoring GOD.” (quote from same Piper sermon).
When I lust over a woman, I am not treasuring the beauty of GOD, when I am attempting to lie so that my life goes easier I am not trusting the faithfulness of GOD or praising His power to intervene. When I am burning with anger towards another because of some injustice, I am not cherishing the grace of God that redirected His righteous wrath from me to His perfect Son.
Father, continue to pursue me, at all times to have Your name be hallowed in my heart as it is in heaven. Grant me the desire, wisdom, and strength through Jesus Christ, to fight the good fight of faith by keeping You at the center of everything, fully knowing that when You are esteemed rightly above all, that everything else falls into place. There may still be pain, sin, sorrow and suffering but when You are at the center there is peace, rest and joy that surpasses the wisdom and experience of this world, and it testifies to the world to the supremacy of Jesus. In this matchless Name, Amen!