||Consumed For Christ
Every Christian has a longing for God. If not, are they really a Christian? The problem isn't a desire for God...I mean, I've never met a true Christian that said, "I have no desire to read my Bible or become a better Christian." We want to serve God and follow Him; the problem is that we also want to serve our flesh. We can identify with Paul when in Romans 7 he describes the conflict. In essence, he is saying, "The things that I want to do are the things that I don't do and the things that I don't want to do are the very things that I end up doing." He is acknowledging his desire to do right, but the desires of his flesh sometimes override his spiritual desires.
In Matthew 6:24, Jesus summed it up this way: "No man can serve two masters..." The reason we have such a spiritual struggle is because we strive to serve both the Lord and our flesh. It simply doesn't work. It will never work. As long as we attempt to maintain both, we will be out of balance. Our relationships, our finances, our marriage, our careers, and everything else will be out of proper alignment as long as we try to serve both.
It comes down to this: if you living single-mindedly, or as Jesus put it in Matthew 5:8, "the pure in heart," everything else will fall into place. When we try to live double-minded, we miss out on the blessings. James puts it this way: "a double minded man is unstable in all his ways." The word pure has to do with remaining unmixed. An example of that is Orange Juice. There is a difference when you buy a container that says "100% pure orange juice." A few rows over, you can spot another container that says, "made from concentrate." A closer look reveals that it contains "10% juice." When you go just a few rows further, you can purchase a container that simply reads, "orange flavored." What a tragedy that we are willing to sacrifice the pure, the authentic, from something that has been watered down or fake.
The desire of my heart is to be single-minded, to be pure in heart. I admit that there are times in which I find myself double-minded. I long for God. I desire to be in His presence. I want to be consumed for Christ! If you have similar desires, then I ask you to join me in this pursuit. It is a heart matter and because of that, there are four things we should do with our heart.
1. Put your heart on trial before God. In Psalm 139:23, David said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts." Are you willing to be honest before God? Refusing to blame other people for your spiritual emptiness and put your heart on trial?
2. Ask God to change your heart. When you are honest before the Lord (Jeremiah 24:7), He will give you a new heart. A single-minded Christian will take responsibility for their spiritual growth and contemplate, "Have I drifted from the Lord? Instead of praying, "Lord, change them...convict them; your prayer will be, "Lord, change me; change my heart."
3. Guard your heart. Proverbs 4:23. Watch out for the things that will seek to capture your heart and take you away from the Lord. The key to guarding your heart is to be filled with Scripture. Don't think for a moment that you can protect yourself apart from the Word of God! (Psalm 119:9-11)
4. Pray with all your heart. Psalm 51:10. In Luke 18:1, Jesus says, Men ought always to pray..." in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing."
Your heart, metaphorically speaking, is the seat of your emotions, intellect, and will. If our heart is not right, we will make decisions based on our emotions and they will often lead us to making poor decisions. If our heart is consumed with the desires of the flesh, we will behave accordingly. If our heart is consumed with Christ, we will live in such a way that we will experience divine blessings. Now...which type of heart would you rather have? Which master would you rather serve?