Desire & Destination

Desire and Destination

I Corinthians 12:31 (NIV) Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

Our desire will lead to a destination. Desire defines our drive, dictates our dedication and decides our destination every single time. Desire is not an opinion but an inner force of combined thoughts that become our attitude and actions. Desire is a strong feeling. A feeling of wanting something or wishing for something to happen. God has a desire. His Desire has a face. It is your face and mine. God desires people. To create an everlasting Kingdom of those He loved first and still loves the most.

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” (Plato) Our attitude and actions first formed deep within us are motivated and mastered by sin. Our flesh knows no other way until introduced to the better more excellent way. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. It is by way of Jesus that humanity is reconciled to God through His Grace that is always enough. To know the Way is not enough – even demons know the Name of Jesus and tremble at it. However, to the Way and decide to follow Him is a new thing altogether. Our destination is decided by our desire. Desire dictates our drive. Desire is the motivation for dedication. When we desire anything other than Christ, it leads to dissatisfaction.

Ecclesiastes 2:9-11 (NIV)  I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

The Lord loved Solomon. In I Kings 3, King Solomon was faithful to the Lord God and so God offered Him anything. Solomon chose wisdom and a discerning heart. I wonder how the same person who was so invested in serving God would come to such a place as Ecclesiastes 2. At this point in his life, “everything was meaningless.” His desire and drive made him successful. He denied himself nothing that his eyes could see. Maybe if he had heard Paul’s warning that all things are permissible not all things are beneficial. When he surveyed his success, all that his hard work had achieved – he found it all meaningless. He had gained the world and lost his soul. Anytime that our life prospers without soulful participation – life becomes meaningless. The purpose and plan of God that leads to fulfillment cannot be achieved apart from Him.

Mark 4:18-20 (NIV)  Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Overcoming doubt in our life is accomplished by faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Seeds of faith planted by the Word have various results. Seeds sown among the thorns hear the word and maybe even believe it but quickly the “worries of life”, “deceitfulness of wealth” and “desires for other things” literally choke the word and it does not bear the fruit it was intended to. This was King Solomon’s dilemma. God was true to His Word and gave the king exactly what he asked for. However, his human desires overtook his desire for the Lord and well we see what happened in Ecclesiastes 2. It happens to us all. God blesses us and then our desire overtakes our desire for the Living God and well you know the rest of the story. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. (Romans 7:17-19)

Romans 8:5-6 (NIV)  Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

We must master our desires and place them fully into Christ. The mountain you are facing marked doubt will not move until the very thing you desire is Jesus Christ. Why would God move a mountain if the everlasting was not waiting on the other side. The Lord has placed His Spirit in us to cultivate the fruit that leads to everlasting life and hope that never disappoints. Are we using these gifts for righteousness sake or do we simply desire the Hand of God? Are we after His Heart in the process? The things of this world will pass away. Our life in Christ is eternal. It is the admission point of eternity. Jesus died to give us access to His Kingdom. His Father will not give us the things that might block our entrance. His Grace is enough to endure our wrath of unmet expectation. “Desire increases when fulfillment is postponed.” Maybe the mountain is not moving because secretly you desire something different than Christ? Is it possible to know the Lord but not desire Him? Absolutely.

The Spirit of the Living God will lead you to life and peace. Feeding our flesh starves our soul. Feeding our soul, likewise, starves the flesh. The Fruit of God’s Spirit changes our appetite for the things of this life as eternal life becomes a reality. Suddenly, all the things we wanted, needed and desire change to one thing – Jesus Christ. As our soul prospers, so will we.

Psalm 145:13-16 (NIV) Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Your desire to change must be greater than your desire to stay the same. (Unknown) Are you satisfied with your life today? Are you struggling with unmet expectation? King Solomon had it all according to earthly success yet found life to be meaningless. How many of the rich and famous who appear to have it all end their life due to depression, discouragement and distress that the world could not see for the notoriety of fame and influence of wealth? Life outside of Christ is preset and predetermined. Sin produces death. Our life in Christ must become more than just knowing His Name but we must desire the Lord. He desires a relationship with us. His Hand opens with His Heart. His Hand will not open outside of an established relationship or risk losing us forever. His Desire is for us so He will do nothing to keep us from Him even if that means withholding what we ask of Him.

C.S. Lewis said, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” You were born to be part of an everlasting kingdom yet arrived in a temporary world. The Lord is trustworthy and true. He created you with purpose. You have a handwritten plan prerecorded for your good. The only investment you make in your future is faith. Faith in God’s Love. Faith in God’s Son. Faith in God’s Grace. Faith in God’s Promises. It is all about living a life of faith that overcomes doubt in every area of our life. This is when the mountain will move and be cast in the sea. The very moment our heart’s desire is for the Lord and Him alone. God will then open His Hand and satisfy our desire.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NIV) With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ

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Power of Change

Power of Change

Hebrews 6:17-19 (NLT)

God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.

 

With each season in life comes change so it seems. Yet, in Ecclesiastes 1:4, Solomon says that the earth is constant and it is people who change. Perhaps it’s true and the change so evident around us is not natural or physical but spiritual and emotional. In the midst of godly change that comes for those who seek Him, it is sometimes hard to remain focused on the outcome overwhelmed by the process of change around us and in us. God does not change His Mind. This is so important to remember when all hell breaks loose in life or things don’t turn out as we planned. The very thing that upends our life bringing about chaos and disruption leads us to peace and rest.

 

We believe the Lord has instructed us to move from our current home to one in the next county over. I am convinced that God has spoken directly to my heart. As we begin the process necessary to change locations, I sense the stress and struggle of natural change. The list of tasks to completion grows longer and longer. The uncertainty of how God will make this a reality still holds too many variables. The only thing that I know is that the Lord has laid this on our hearts. My office, prayer closet, writing room is overflowing with various contents of our life that have no place in our future house so I am sorting, selling and giving things away. Today, it feels like the process of change is about to fall down on my head. That is until the Lord speaks to me in Hebrews 6. I have been here before. He calls us out upon the water… where our feet may fail. Our feet will always fail us in walks of faith.

 

Faith is not something our five sense can muster up and validate. It is a product of our very human, weak and wavering heart. In the midst of change, it is natural to try to find a constant something to hold on to that indicates a successful trip. God has given us this promise and an oath that two things are unchangeable. He cannot and will not lie or change His Mind about us. This is the confidence that faith must walk on to go deeper and farther than ever before. It is the sanctuary of peace and rest supplied by total faith and complete trust that God loves us and only wants His Very Best for us enough to continue in the process that threatens our comfort naturally to secure the supernatural blessing God has in store for our life. The anchor of our soul is hope. We cannot have confident hope without steadfast faith. Something is changing but it is not what we think.

 

Isaiah 55:6-9 (NLT)

Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

 

To embrace change is to trust God. You cannot move deeper into God’s Presence unless you choose change over comfort. Change is a requirement not a suggestion. Max Lucado said that we change our life by changing our heart. That’s true partially. We change our life by allowing God to change our heart. It’s biblical that God changes the human heart. Tony Robbins said, “Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.” I like that. We can change our behaviors and habits. Choosing to do something different or new because to stay the same and expect different results is insanity according to Einstein. The Lord seeks to give us a new heart. It is not like the stony and stubborn one that we are born with molded into a graven image of self, covered in a thick layer of sin, and bound by every lie the enemy has ever spoken to us or about us. No God has other ideas and plans for our life that are beyond our reach outside of faith and confident hope that those who seek Him will find Him. To do so, one must believe that His Ways are higher and that His Thoughts reside in the realm of hope, too. When we do we will reach beyond the known into the unknown by faith to apprehend that which He has promised us.

 

Ezekiel 36:25-27 (NLT)

“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”

 

I want to have a tender and responsive heart. One that is no long stony and stubborn wanting its own way and to be comfortable. God has promised us a new heart. It comes at a high price. Change. We must change to have God’s Promises simply because He never changes. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) Change is messy. Change is uncomfortable. Change feels unsafe and insecure. Change is essential to exchange a natural existence for a supernatural life.

 

Deuteronomy 30:6 (NLT)

“The Lord your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live!”

 

I cannot facilitate the necessary changes in my life to achieve righteousness with God. Right standing with God is a gift. (Romans 3:22-26) The plan from the beginning was for people to realize the fatality of sin and accept the Gift of Eternal Life offered by the Son of God to all mankind. We can do better but will never achieve our best outside of the Grace of God. Lives twisted in sin will never be okay. (Ezekiel 7:13) Without godly repentance and sorrow for our sin that leads to change – we will one day succumb to it. (2 Corinthians 7:8-10) No excuses. His Grace is sufficient for me and His Power will work best in my weakness. It is evident in the midst of surrender when He elevates me to live in His Glory both now and forevermore.

 

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NLT)

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

 

The Spirit of God in us allows us the freedom to change our life. With a new heart and new mind set on the Lord, we can apprehend every promise hidden and provided for our life. The key to that door is faith and total trust in the Lord enough to walk to the door by faith and open it with confident hope. The unchangeability of God makes this completely possible as we cross over the Jordan into the Promised Land of life. See we are all born with a promise, but it is up to us to walk by faith and receive it. Why did the Children of Israel keep wandering in a circle for 40 years? The Promise kept them going. They complained, bickered, and grumbled…but they kept walking. Faith in God kept their feet moving in the right direction. Hearts set on the Father and His Promise would not give out. Those without faith died in the wilderness. But everyone else kept walking. Those who endure to the end will be saved. I don’t want to give up. I want to make it to the finish line of faith today. Don’t you?

 

Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots? Of course, not. It is not the outward appearance that God is after. He is interested in our heart. Has it changed? Am I different where it matters? As Samuel traveled to anoint Saul as king, the Lord told him that the Spirit of the Lord would come powerfully upon him and he would be changed to a different person. The Spirit of God is the power of change in us. We cannot do it by ourselves. Sin prevails in the human heart. It is the Spirit of God that turns the soil of our heart making it fertile. He plants the Word of God in us. He is the One who cultivates the Spiritual Fruit that God desires.

 

Deuteronomy 12:8-11 (NLT)

“Your pattern of worship will change. Today all of you are doing as you please, because you have not yet arrived at the place of rest, the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession. But you will soon cross the Jordan River and live in the land the Lord your God is giving you. When he gives you rest from all your enemies and you’re living safely in the land, you must bring everything I command you—your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, and your offerings to fulfill a vow—to the designated place of worship, the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored.”

 

On the verge of change, I understand that I cannot make me into who the Lord desires for me to be. He is giving me a new heart. A new mind. A new spirit by filling me with His Spirit. So what can I do? I can change my pattern of worship. Warned in Deuteronomy 12:4-7, that as God produces change in our life introducing us to His Promises, making His Blessings come to pass, it is up to us to continue to change our pattern of worship careful to never worship as pagans do. This is a sad trend in church culture as seeker sensitive churches have changed their pattern of worship to attract more people but not to change and equip hearts.

 

Today tiptoeing on the edge of the change that I know is coming, I want to change my pattern of worship to that which leads to rest and fulfillment. Worship is surrendering our life to God’s Change and accepting all that He has for us by faith not by sight. To enter the realm of hope only expecting God to be good, faithful and true as we engage fully and fearlessly with our God.

 

Colossians 1:6 (NLT)

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

 

Committing our life to change allows the Good News to make its way around the world and change the lives of those who encounter Him. I want my life to matter. I want the change that is stirring inside my heart even though it is uncomfortable. Like the tilling of soil to make it fertile and ready, I want my heart to receive the difficult message regarding change so that I am ready as it comes. Fully surrendered to the power of change and willing to do what it takes to achieve it.

 

I Peter 1:3-5 (NLT)

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.