John Piper on the power of the Word of God

I am reading John Piper’s book When I Don’t Desire God. In a transparent fashion, he admits to 50+ years of fighting the distractions that lure each one of us away from spending our appointed times reading the Word of God:

A thousand interesting things compete for our attention to the Word of God. I confess that after fifty years of loving and reading and memorizing Scripture, I can be lured away from appointed times in the Word by something as insignificant as a new computer device. The illusory pleasure of newness can temporarily trump the far superior benefits of keeping my appointment with the Word of God. This is evidence in me of what Paul calls indwelling sin (Rom. 7:17, 20, 23). It is part of the remaining corruption lingering after the death of the old self (Rom. 6:6). I am not proud of it. It grieves me. At times it frightens me. It is part of the reason I speak so much of the fight for joy. I know this sinful inclination must be fought to the death. It is this fight Paul has in mind when he says, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you” (Col. 3:5). We will speak shortly about how the Word helps us do that. But first we must fight just to keep our appointments with the Word. One of the ways we can fight against the inclinations that lure us from the Word of God to computers or television or any other substitute pleasure is to remind ourselves often of the immeasurable and superior benefits of the Word of God in our lives. We must put the evidence before us that reading, pondering, memorizing, and studying the Bible will yield more joy in this life and the next than all the things that lure us from it. (When I Don’t Desire God – Kindle edition, Loc. 1313-24)

Some mornings, it seems we are drawn to spending time reading and meditating on the Word but other mornings, we are distracted and drawn away to other things, often good things – but distractions nonetheless. It is good to realize along with John Piper that this is a fight against self and sin and that some times we must engage in a self battle to “fight for joy.”

One comment:

  1. Here is an additional quote from the book:

    Jesus said, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4). Oh, how easily we are deceived into thinking that better life, or more life, comes from things that lure us from the Word. But, in fact, it is the Word itself that gives us life abundantly. The life we get from bread is fragile and short. The life we get from the Word is firm and lasts forever. That life is created and kept by the Word of God. (When I Don’t Desire God – John Piper – Kindle Edition Loc. 1364-67)

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