So often I forget God’s calling on my life to not shrink the size of it down to my own personal desires (30). It can be so easy sometimes to live for myself instead of living for the one who willingly suffered and died on my behalf. I forget that I am on a quest for more than this life. I can stray off the path and instead pursue my own desires instead of the objectives of the kingdom of God. God’s children need to be reminded constantly that they are not their own because they have been bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20). Because I do not belong to myself, I have no right to live a life that is centered around my wants because I owe my existence and every breath to God. It is easy to believe the lie of autonomy because individualism is the driving force behind the values of Western culture. I found Tripp’s comments on exchanging the creator for the creation to be very convicting (41). Everyone all the time is a worshiper. Everyone worships something. Though Christians worship the Triune God of Scripture, they can live inconsistently and sin against God by valuing things in his creation like money and success more than him. After reading A Quest for More, I now realize that I am more selfish than I thought I was. I need to deal with the remaining selfishness in my heart through the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer. Though Christians have been given new hearts in regeneration, there is still an ongoing need for sanctification in order to remove the selfishness that remains.
Too often I have allowed myself to be deceived into believing that I am living for God’s glory when in reality I have been selfish and am living for myself (77). I can mistake zeal for my own kingdom for the kingdom of God. Tripp’s analysis of the deceptiveness of sin in chapter six is very revealing. He understands the human heart better than any other counselor I know of. I can fall into patterns of using the glory of God as “a means to an end rather than the end itself” (81). I must avoid man-centered worship because God’s glory is at stake in worship. I have often fallen into the sin of being anti-social and avoiding others when I should talk with them. I see now that such a desire is sinful and is rooted in my desire to uphold my own integrity and ensure that others have a high opinion of me (90). I cannot forget that I am created for community. It is not good for man to be alone (Gen 2:18). I need to have a higher esteem for the body of Christ because it is the worshiping community that God has created me to be part of and of which I will be a member for all eternity.
As a young man, I often forget that I am mortal. I am prone to think that I am immortal and have many years left on earth to do what I want before I decide to give the rest of my time to God. But in reality, “The entire length of our lives on earth is but an infinitesimal blip in time” (92). I need to live for the world to come instead of living for my own glory and pleasure on this world which will soon pass away. I do not know when I shall have to give an account to God because he holds my life in his hand (Psa 31:15). This should give us pause and ignite in our hearts a fervent desire to live every day for his glory. I must not believe the lie of sin that this world is all that there is (95). Too often Christians reduce Christianity down to moralism (105). But the Christian life is more than rules to be obeyed. The commands of Scripture are rooted in God’s desire for us to no longer live for ourselves but for his sake. Only God’s grace can give us the power to do what is right in his eyes (105).
The truth of God’s incomparable glory calls me to submit every desire I have to his larger plan for my life (107). I must re-evaluate the goals and plans of my life to see whether or not they are in conformity with God’s revealed will (107). Christians are called to submit their desires to those of Scripture. I need to examine my heart to see “what treasures or pleasures so excite and motivate you that they shape everything you desire, think, speak, and do” (119). Instead of putting myself at the center of my universe, I need to see Christ as the center of it and live for his glory (124). Instead of living in fear of man, I need to fear God and obey his commands (127). Because “all of us are better at seeing the sin of others than we are our own” (156), I need the accountability of the church so that others can evaluate the motives of my heart. May God use the church to bring his people into greater conformity with the image of Christ.