Mankind has always tried to attain glory. Paul Tripp may surprise many readers when he says this isn't a bad thing. What's bad is the way we usually go about it, and the fact that we go for false glory instead of the kind God wants us to have—Himself. With characteristic forthrightness and a personally engaging style, Tripp shows us how to abandon ourselves for the transcendent life Christ calls us to.
We all make "little kingdoms" for ourselves, getting bogged down with the inconsequential things like money, possessions, our health, even obsessive pursuit of our own talents. It's been like this since the Fall, but Tripp is quick to point out that Christ's redemption has always been available to help those who follow Him to a broader existence.
By broader existence he does not mean the kind of "border expansion" promoted by books like The Prayer of Jabez. Our broader existence comes from living in the Kingdom of God rather than our own paltry kingdom, the one we've built while pursuing ourselves and our own interests. The problem is, we often disguise our kingdoms to look like God's, sometimes without even trying to do so consciously.
How do we live fully in God's Kingdom? By making Christ the absolute center of our existence. Easier said than done, but not impossible. It's only when we're sunk in self-focus that we forget how enormous His Kingdom really is, and how free we are within it to pursue Him with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength.
In a particularly imaginative and beautiful analogy, Tripp compares the music made in God's Kingdom to jazz. In good jazz music, the musicians are all playing the same song but in entirely different ways. Yet it still sounds good, the way a song ought to, not discordant or sloppy. That's the way it is with each of Christ's followers—when we're serving Him the way we're supposed to, we're all working for the same end (His glory) in our own ways.
It's this resolution of our own desires and Christ's will that allows Tripp to end on a joyful note. Christ has made this kind of life available to us, using our own abilities and bent to His glory, and it is attainable in this life. While the perfect resolution can only come when we are fully united with Him in the heavenly realm, Paul Tripp encourages us to abandon our personal kingdoms now to live gloriously in Christ's.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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