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Examine Your Desire

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Examine Your Desire

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." (Matthew 5:6, NIV)[1]

Introduction: 

***All people desire what they believe will make them happy.  If a person is not full of desire for God, we can only conclude that he is engaged with another happiness.

   -- William Law in Christian Perfection (a contemporary version by Marvin D. Hinton).  Christianity Today, Vol. 36, no. 6.

***   If we yearned after God even as much as a cow yearns for her calf, we would be the worshiping and effective believers God wants us to be.  If we longed for God as a bride looks forward to the return of her husband, we would be a far greater force for God than we are now.

   -- A. W. Tozer in Men Who Met God.  Christianity Today, Vol. 30, no. 15

I.        Examine The Strength Of Your Desire

A.      Moved From Complacency

-          “Whatever” is a common phrase today that is used to show both complacency, and contempt.

***   The core problem is not that we are too passionate about bad things, but that we are not passionate enough about good things.

   -- Larry Crabb in Finding God. Christianity Today, Vol. 38, no. 3.

-          God is never satisfied with people who are satisfied with themselves.

 

Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV)
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.[2]

***   He who is not angry at sin is not in love with virtue.

   -- James Strachan, Leadership, Vol. 8, no. 1. 

B.      Measured In Intensity

                        - Does your desire for the things of God exceed all other desires?

 

Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.[3]

C.      Marked By Tenacity

-          A hunger that is not only passing, or intermittent, but that holds on like a bulldog. It is a hunger that will not let go until it is     satisfied.

-          In the Greek, the hunger and thirst are written with a present active participle, that shows continuing action. It is a continuous hungering and thirsting.

II.      Examine The Subject Of Your Desire

A.      Looking For Separation

-          To desire Holiness and Righteousness, is to desire to be not only forgiven of sin, but to be severed from it, done with it, and away from it. It is a desire to be saved from sin in its entirety, to be delivered not only from its consequences which involve a penalty, but from its influence, which is seeking to be free from its pollution.

-          Hunger for righteousness implies repentance for unrighteousness. A solid recognition of the destitute condition of the sinner.

***To be another than I am, I must abandon that I am.

   Saint John Chrysostom (C. 347-407)

***One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.

   Sidney Coe Howard (1891-1939)

B.      Looking For Sanctification

-          Sanctification is nothing more than the work of God working in the life of the believer to produce holiness and righteousness, and is therefore, necessarily a setting apart from sin, and a setting apart for God.

***Are we prepared for what sanctification will do? It will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth and an immense broadening of our interest in God.

   Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

***If God has not sanctified us and made us blameless, there is only one reason why he has not-we do not want him to.

   Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

***Sanctification is not a heavy yoke, but a joyful liberation.

   Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983)

C.      Looking For Satisfaction

                        Isaiah 12:3 (NIV)
                        3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.[4]

*** The man or woman who does not know God demands an infinite satisfaction from other human beings which they cannot give, and in the case of the man, he becomes tyrannical and cruel. It springs from this one thing, the human heart must have satisfaction, but there is only one Being Who can satisfy the last abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

   -- Oswald Chambers, Christianity Today, Vol. 37, no. 11.

***God has set Eternity in our heart, and man's infinite capacity cannot be filled or satisfied with the things of time and sense.

   -- F.B. Meyer in Our Daily Walk.  Christianity Today, Vol. 33, no. 8.

III.   Examine The Source Of Your Desire

A.      God Is The Source That Makes Your Desire A Possibility

-          Were it not for God, you would not have the desire in the first place.

Philippians 2:13 (NIV)

13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. [5]

B.      God Is The Source That Molds Your Desire Perfectly

                        - It is Him that gives your desire the form, for your desire is                                       nothing else, but to be restored in the image of Him who created                            you. It as recognition of the fall, and a seeking for a return to your                                 created potential. God’s intention for you to be holy and righteous                          is built into your very being.

C.      God Is The Source That Meets Your Desire Purposefully

- God doesn’t give you the desire for holiness, and then keep the fulfillment of it from you. He does not dangle the promise out there like some carrot on a stick. His work in you to create that desire is matched with a desire in His own heart to see it fulfilled in your life. He wants you to reflect His character. His promise is that you will be filled. That is not a far off venture, but scripture clearly tells us that the promise is for now.

 

John 4:10 (NIV)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” [6]

 

Isaiah 55:2 (NIV)

2 Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,

and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. [7]

 

John 6:32-35 (NIV)
32 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.[8]

 

2 Peter 1:2-4 (NIV)

2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.[9]

 

Hebrews 2:11 (NIV)
11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.[10]

 

Hebrews 9:14 (NIV)
14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God![11]

Conclusion:

  What I am anxious to see in Christian believers is a beautiful paradox.  I want to see in them the joy of finding God while at the same time they are blessedly pursuing Him.  I want to see in them the great joy of having God yet always wanting Him. 

   -- A.W. Tozer in Men Who Met God.  Christianity Today, Vol. 31, no.  1.


----

[1]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[2]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[3]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[4]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[5]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[6]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[7]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[8]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[9]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[10]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[11]The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

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