Most of us—perhaps all of us—long for more in life. But what is the “more” we are looking for? Because we are uncertain about how to fill this longing for more, we fill it with anything we think will satisfy.
Author Paul David Tripp explains why our efforts to find more, really bring us less because we are shrinking our life (our quest) down to something we can manage. We reduce our ambition to looking out for ourselves until our lives become shrink wrapped by sinful selfishness. Rather, we are to enlarge our lives to the vastness of God’s glory, for when we seek God’s glory, our lives expand.
Check out this excerpt from A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You.
What’s so heinous about all this is that when I am content to live in my little kingdom of one, it is God who gets squeezed out. He will not shrink himself to the size of my solitary kingdom. He cannot abandon his only glory or deny his sovereign plan. He will be God, and he will not be anything else. The kingdom that is to capture and motivate us was meant to be no smaller than the size of his grandeur. I was never meant to shrink the size of my life to a size smaller than the contours of his glory. I was never created to establish my own kingdom, but to give myself in wholehearted, sacrificial devotion to his.
. . .
When I expand my living inside the huge tent of his glory, immediately there is room for other people in my life as well. Community with him results in meaningful community with others. Think about it. Sin is functionally atheistic and antisocial. Because it reduces my focus to me, it blinds me both to God and to others. And as a sinner, I may participate in formal religion and conduct relationships with others, but only to the degree that they fit with the purposes of my solitary kingdom. . . . So I will sing praise to God’s faithfulness on Sunday, yet question his goodness on Tuesday when he doesn’t deliver what I think I need. I will say I love you one day, yet lash out at you in anger on another because somehow you have gotten in the way of my plan. What looks like God-contoured living is often, upon closer inspection, a shrink-wrapped existence.
. . . people were designed to live within the huge contours of the glory of God. We were not designed to settle for personal survival, temporal happiness, or individual success. We were created to find our meaning, identity, and purpose in the existence, character, and plan of God. Our identity was meant to be rooted in his love. Our hope was designed to be tied to his grace. Our potential was meant to be connected to his power. Our purpose was meant to be structured by his will. Our joy was meant to be wed to his glory. In every way, our vision of what is necessary, true, worthy, and meaningful was meant to be rooted in a functional worship of him. We were created for the dignity of living large and meaningful lives . . .
This results in an expansive existence, a kind of living that spans far beyond the normal things that would grip, engage, entertain, and fulfill the average human being. This kind of big-God, big-picture living means that we care about many things that do not actually touch our immediately involve us. And why do we care about these things? Because God, who is the source and center of our lives, does. God-contoured living means that God’s purposes become our functional life goals, . . . This huge and wonderful place, where we were meant to live and find our identity and purpose, is the kingdom of God.
–Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More, excerpt taken from Chapter Seven: The Shrink Dynamic.
I don’t know about you, but when I read this passage it was a game changer for me. I suddenly understood some of the behavioral and emotional problems I’ve battled. I’ve known I was meant for more and I struggled to get others to see that in me, but my focus was on myself. I’ve studied this passage so much, I’ve nearly memorized it, but it is sinking in now. I understand that by seeking God’s glory and meeting the needs God cares about—within my sphere of influence and around the world—I will discover the fulfillment of the “more” God offers because I will be living for the Kingdom of God.
I’ve shared a little bit of how this book excerpt has convicted me and helped me gain a new perspective. How about you? What “aha” insights does this truth give you?
You can connect with Paul David Tripp on Twitter (@PaulTripp) or visit his website: http://www.paultripp.com/. And be sure to pick up his book, A Quest for More. It is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions or from Christianbook.com in paperback and ePub editions.
Get your copy today! I mean that.
|A Quest For More: Living for Something Bigger Than YouBy Paul David Tripp / New Growth PressJesus calls Christians to seek first the “kingdom of God”. Using sound logic and compelling illustrations, Tripp shows you how to leave behind the world of “I, me, mine” and pursue a path toward the glory of God. You’ll learn to overcome the “kingdom of self” and connect your human life to a holy Lord. 240 pages, softcover from New Growth.|
|A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You – eBookBy Paul David Tripp / New Growth Press|
This post is part of the Virtual Book Fair: Christian Authors A to Z. See the list of other authors featured in the Virtual Book Fair.