Summary: This sermon deals with the purity that God calls us from within.
"Pleasing God in My Desires"
Gal.5:19, Gen 4:1-8
Now if you have your bible with you this morning I want you to turn to Gen.4:1 with me this and as you do, I want you think about this question, "If you could have one desire fulfilled in your life and know that you would get it, what would it be?" Now don’t answer to quickly because there is an array of things that we could ask for. We could ask for financial stability, or to find the love of our lives, maybe it’s to be popular, or have the prefect body, maybe peace and the list could go on and on, but what would it be?
In the last two weeks we have seen how powerful the world influences are on our thoughts, our actions, and also our relationship with God. This persistent pull of the world is having a devastating effect on Christian’s today and many are finding it hard to distinguish between what is socially acceptable and that which is biblically permissible.
Part of the problem as we weigh out this issue, whether we want to admit or not, is that we have an almost magnetic desire to "Please the Flesh". Don’t believe me, go 24 hours without eating and see how your body reacts and how pleased it is with you. Paul tells us that there is a battle going on in each one of us, a battle between the "Flesh" and the "Spirit".
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
So, we shouldn’t find it strange that the "Flesh" wants to cast its vote when it comes to the issues of pleasing itself. Some people will try to convince you that we are born inherently good and moral, however, the scriptures tell us that each one of us is born with a sinful nature with a desire to please "Self". And to prove this you don’t have to look too far. Just take a stroll down to the toddler’s room; remove all the toys except the one that they all like playing with, and you will see this concept in full force.
Our intrinsic behavior is to please "Self" and my fear is that we have either forgotten or simply don’t understand what the scriptures are talking about in (1 Peter 4:1) when He says, "we should no longer live in the lust of the flesh, but live for the will of God".
1 Peter 4:1-3 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
And then I love what Peter goes on to say in the next verse.
1 Peter 4:3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles--when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness… (and so on).
In other words, somehow we have mollified why we live outside the prefect will of God. And mollify means to reduce the rigidity of (the integrity); or soften. And far to many Christians have mollified the Word of God. Far too many Christians weakened their walk with God in order to pacify the desires of the "Flesh". Far too many Christians are only skin-deep.
Last week we looked at pleasing God through the "Purity" within ourselves. And the week before that, we looked at pleasing God through the control of the "Sexual" bombardment that we are faced with. This week as we continue to examine what it takes to please God, we will find out that we have to get control of our "Desires". In order to that we have to understand three things about "Desires".
I. Desire is not Necessarily Bad.
1) Examples from the Scriptures pertaining to good desires.
a) Jesus Prayed in John 17:24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world."
i) Christ desire was that the disciples would see His glory.
b) Pauls desire in Rom 10:1 was to see his countrymen saved "Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved."
i) There’s nothing wrong with wanting to see individuals enter into a personal relationship with the Lord.