These are the notes I made for Chapter 5:
1. What have I found helpful/insightful in this chapter?
I was very glad when read the opening to the chapter that I’m not the only person who deals with conflict. It is the most difficult and most draining element of human behaviour, from the fall, and we are not immune to it
“conflict, one principal effect of the fall and it doesn’t take much to incite it” p75
Why do we have conflict? It’s due to our desire, and it was really useful when Tripp brought that in, because it is true, and I found it helpful to be reminded that it is down to our selfish desires that cause the big problems in our lives.
Like in the previous chapter, it is all down to the condition of our hearts. “Conflict is the illumining window into our hearts” p76
But Tripp says “The focus is not just the heart but on the desires of the heart” p78 So we all need to turn our attention away from what drives our desires, but turn and follow the desire of God.
We turn God into a “divine waiter” who will deliver us what I have my heart set on.
But God knows what is best for us and “he will not let there be peace until he alone controls our heart”.p83 God will not let us go, even if we desire to do things that are not his will.
All this is a shocking reminder on how much the worldly desire of our hearts, corrupts, and chokes our faith in the loving Lord Jesus.
2. How will what I’ve read apply to my preaching ministry or counselling?
I must allow in my ministry, the desires of my heart to be controlled by God, and not by myself. It would be so easy to fall away from the truth and do what I want. I will apply to my ministry the divine authority of God more in my conversations with people, and address the issues with them, in the light of what Jesus has done for them, and not what they want to hear. We tend to desire to hear the good bits about God, but I need to learn to allow God to have control over our desires, otherwise it would make me a selfish individual.
3. Next time we meet I would like to discuss…
How we feel when we allow God to have control of our desires, and discuss how often we live with a sense of a need for things that we don’t need at all, and how we distinguish between what our own heart desires, and what God desires from us.