GOD IS MY GOOD
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
We live in an incredibly man centered and self centered world. I thought I had become a God centered Christian, but several years ago I was radically challenged at the core of my beliefs and my teaching as a pastor. Two of the books that effected me were “God’s Passion for His Glory” by John Piper followed up by “The End for Which God Created the Earth” by Jonathan Edwards. As I read these two books, I began to realize how I had let the relevance of the world’s ideas for happiness and success infiltrate my ministry. That was about to change in a dramatic way. For the first time in many years, I was being confronted with a message that was totally God-centered. Here is one of the quotes from Piper’s book which consisted of observations on Edward’s book, “The End for Which God Created the Earth”.
“The love of God for sinners is not his making much of them, but his graciously freeing and empowering them to enjoy making much of him. As Edwards says, “God is their good.” Therefore if God would do us good, he must direct us to his worth, not ours. The truth that God’s glory and our joy in God are one radically undermines modern views of self-centered love. God-centered grace nullifies the gospel of self-esteem. Today, people typically feel loved if you make much of them and help them feel valued. The bottom line in their happiness is that they are made much of.”
That phrase challenged the very foundation of what I had preached for almost twenty years at that time. I had thought that freedom was me being the center of God’s universe when actually, I had it backwards. Only when He became the center of my life, then and then only could I begin to experience the love and joy that He offers me. My satisfaction does not come from the gifts and blessings He brings, my joy flows from God Himself. As Edwards says, “God is my good”. So if you have been listening to the itching ears message of self esteem, you are missing the whole point. God’s love for us, like Piper says, is not Him making much of us but Him freeing us to make much of Him. That is the place of true freedom and the place of pleasures evermore.