I just going to be honest with you, John Piper gives me headaches… and I LOVE it!
It’s a good kind of headache, you see, the kind you get when your brain and heart are so overwhelmed with new revelations that they actually hurt.
I have been trying to read John Piper’s book Let the Nations Be Glad since July, and I am only half way through the first chapter. Now don’t get me wrong, I looooooove me some books, and usually I whip right through all kinds of lovely literature, but with him… it is different.
This writing is heavy! JP has a way of packing the pages with scripture and ideas about God that are so simple and astounding at the same time that you want to smack yourself repeatedly on the forehead for not seeing all this before.
Exhibit A… from the FIRST page.
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exist because worship does not. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temorary necessity. But worship abides forever.”
Holy guacamole, John Piper… I think I just had an aneurysm.
There will be a day when missions don’t exist. On that day the heavens will be rent with the glory of the Lord, and the praise will NEVER end. Oh my.
This is such a needed and refreshing perspective for me. I have been so focused on the goal… getting to Africa to do MISSIONS, support raising so that I can go do MISSIONS, getting shots and medical clearance so that I can go and do MISSIONS, finding a dang detailed map of Nairobi so that I don’t get lost when I go to Africa to do MISSIONS… and on and on. In all the bustley-bustle of getting ready for Africa, I easily lose sight of the main goal…
Worship. White hot, pure, unabashed, unrelenting, uncontainable worship. Letting that worship of the Lord characterize my life in every way. Worship must come before missions, because it is the FUEL of missions. How am I supposed to invite the nations into worship if my life doesn’t reflect His all comsuming glory within me?
“Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching. You can’t commend what you don’t cherish. Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak. Even outsiders feel the disparity between the boldness of our claim upon the nations and the blandness of our engagement with God.”
I’m going to take some Tylenol and turn out the lights, my head and heart are aching with sweet, sweet overwhelming truth… thank you Jesus and John Piper.
Consume me Lord, like fire and wind and a great flood. Knock me over with the weight of your glory. Let me just but touch your hem and feel my heart burn.
“My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.”
1 Samuel 2:1
“Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.”
1 Chronicles 16:8-11