Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Increase My Faith Hunger

Countless times over the years, I have prayed that God would strengthen and increase my faith, that He would deepen my trust in Him. As I read a beloved Piper book over the weekend, I was blown away and convicted by this simple, obvious response:

"The Holy Spirit does not awaken and strengthen faith apart from the Word of God. 'Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ' (Romans 10:17)."

How foolish and lazy I have been, neglecting the Word, expecting God to snap His fingers and make it so while failing to walk up to the table and feast on the Bread of Life so easily available to me. I pray that God will increase my hunger for His Word, and open my eyes to see wonderful things in it (Psalm 119:18)--and in so doing, that He would strengthen my faith.

A few pages later, Piper adds:

"I have the profound sense that many people who complain of not being able to rejoice in God treat the knowledge of God as something that ought to be easy to get. They are passive. They expect spiritual things to happen to them from out of nowhere. They don't grasp the pattern of the Bible expressed in Proverbs 2:1-6.

"My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding"

"Look at all those aggressive words: 'receive...treasure up...make your ear attentive...incline your out...raise your'--if you do these, then the knowledge of God will be yours. Not because you can make it happen. The giving of the knowledge is still in the hands of God: 'For the LORD gives wisdom.' No, the pursuit of the knowledge of God is not because you can make it happen, but because God freely chooses to bless seeking with finding."

--John Piper, When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy, p. 126

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