When Psalm 23 Blocks the Road to Sentimental Morality
John Piper says:
What [Psalm 23] did for me was to put a huge road block in the way of my tendency toward man-centeredness, my tendency to think only on an earthly level, where much good can be done for man’s physical needs but where God seems strangely irrelevant.
This road block was the reminder that God leads me into paths of love, and he does it for his name’s sake. God is the beginning and God is the end of all my righteousness. The path of righteousness has his grace as its starting point (for he leads me into it) and it has his glory as its destination (because his leading is for his name’s sake). As Paul put it, “From him, through him, and to him are all things, to him be glory for ever.” So for me the road to a sentimental morality where man is the measure of all things has been blocked once and for all. The result is that . . .
First, I live with an almost constant God-consciousness.
Second, the sense of the reality of the power of God in everyday life grows, I think, in direct proportion to my conviction that he is at work in everything for his own name’s sake.
Third, there is a great sense of confidence that arises from the conviction that God’s honor is at stake in the way he is leading my life.
Fourth, my prayers for my own sanctification are more fervent and I think more effectual because I now have a tremendous argument with which to come to God: Make me holy, O God, for your name’s sake. “Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil” for your name’s sake!
Excerpted from The Shepherd, the Host, and the Highway Patrol.