Today’s sermon was exactly what I needed to hear. I am constantly in awe at how God manages to reveal Himself…how He chooses to speak to my heart.
I have been in fervent prayer over His will for my life. Each day I find myself pursuing Him more deeply than the day before. I am the farthest thing from perfect, but my heart beats so passionately for God. I do not know how else to explain it, and unless you have the same passion for Him, I do not know if you can fully understand what I am saying.I am so in love with Jesus, and each day I awaken at a newer depth into God’s heart. God is my everything. He is my entire reason for existence. Without Him, I am nothing and without hope. I am flawed and imperfect, yet He sees me as perfected in Him. Colossians 1:13-14; 21-22 says this:
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. (NKJV, italics added for emphasis)
OK, so having prefaced what I want to say with that, just tuck it away for a little bit because I will come back to it again in a minute.
Recently, the Holy Spirit has been stirring in my own over a lot of things, and I have been asking Him for focus, for clarity, and for direction. Last night, I was on my knees in deep prayer over that very thing as I was listening intently to what He was saying. I find that sometimes, though, God chooses to show me things in different ways. Sometimes He will reveal a large bit all at once, and other times He decides to do it in smaller bursts. I don’t know why He does it that way sometimes, but maybe it’s so that I will be more drawn to Him while seeking His wisdom on things.
Last week, a dear friend and sister in Christ and I were talking on the phone. She said something that I thought was insightful. She referenced Psalm 37:4:
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
She said that most Christians get it wrong when they read this scripture because it speaks to our desires of seeking God and seeking His perfect will for our lives…not the desires for physical things. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with wanting nice things…house, car, clothing, jewelry, family, or whatever else you may find attractive. However, my friend is right because none of those things should be our desires. God alone should be. Otherwise, I believe anything less than that is violating the first commandment because it is putting something else in front of God as our focus.
Now before you get angry at this, please understand that I do believe that God wants to bless us and does bless us with good things. Jesus spoke on that in Matthew 7. But there is a big difference in this concept because first of all the blessings always come with the pursuit of Christ, not of worldly things. There are so many scriptures on that. Matthew 6:33 comes to mind first:
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (NKJV)
Earlier in the same chapter Jesus said this in Matthew 6:19-21
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NKJV, italics added for emphasis)
Both of those scriptures talk about seeking God first. Focus on the heavenly things and not on earthly ones. I don’t think it was coincidence that Jesus immediately followed that with the reference to treasure.
Read what 1 John 2:15-16 says:
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. (NKJV, italics added for emphasis)
The word “lust” is usually associated with sex, but it literally translates to mean pressure. That means pressure to look, to desire, and to exalt one’s self. Yes, of course, illicit sexual activity is a huge pressure, especially in today’s world. However, that is only one area in which pressure can be demonstrated. I’ll have another blog on that which will get deeper into it. For now, I just wanted that as an aside to help with this blog.
Finally, read what it says in the Parable of the Sower from Mark 4:18-19:
18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (NKJV, italics added for emphasis)
My first sermon ever was on this passage, and the depth of this is out of scope for this blog. I will write more about that in another blog. For now, though, just notice cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and desires for other things that Jesus mentions. Pay special attention to how he says that the word becomes unfruitful when those things take center stage in our lives.
Read what it says in Proverbs 4:20-23, which was also in today’s message:
20 My son [and daughter], give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life. (NKJV, italics added for emphasis, brackets added for clarity)
Notice the references to “words” and heart in this passage. There is a direct correlation between the two.
All of these scriptures point to one thing. Our focus needs to be on God. We need not to intertwine our “wants” with our “desires”. As my sweet friend was saying, it’s okay to want something but not for it to be a desire of the heart. That alone should be reserved for Christ.
So that sets up today’s sermon and how it touched my soul this morning because my pastor was saying the same thing that my friend had said. The questions were “What is your passion?” and “What is the desire that God has given you in your heart?” Much of the sermon spoke on how people become disillusioned and “dumb down” their passions and shift their desires to be less than what God intended for them to have. In other words, they start to aim lower, which also means that they end up subpar in achieving God’s best for their lives. This can relate to relationships, work, or ministry…virtually any area of life where a desire or passion for something becomes watered down with eyes that are not focused on God and focused on what the world’s standards are.
It got me thinking about a lot of things. When my pastor asked about what desire God has put in my heart, it brought things into a greater clarity…sort of like if you were looking through a telescope but had not yet adjusted the lens, but once you did everything became clear.
When people ask me about this ministry and what God is intending to do with it, I instantly come alive. Right now, I am also bi-vocational in sales, and I frequently wear a jacket that has the ministry name on it. Customers will sometimes ask questions about it, and sharing what God has shown me just charges me somehow.
Everywhere I go, I can “see” a vision of the future. It is always before me…almost superimposed on my eyes so that I can see it at the same time I’m looking at everything else. My deepest desire is first and foremost to be deeply lost in God’s heart. But it is also to serve Him in ministry. To be truthful, it actually hurts my soul not to be doing this full-time, and even though I know that God is teaching me and showing me things that are preparing me for the next level, I am sometimes impatient with God because I want what I “see” so badly. If I lived a hundred more years it would not be enough in service to Him. He is my passion and desire, but so is sharing Him with others…to minister to their needs…to make a difference in people’s lives…to share the Anointing with others, which is the burden-removing, yoke-destroying power of God. I want to impact the world through the Anointing with Christ leading the way.
Somehow today’s message just charged me again, and it reawakened my desire and passion for God and ministry. It’s not that I had become disillusioned about anything. It’s more like when you have a fire in a fireplace that begins to dwindle, but after you put some more wood on it and poke around for a couple of minutes—POOF—it suddenly ignites and roars to life again.
That is the stirring of my spirit…my emotions…my soul…my heart…my passion…my desire…that has taken place this morning. And God’s timing could not have been more perfect. Not after I have been in such intent prayer…not when I have purposely gone deeper into His heart. In today’s message I was both charged and humbled. I was excited and crying at the same time. It was an overwhelming flood of emotions and spirit all at once. Even as I type this, I am reliving that and starting to swell up with tears.
I am in awe of how God touches our spirits…my spirit. I have a new intensity for the vision that God has shown me. I can “see” what He intends to do with this ministry (and through me) even more clearly now. Now, I have something to be more intently passionate about when I’m in prayer.
My question to you is this…what is your passion? What is your desire? Where is your treasure, aka, your heart?
I would encourage you to find your focus in Christ and let Him reawaken your passion and desire. If you have never had your passion or desire awakened in the first place, then I would encourage you to go deep into God and let Him ignite that fire in you. I can tell you from personal experience than until you come to know your purpose in life and how God intends to use you, that you end up wandering aimlessly. However, the instant God shows you and everything becomes clear, it will charge your spirit and soul in a way that I don’t know how to describe.
After this morning, everything has become more intense, more driven, more excited, more charged than ever before. I am focused like a laser, and I can clearly see not only what God wants to do through this ministry , but I am also beginning to see how He is lining up everything to move me in that direction soon. I am passionate about my pursuit of Christ, and my desire for Him and for serving Him is reawakened to a new level.
Now, what about you?