Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Desire (01/17/05)
By Michael Chu
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If our desires are misplaced, we will suffer adversely. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:14 ~ 15, NKJV) James goes on to exhort us not to be deceived into thinking that all of our heart’s desires are good. The apostle John cautions us in 1 John 2:15 ~ 17(KJV), “Love not the world, neither the things that are in this world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
Turning to James 1:8 (KJV), we are told that: “Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” We need to hear what is God saying through His words so that we can be doers of what He wills. Then, our desires are aligned with what He desires. Indeed, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.” (James 1:12, KJV) Other Scripture verses like Deuteronomy 28:1~14, Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1:1~3 also speak of blessings when we trust and obey His words.
The heart, as Jeremiah 17:9~10(KJV) records for us, “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” James 1:17 (KJV) proclaims, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow nor turning.” All the gifts of God are good and perfect. For example: Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, Wisdom that is from above, and Word of prophecy by holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
God is good. His gifts are there for us to receive, if we will. The choice is ours to make, and would be clear as can be read from Jeremiah 17:5~8 (KJV): “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteh in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. … Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green: and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither cease from yielding fruit.”
Hearken to the word of the Lord today and not defer your hope for a God-blessed life. When His desire that you trust and obey Him comes upon you, and you embrace it willingly and fully, you will experience “the Lord, the fountain of living waters.” (Jeremiah 17:13, KJV)
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