Monday, April 02, 2007

Life, liberty, and the pursuit...

I started reading Desiring God by John Piper this morning. In the first couple of pages he quotes Pascal regarding man's innate passion for seeking pleasure:All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.--Pascal's Pensees (Thought #425)

Further down the page, Piper quotes Lewis:We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. --"The Weight of Glory" by C.S. Lewis

The chief aim of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever—We all desire to be happy and since the dawn of time man has tried to find ways to make himself happy or satisfied. The Bible teaches that in ourselves we glorify God the most when we find the end of our pursuit of happiness in Him alone. He is the source of true fulfillment and joy in life. Jesus said, “I give you water that will satisfy your thirst forever.”
God is glorified when His excellence above all things is put on display. We find satisfaction for our souls when we put Him on display in our lives, when we aim for Him as the objective of our target, when we drive hard after seeing Him revealed to us, when we taste of His goodness and revel in that.

The opposite of tasting of the goodness of God is feeding on the ashes of idolatry (Isaiah 44:9-20). In that we give no glory to God. And in not giving glory to God there is no ultimate, lasting satisfaction. Like the desert than never relents, the cravings of your sinful heart will never bring you the happiness you think you will find.

I find it so amazing that while I know this and preach it, even to myself, I am so quick to slip back into my old patterns of sin--finding my joy in other things. As I said before, the stuff of life so quickly distracts us so that we find ourselves gazing on and praising the created instead of the Creator. Keep your eyes focused on Him alone and the things of earth will grow strangely dim; but get distracted for just a second, and the allure quickly blinds you.

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