Friday, May 16, 2008

A Post By Paul Tripp

I found this post on Paul Tripp's blog and couldn't figure out how to link directly to the post. So here it is. It really resonated with me this morning.

"...that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and seek him in his holy temple." (v.4b)

Now, admit it, you love you and you have a wonderful plan for your life. Somehow someway we all are too focused on our own lives. All of us get captured by what we want, what we feel, and what we have determined we need. Everyone of us is a dreamer. We've all been given the amazing capacity to envision the future and to plan toward it. A dream is imagination, coupled with desire and projected into the future. There are things that you'd love to have as part of your life. There are things that you'd like to accomplish. There are locations you'd love to experience. There are relationships you'd like to enjoy. There are situations you'd like to avoid. Every day you get up and you work toward some kind of dream.

But dreamers don't just dream their dream, they also dream to be sovereign. In some way, at some time, all of us have wished that we'd enough control over our lives to guarantee that the things we've dreamed, we'd be able to experience. We'd like to control people and situations just enough to ensure that the "good things" we've dreamed would actually come true. What does the Bible call all of this? The Bible calls it worship.

You see, you and I are worshippers. This is one of the things the separates us from the rest of creation. As worshippers we're always living for something. Something is always laying claim to the affection and rulership of our hearts. There's always something that commands our dreams. There's something that we look to to give us identity, meaning and purpose, and that inner sense of well-being that everyone seeks. Now, Scripture says that there are only two choices (Romans 1:25). You're living in pursuit of the creation or the Creator. You're looking for your satisfaction and meaning in the physical created world, or you're finding it in the Lord.

What this means is that there's a war of dreams that rages in our hearts, and in the middle of the fog of this war it's so easy to get it wrong. It's so easy to think that because I have my theology in the right place, because I am biblically literate, and a functioning member of a good church, that my life is shaped by worship of the Lord. But, that may not be the case at all. On closer inspection, it may actually be the case that underneath all of those things is a life that's driven by personal success, or material things, or the respect of others, or power and control, etc. I am deeply persuaded that there's a whole lot of idolatrous Christianity out there. The most dangerous idols of all are those that fit well within the culture of external Christianity.

It's here that Psalm 27 is so helpful and convicting. What's David's dream for his life? What's his plan? Well, it sounds so spiritual as to be impractical, but it gets right to the heart of why we were created in the fist place. David says, in Old Testament language, "I want to spend my life in worship of the Lord. I want to dwell in his temple and gaze upon his beauty." The shekinah glory presence of the Lord filled the holy place of the temple, like a cloud. It was a physical picture of God dwelling with his people. David was saying, "I want to be where God is. I want to do what I was created to do."

No, David isn't some super-spiritual mystic. David gets it right. His quest is for a life that's shaped and directed by a daily worship of the Lord. David knows who he is: a creature created for worship. David knows who God is: the only "thing" in the universe that's truly worthy of worship. His dream is the best dream that you could ever dream. Far from being impractical, this dream, if lived out at street level, will bring purity and peace to your life.

What's your plan for you life? How close is your plan to the plan God had for you when he gave you life and breath? Is there, perhaps, something in your plan that competes for the place that only God should have?

May your plan for you be identical to his plan for you!

See? Wasn't that great??


B-HO said...

WOW thanks Lauren---I needed to be reminded of that this morning...after having a bit of a pity party last night...Praise God that his mercies ARE new every morning!!

alison said...

wow...thanks for sharing that.

David Campbell said...

Yes, it was great. Very timely for me. Thanks for sharing.
Love you!

That Stanford said...

hahaha...ok, it's really funny if you were it around older people... they stare at your chest for awhile and do the double take with your face and shirt, like they can't get a grasp on what it actually's so funny!

and no problem, your kids are hilarious and I love playing with them and being around them! they are so funny! (snack time might be my favorite...haha, they are all fat kids at heart and can't ever get enough goldfish!)

Kristyn said...

wow, very well said...and convicting! Thanks for posting his entry.