There is so much stirring in me from the Passion Conference. But the talk by John Piper is at the forefront...
What is at the bottom of your joy? In other words...if you get an A on an exam and it makes you happy...someone asks you "Why does that make you happy?" and you give an answer (could be any number of answers)...Then someone asks well why does that make you happy? And you continue to answer this line of questioning until you get to the bottom of your joy. If, when you arrive at the bottom of your joy, you are there, you're participating in idolatry of the worst kind.
Those who are born again make the switch from themselves at the bottom of their joy, to God, the supreme joy giver.
God makes much of us so that we will in turn make much of Him...if we've only embraced the first part of this truth, we are not born again and Hell is pressing in.
God loves you. And he wants you to feel loved. You are precious to Him. God says you are so precious that He will not let your preciousness become your god. God should be our God. And our God alone.
The crazy thing is that even when we sometimes go through the motions of being a Christ follower, we put ourselves at the bottom of our joy.
I can read the Bible and if it is to make me feel better or to know more or to comfort me, etc...its borderline idolatrous.
Many of us believe in Jesus because he offers us a way out of hell and we are scared of going there...if that is your motivation...you are at the bottom of your joy...God is not a means to an end...but the end in and of Himself!
The most terrifying verse in all the Bible is the one where Jesus responds to those who healed and prophesied in His name and did all sorts of miracles and Jesus said, "Away from me, I never knew you."
It's not enough to have association, belief, or cognitive ascent to God/Jesus. We must be born again and reorient our lives so that all He does in and for us is done so that we make much of Him.
WHAT'S AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR JOY?