Gravity and Gladness on Sunday Morning - Lesson 2

The Essence of Inward Worship

So what Jesus has done is break decisively the necessary connection between worship and its outward and localized associations. Spirit refers to spirit given intensity and truth refers to thinking right thoughts about God. The root of our passion and thirst for God is God’s own infinite exuberance for God. The basis for my passion for God's glory is God's passion for God's glory.

John Piper
Gravity and Gladness on Sunday Morning
Lesson 2
Watching Now
The Essence of Inward Worship

Essence of Inward Worship

2. Worship as an Inward Experience (cont.)

A. Spirit and truth

B. Words used in the New Testament to describe worship

C. Reformed and Puritan tradition

3. What is the Inward Essence of Worship?

  • The aim of corporate worship is that God be seen, known, enjoyed as glorious. God supplies us the strength to do it. Jesus diverts attention from worship being in a specific location with outward forms to a personal, spiritual experience with himself at the center. Worship doesn't need a temple, but a risen savior.
  • So what Jesus has done is break decisively the necessary connection between worship and its outward and localized associations. Spirit refers to spirit given intensity and truth refers to thinking right thoughts about God. The root of our passion and thirst for God is God’s own infinite exuberance for God. The basis for my passion for God's glory is God's passion for God's glory. 

  • How is God's pursuit of his own glory loving? But if our enjoyment is incomplete until it comes to completion in praise, then God would not be loving if he was indifferent to our praise. When God commands us to praise something that is infinitely praiseworthy, it's the completion of our joy which can only be found in him.
  • The implications of the inward essence of worship focus on centering our corporate worship on connecting with God and experiencing joy as a result. When our whole life is consumed with pursuing satisfaction in God, everything we do highlights the value and worth of God. Which simply means that everything becomes worship.
  • Some elements of corporate worship make it possible to glorify God in a way that an individual worshipping privately cannot. Preaching should be expository exultation.
  • Eleven points of what unites us in worship. Ten practical preparations for hearing the Word of God on Sunday morning.

God pursues us. We should pursue him. The key is to get these in the right order and depend on the first for the second. In the New Testament is a stunning degree of indifference to worship as an outward form and emphasizes a radical intensification of worship as an inward experience of the heart. 

The booklet that Dr. Piper refers to is not available at this time. Most of the notes he refers to are in the notes that you can download under the Downloads heading.  

We are thankful for John Piper's willingness to share these lectures with us. They were originally given in 2008. Copyright 2008 by Desiring God Ministries. Used with Permission. For more information, please visit www.DesiringGod.org.

Gravity and Gladness on Sunday Morning

Dr. John Piper


The Essence of Inward Worship

Lesson Transcript


The following message was recorded at an event hosted by Desiring God. More information about desiring God events, conferences and resources is available at W WW dot desiring God dot org. The woman at the wheel said Our fathers worshiped in this mountain and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Using that word that's virtually dropped out in the epistles. Jesus said to her woman, Believe me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem show you worship the father so you can see him loosening now worship from its outward, localized connotations. The hours coming where neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem. Show you worship the father. There's not going to be any geographic center to this reality called worship place is not the issue. Neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem. And then he goes on like this. But an hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers shall worship the father in spirit and truth. For such people, the father seeks to be his worshipers. God, his spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. So in spirit and truth in spirit and truth, his key sin is true Worship, which was anticipated for the age to come, has arrived. The hour is coming. Age to come and now is here in me. Jesus is bringing the new worship. At what marks this true worship. It is broken into the present time from the glorious age to come. Is that it's not bound by localized place or outward form. Instead of being in this mountain or in Jerusalem is in the spirit. And in truth, you see the category switch mountain. Replaced by spirit. Jerusalem. Replaced by truth.


Neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem. Rather in spirit and truth. That's a category shift. That's not just not Jerusalem and not this mountain, but Minneapolis and northern Minnesota. That would be a category. Even. Bekommen. The same. But when he shifts from mountain in Jerusalem to spirit, in truth, you say, Whoa. So you're saying the city and the mountain hardly central anymore. Rather. Spirit and truth are essential. And I would say yes. So what Jesus is doing here is stripping control of its last vestiges of localized outward connotation. Not that it would be wrong for worship to be in a place. We paid $5 million for this building, I think. And then had to pay another two to build it out. And we're ready to finish building now. So place, we really put a lot of stock in place, evidently. Not that it would be wrong to use outward forms or place, but rather he's making explicit and central that this is not what makes worship worship. What makes worship. Worship is what happens in spirit and in truth, with or without a place or with or without outward forms. So what do those two phrases mean in spirit and truth? And here's my attempt. I take in spirit, worship in spirit to mean true worship is carried along by the Holy Spirit and is happening mainly as an inward spiritual event, not mainly as an outward bodily event. So worship in the Spirit means the Holy Spirit is awakening, caring, inspiring, sustaining, and it's happening in your spirit in here, not out there. And I take in truth to mean that true worship is a response to true views of God and is shaped and guided by those true views of God. So one has to do with authentic spiritual, Holy Spirit given intensity, and the other has to do with thinking right thoughts about God.


It is why there are many aspects of some dimensions of the church today that belittle truth orientation, which are sad. In tragic. God is seeking those who will worship him in spirit. Yes. And in truth. Yes. So what Jesus has done is break decisively the necessary connection between worship and its outward and localized associations. It's mainly something inward and free from locality. This is what he meant when he said this. People honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me in vain. Do they worship me? When the heart is far from God. Worship is vain, empty, non-existent. The experience of the heart is the defining, vital, indispensable, indispensable essence of worship. That's the thesis. And we're watching Jesus make it happen. And why then is the central all test word for worship. Moschino virtually boycotted by Peter, James and John and Paul in the letters that they write to the churches. Here's the answer I propose. The word did not make clear enough this press. Q No word with all of its connotations from the Old Testament did not make clear enough the inward spiritual nature of true worship. It carried significant connotations of place and form falling down with your body. The word was associated with bodily bowing down and with the actual presence of a visible manifestation to bow down before. So it's prevalent in the Gospels and revelation where Jesus is physically present to the worshipers. But in the Epistles Jesus is not present invisible glory to fall before. Therefore, the whole tendency of the early church was to deal with worship as primarily inward and spiritual rather than outward and bodily and primarily pervasive rather than localized. Now, here's the confirmation of this. When you trace what happens in the Epistles, what what is Paul, what kind of language does Paul use from the Old Testament? What does he do with it? Here are the examples.


Le True O Greek. The next most frequent word for worship in the Old Testament after prosecution is the word love. True 90 times for worship. Almost always translating bad, which is usually translated to serve as an excuse. 2324. You shall not worship their gods or serve them. Service in the sense of worship. Often when Paul uses it the truer for Christian worship. He goes out of his way to make sure that we know he means not a localized outward form of worship practice, but a non localized spiritual experience. In fact, he takes it so far as to treat virtually all of life as worship when lived in the right spirit. So, for example, Romans one nine, he says, I serve God in my spirit. That's what I mean by going out of his way. In my spirit, I am doing this love truo, this worship. In the preaching, the gospel. My preaching, the gospel is my worship because it's happening in my spirit first and in Philippians three three. Paul says that the true Christians worship God in the spirit of God and put no confidence in the flesh. Same word for worship here, Latrell. Romans 12 one The one we're really familiar with. Paul urges Christians to present your bodies as living and holy sacrifices acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. So all of those uses have nothing to do with worship services. He uses the word Latrell to describe his preaching and to describe what's going on in our heart when we don't rely on the flesh and to describe all of life for those who are living it to the glory of God. So, Paul, even though now he picks up on that language for worship, the way he uses it shows that he's right in line with where Jesus was going.


What about the language of the temple in Paul's letters or the language of priestly service? These are key elements of Old Testament worship. The praise and thanks of the lips is called a sacrifice to God in Hebrews. But so our good works in everyday life. In Hebrews 1316, Paul calls his own ministry priestly service of worship. He calls the converts themselves an acceptable offering in worship. He even calls the money that the churches send him a fragrant aroma and acceptable sacrifice to God. You can see what he's doing. He's picking up all the Old Testament worship language and he's totally de sacrificing it. He's turning it into something that has no relation to place, no relation to building, no relation to form. And his own death for Christ. He calls a drink offering to go to life ministry. Good works become the Old Testament. La Latrell will try the same thrust as seen in the imagery of the people of God, the body of Christ as the temple, the New Testament temple, where spiritual sacrifices are offered. So first, Peter, to find where they're offered and where God dwells by his spirit. Ephesians 221 and where all the peoples, all the people are seen as the holy priesthood, said Corinthians 616, shows that the New Covenant hope of God's presence is being fulfilled even now in the church as a people, not in any particular service. We are the temple. Per second Corinthians six. We are the temple of the living God. Just as God said, I will dwell in them and walk among them. So worship is being significantly. D Institutionalized. D Localized. D externalized. The whole thrust is being taken off of ceremony and off of seasons and off of places and off of forms, and is being shifted to what is happening in the heart, not just on Sunday, but every day, all the time in whatever we do.


So all of life to the glory of God is for Paul. The main place of worship. This is what it means when we read, whether you eat or whatever you do, when you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. That's Paul's way of saying. You don't go to worship. He worship now where you are in. Absolutely. Everything you do. That's the main New Testament emphasis. Everything you do is to be done in such a way that the glory of God shines. The essence of worship to act in a way that reflects the glory of God, to do a thing in the name of Jesus with thanks to God, I skipped over Colossians 317. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks through Him to God the Father. What about singing and making melody to the Lord? Is that connected with services? Even when Paul calls us to be filled with the spirit speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even God. To God, even God, the Father. There's no reference to time or place or service. In fact, the key word is always. Isn't it? Making melody with your heart. Heart. Not just your mouth. To the Lord, always giving thanks. He's not in a service here. He's in life. This is very radical. It's very, very radical. 168 hours of whatever is conscious is intended to be. Worship. This may in fact, be what we should do in corporate worship service. That is, we may sing. But it's not Paul's burden to tell us that His burden is to call for radical inward authenticity of worship and an all encompassing pervasiveness of worship in all of life.


Place and form are not of the essence. Spirit and truth are all important. Now, that's the end of my biblical argument for the thesis that in the New Testament there is a radical intensification of the inwardness and experiential nature of worship and an amazing minimizing of attention to outward form and services. So much so that pastors like me are just. Stunned when we tried to go to the New Testament to get some help. Nothing. What are we supposed to do in these services or shouldn't even exist? I do think they should exist. I have given my life to their existence. But that's not the main point of the New Testament. It is a million times more important that you experience worship in your heart. Then that you go through any particular forms in any particular building. I probably should add right there. There is a movement today. I could name the names. Of dispensing with church. Traditional church. I don't have the emerging church in mind here at things far more radical than that in mind of just getting rid of of church as a corporate reality. I think. That is a childlike response to what I have just said. A childish response. Born of bad experiences. Not born of good theology. And it will perish and drag many people with it in a generation or two. I hope you don't go there. What I'm going to argue eventually is if you get real with God in your heart. You will celebrate with God's people all the more. So nothing that I'm saying in my head leads people away from corporate church, institutional church. It just gets our priorities right. It gets essence right. Essence isn't form. Essence is here being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus.


Just a few words about this reformed and Puritan tradition. I love to do this because this just blows some reformed people out of the water. I love to do that. I remember reading this quote from John Calvin at a Philadelphia conference on reform theology, and it just stunned people who came up to me. Where is that? He'll be there. I believe that's in the institute. It's only read here. This is Institute's book for 1030. This is John Calvin. The master did not will in outward discipline and ceremonies to prescribe in detail what we ought to do, because he foresaw that this depended on the state of the times and he did not deem one form suitable for all ages. Because he has taught nothing specifically. And because these things are not necessary to salvation. This ain't nothing specifically. That's just. Calvin. Come on. What happens to the regulative principle, for goodness sake? And because these things are not necessary to salvation and for the building of the church ought to be variously accommodated to the customs of each nation and age. It will be fitting as the advantage of the church will require to change and abrogate traditional practices and to establish new ones. Indeed, I admit that we ought not to charge into innovation rashly, suddenly for insufficient cause. But love will best judge what may hurt or edify. And if we let love be our guide, we will be safe. That is so far from what most people consider Calvin to think. That's amazing. So this man devoted himself to building a great grand, glorious system of theology, which at its heart is, I think, right and true. It wasn't intended to sustain any particular forms. It wasn't. It was intended for this and this, which from age to age, have got to go deep with God.


The main task of of pastors and teachers and you and your small groups, it's not to preserve any particular form. It's to go hard after. Right. Thinking about God and right feeling about God. That's where all the emphasis should lie. And then, yes, we have to we have to live in the world. We have to wear certain clothes and we have to have some place to do corporate ness. And then we have to do something there. And those things change. So I'm preaching I'm teaching the class and preaching right now. And the question we'll have to tackle in the first several classes is should there be such a thing? And I will make as strong a case as I can that the nature of biblical revelation, the nature of God, the nature of man, the nature of communication does mandate preaching. Somewhere in the life of the church. But that's not what this seminars about. We may touch on it tomorrow. Here's Luther. I love Luther. He's repenting every time he talks. Including this one. Probably the worship of God. I'll try to sound like Luther here. The worship of God should be free at table in private rooms. Downstairs. Upstairs at home. Abroad, in all places. By all people at all times. Whoever tells you anything else is lying as badly as the Pope and the devil himself. And that's just every time he opens his mouth. Something like, Ready, Fire! Hey, let's go. If he were here, he'd probably say, I meant exactly what I said. But notice what he said. The worship of God is free. It's at table. It's in private rooms. It's downstairs, it's upstairs, it's at home, it's abroad. It's in all places by all people at all times.


Don't let anybody tell you it's got to be in the. Can be led by a certain priest. There is certain mass. Confession has to be done before a certain person. The sacraments have to be bestowed by a certain qualified. Person in line with the apostles. What about the Puritans? The Puritans carried through the simplification and freedom of worship in music and liturgy and architecture. Patrick Collinson summarizes Puritan theory and practice by saying The life of the Puritan, as is most British and American Puritans. The Puritans where the folks who tried to carry the Reformation to its too, its consistent end of purifying the church from 1560 to 1660. The life of the Puritan was, in one sense, a continuous act of worship, pursued under an unremitting and lively sense of God's providential purposes and constantly refreshed by religious activity. Personal, domestic and public. One of the reasons that the Puritans called their churches meeting houses and kept them very simple was to divert attention from the physical place to the inward, spiritual act of worship. Now get this. It's, in a sense, the same principle of freedom that creates. Icons in church. Statues. Paintings. And. Iconoclasts. Who? Who? Destroy them. Puritans hated images in church. They didn't want paintings. They didn't want statues. And the word iconoclast comes from the smashing of icons. You got to align yourself there somewhere because from age to age, there's always a pressure from one group for more art. And more visuality in worship. And then there's a pressure from another group like me. Who's pushing the other way. For the sake of radical inward intensification of us and God Himself through His Word. That's. That's my leaning. I'm a puritan. I'm a puritan. You look around this room on Sunday morning and it's kind of spare.


You know, there's not even a cross here. There are crosses everywhere downtown. Nobody notices them. And. And when I'm dead and gone, they'll do it another way from. They might do it another way before I'm doing Goth because there are a lot of elders in this church. Okay. Conclusion of this part in the New Testament, there is a stunning indifference to the outward forms and places of worship. There is, at the same time, a radical intensification of worship as an inward spiritual experience that has no bounds and pervades all of life. These emphases were recaptured in the Reformation and came to clear expression in the Puritan wing of the Reformed tradition. Now, where do we go from here? What is then the essence of that radical, authentic inward experience called worship? And how is it that this experience comes to expression in gathered congregations and in everyday life? So those are the two parts we have to wrestle with. What is it? If I'm saying it's here, what is it? And then. Should it find expression in regular gatherings of God's people in corporate singing? Preaching. So we got about 20 minutes left and I'm going to get a start on the second unit in your outline, namely, what is the inward essence of worship? Here's my my thesis. The essential, vital, indispensable, defining heart of worship is the experience of being satisfied with God. This satisfaction in God magnifies God in the heart. This explains why the Apostle Paul makes so little distinction. Between worship as a congregational service and worship as a pattern of daily life. For Paul, he just. Go there. Why? They have the same root. A passion for treasuring God as infinitely valuable. The impulse for singing a hymn and the impulse for visiting a prisoner is the same.


A deep frying satisfaction in God now, and a thirst for all that God promises to be for us in Christ. Let me just say that again in my own words. You come to Paul and say, Why? Do you allude to the fact that the Christians gather and that they sing together and make melody in their hearts and you call? Your daily obedience worship in Romans 12. Why do you why both? And I think his answer would be because the inward essence of both experiences is identical. Being satisfied with God spills over in praises to him is infinitely glorious and admirable and satisfying. That's singing and services, and it spills over in a freedom from fear and a freedom from greed and a love for people. That takes me to the jail. It's the same. It's the same satisfaction in God, it's the same contentment, it's the same joy. One's coming out in song. One's coming out in service. And so what what makes either of those worship Is this not the agora singing You can sing without worshiping and you can go to the jail without worshiping. But whether it's worship or not depends on what's going on here. And I'm arguing that is a being satisfied with. All that God is for us in Christ. Now, the question is, is that definition of the inward experience biblical? And here I'm going to take some minutes to. Justify my Christian hedonism, because that's what it is. The root of our passion and thirst for God is God's own infinite exuberance for God. This is where we have to start. People that don't follow here generally don't follow at all. Into Christian hedonism, namely that God is most glorified in us when we're most satisfied in Him.


So let me try to defend that statement that our passion. Our worship. Our satisfaction, our zeal and thirst for God. Is rooted in God's own infinite exuberance for God. I've got, you know, 30, 40 of these texts, but we'll only look at a few. God created us for himself, for His glory. Bring my sons from afar. My daughters from the ends of the earth. Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. You were made by God for God. That's very, very God centered of God to do that. God elects Israel for His glory. Jeremiah 1311. I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me. Says the Lord, that they might be for me, a people, a name, a praise and a glory. I chose Israel and I made them cling to me so that they would call attention to my glory. This is totally self exalting of God to do this. God saves from Egypt for His glory. Someone who seeks our fathers rebelled against you at the most, rebelled against the most high at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his namesake that he might make known his power. The reason God took ten plagues to release his people and not one plague to release his people is because he meant to display much of his power and much of his glory. God restrains his anger in the exile for His glory as the 48 for my namesake. I defer my anger for the sake of my praise. I restrain it for you, for my own sake. For my own sake, I do it. How should my name be profane? My glory. I will not give to another. I don't think there's another, more God centered passage in the Bible than that right here.


Six times in those verses, he says, For my namesake, for my praise, for my own sake, for my own sake, how could my name be profane, my glory, I won't give to another. That's the feel that you have to feel when you say, What is the basis for my passion for God's glory? Answer God's passion for God's glory. I don't know any any other meaning this could have, except that. Why is this in the Bible? I mean, why would you put this in the Bible if you were God? What's that there for God hammering away. I do things for my sake, my sake, my sake, my sake, my sake, my sakes. Six times. Why does he say that? Because we are so prone to do everything for our sake. We're not God centered people. We are born massively self-centered. And to the day we die. That is our main battle. I've been trying to talk about this whole issue of relational culture at Bethlehem, and last time two weeks ago, I defined the relational culture in terms of Philippians two four, who's so happy to see Justin Taylor pick it up on his blog and call it the two four factor, because that actually was in my head and I didn't say it and he said it so happy. And the two four factor is. Don't look to your own interests, but look also to the interests of others. Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus. That is the biggest battle of my life. I'm 62. I've been a Christian since I was six years old. And to this day, I'm a selfish man. There's a need around the house that Noelle can meet. I want her to meet. If there's an errand to be run, I don't want to get up and run it.


I'm a selfish man. This has got to be put to death every day. I am God to me, except by the grace of the Holy Spirit to kill that. Lead me to Christ, get my sins forgiven, and show me the all satisfying pleasures of having a God besides myself. It's so refreshing when it happens. There's nothing sweeter than a few moments of self forgetfulness. You're not trying hard to do anything right, and you. You're just loving Jesus. You're just massively admiring God. And then you wake up a few minutes later and you're conscious of doing it, and it all gets wrapped because you have to ask whether you're authentic or not. And it's really it's really where it's at, isn't it? If I could just stay in a mode of not thinking about myself at all and be ravished with beauty outside myself, consummating in the glory of God, I would be the happiest of all people. And that's what heaven will mean. I'll be delivered finally from this brother s. My ego and my body. So if you say, why is that in the Bible, that unbelievably God exalting paragraph, it's because he's putting it over against what we're like. God sends Christ to Earth for His glory. Romans 15, Christ became a servant to the circumcision to show to show God's truthfulness. That's why he came for Jews to prove God's truthfulness. And in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. Why did He come to Jews to vindicate God's truthfulness? Why did he come to Gentiles so that we experiencing mercy would give him all the glory he's after? Glory. He means to be acknowledged as glorious, loved as glorious, enjoyed as glorious. God sends his son a second time.


Those who do not obey the gospel will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion. Exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might. It's going to happen in hell, will be excluded from the glory of his might if we have not obeyed the gospel when he comes on that day to be glorified. In the Saints and to be marveled at. So why is she just coming back? He's coming back to be glorified and he's coming back to be marveled at. Jesus is radically Jesus centered. When he comes back, he's coming back for his glory. He's coming back to be marveled at. Our calling is to manifest the worth of this glory in the world, declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works in the law, the people's praise, the Lord Pilate, praise the Lord. All nations Extoll Him, all people. So here's the summary. God's overflowing joy in His own glory is the root and basis of ours, our joy in His own glory. God is so exuberant about His glory that He makes its display the goal of all He does. Therefore, so should we. Question. Putting it that way doesn't quite get to the heart of the matter. To get to the heart of the matter. We need to ask why it is a loving thing for God to be so self exalting. Answering that question gets to the heart of the matter for worship. Why is it loving of God to be self exalting? And why, if we come to share his satisfaction in himself, is that the essence and heart of worship? We're close with this. This quote from C.S. Lewis. The answer to the first question Why is it loving of God to be so self exalting that he does all things for his own glory? Came to me.


This is back in 1968 or nine, came to me with the help of C.S. Lewis. He saw an utterly crucial thing that shows why this is not vain of God, but profoundly loving. This is very counterintuitive, right? Because if you go around doing everything for your glory, nobody would call you loving. They would called you vain and sick, egocentric, arrogant, and they'd be right. So why wouldn't they call God that? A lot of people do. A lot of people stumble over God's demand for praise. So here's Lewis's answer. The most obvious fact about praise. Now, what he was stumbling over is that God demands praise in the Psalms, He said, It sounds like an old woman demanding compliments for herself. That's that's really what he thought at age 28, 29, before he was converted. Now, here's what happened. The most obvious fact about praise, strangely, escaped me. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows in praise. Now there's the link. All enjoyment spontaneously overflows in praise. So you can already see where he's going. God demands that we praise the most praiseworthy reality. He himself. And Lewis is drawing attention. All praise. Is rooted in joy and the joy comes to consternation in the praise, which means God is after our joy. But I'm getting ahead of him. The world rings with praise lovers praising their mistresses, readers, their favorite poet, walkers, praising the countryside players, praising their favorite game, praise of whether wines, dishes, actors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians and scholars. My whole more general difficulty about praise of God. Depended on my absurdly denying to us as regards the supremely valuable. What we delight to do, what we indeed can't help doing about everything else we value.


He goes on. I think. We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses, but completes the enjoyment. It is his appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are. The delight is incomplete until it is expressed. I cannot tell you. How explosive that was for me 40 years ago. It's absolutely. World changing. Because I saw in those sentences the solution to the problem has wrestled with ever since I was about 18. I was about 2223 when this happened in all my college years. I was just eaten up with a sense of guilt about enjoying. Just enjoy. Am I supposed to go down to Chicago and do street evangelism from Wheaton? Because you're supposed to, or just to get people converted? Or is it okay to like it? Is it okay to feel satisfied in God when you're done? Is it okay to enjoy his power flowing through? Is that okay? Fine. I mean, I was blind was my problem. I just couldn't find answers. So I knew God was pursuing His glory. And I knew. And I was scared of the fact that I was pursuing my joy. And here's Lewis saying. When he demands that you praise him, he's demanding that you bring your joy to consummation. He's demanding that you not settle for half baked joys. He's going to present you with that which is most praiseworthy, most admirable, most satisfying, namely himself. And then he's going to demand that you enjoy him so fully that it spills over in praise, and that praise bring your happiness to consummation. That is my definition of what it means to be loved. And I think that's the way we love people.


It's the way God loves us, the way we love people, the way you love people. It's not by attracting their attention to yourself, but by doing everything in your power to help them see God. And then to enjoy God and then to be satisfied in God, and then to praise God and then to spend eternity doing it with the rest of us. Now that is the key. To the truth that the inward essence of worship is being satisfied in God. But we haven't quite finished with that, and I'm going to pick it up here next time. So let me pray. It will be it will be done. Father in heaven. It's so easy for me to say these things. It's so difficult to walk in them hour by hour. I'm prone to be anxious when you've said don't be anxious. Your father knows that you need him. He's gloriously selfish. I'm prone to take delight in lesser realities. When you say I'm God, you're exceeding joy. So I, with my brothers and sisters here, ask for forgiveness for our idolatrous. And would you come even tonight and in the rest of this seminar and shape our minds and shape our hearts, transform them, cleanse them, burn them with fire. And draw near. And grants to worship with their lives in spirit interest. In Jesus name, I pray. Man. Thank you for listening to this message from Desiring God, the Ministry of John Piper, Pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Feel free to make copies of this message for others, but please do not charge for those copies or alter the content in any way without permission. We invite you to visit desiring God online at w WW dot desiring God dot org where you'll find hundreds of sermons, articles, radio broadcasts and more all available at no charge.


Our online bookstore carries all of Pastor John's books, audio and video resources, and you can also stay up to date on what's new at Desiring God. Again, our website is w WW dot desiring God dawg. Or call us toll free at 1888346 4700. Our mailing address is. Desiring God. 2601 East Franklin Avenue. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 55406. Desiring God exists to help you make God your treasure because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.


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