John Piper has built a ministry around the concept of “desiring God.” The basic idea, as Piper often puts it, is that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. In my opinion, in general, Piper has done a great service to the Christian Church in his teaching, though I do not agree with everything Piper has taught. What I want to do in this short blog is to build on the idea of “desiring God,” taking it in a different direction.
I want to simply make the case that if you are Christian, not only will you (and should you) “desire God,” but you will (and should) “desire church.” That is, you will desire the local assembly of Christians covenanted together under qualified leadership to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances, and conduct church discipline.
The truth is, “if someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar” (1 John 4:20).
God’s people are God’s church that gather in local assemblies. You cannot be a part of God’s family and yet not desire to belong to a local congregation. How can you say you love God and yet not long to be with God’s people? In other words, how can you truly say you desire God but do not desire his church? Yes, churches and Christians sin against you. But according to 1 John 4:11, 12, 20, if you say you love God, you also must love God’s people, which implies a desire to with God’s people gathering in church. After all, “a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.” As such, “I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in tents of wickedness” (Ps 84:10).
Are you a regular attending member of Grace Community Bible Church or another gospel preaching, ordinance observing, biblically ordered church?
For more on desiring church, see the message from Psalm 84 here.