Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Learning to Bridle those Cravings that Divide Our Hearts
Whether you are a faithful follower of The Messiah or not, each human being throughout their respective life journey will have one or more deep-seated “heart desires” that at times, until actualized, may interfere or deny an individual, deeper spiritual walk in one’s faith.
For the believer, our heart desires can border on to either coveted and or distracted behavior. What is it about this life, it’s multiple ebbs and flows that robs us of our inner peace and tranquillity? Just how are we to respond to this reality when it threatens our alliance in Christ as well as perhaps, keep us from spiritual maturity?
The answer lies within and not without. It is not our changing circumstances, but our unregulated desires, that rob us of peace. We are unstable due to our lack of impulse control and lack of discipline. The very emotion of desire disturbs us; wishes make us unquiet; and when a whole heart, full of varying, sometimes contradictory longings, is boiling within our inner-life, we become dysfunctional in our soul-life.
One desire unfulfilled is enough to banish tranquillity; but how can it survive a dozen dragging different ways? A deep lesson lies in that word distraction, which has come to be so closely attached to desires; the lesson that all eager longing tears the heart asunder. Unbridled and varying wishes, then, are the worst enemies of our spiritual sleep or inactivity.
For the follower of The Messiah, our antidote is our willful determination at obtaining the learned discipline of desire after God with our entire heart [mind, emotion, and will]. Only then will this bring peace within our inner-life, by putting all other wishes in their right place. ’Seek ye first the kingdom of God.’ Let that be the dominant desire which controls and underlies all the rest. Seek for God in everything, and for everything in God. Only thus will you be able to bridle those cravings which else tear the heart.
Can You Believe God?
In Genesis 22 and Hebrews 11: 17-19, Abraham believed God was able to raise up his “only son” from the dead revealed the greatness of Abraham’s faith in God in his obedience to give Isaac as a willful offering sacrifice. It was a non-human faith that gave Abraham the power to act upon the divine command even when the very thing that he desired the most [Isaac was to be slain.]
I would like to believe that I would have responded in the likeness of Abraham but the Biblical record states that up to Abraham’s time no one had ever been raised from the dead, it was unparalleled yet “The Father of Faith” believed in the Promise of God! Not only was Abraham’s actions reflective of his faith, but his words as well.
In Genesis 22:5, he stated to his servants, “We will come again to you,” he spoke the words of faith as he, unlike myself, never doubted in the almighty ability and eternal promises of God.
The beauty of this accounts only highlights the ever-present reality of a revolutionary tread that unities the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, “the Act of Offering!”
We today cannot escape this reality. For the Messiah is clearly the focus in this narrative as God’s only begotten Son who was freely delivered up for all humanity. [Romans 8:32]. The Master was received from the dead by His Father [1 Timothy 3:16].
In the two stories, the difference was that Isaac was spared [as we all are] by the ram caught in the thicket. But the love of God was so great on our behalf, that The Messiah [the Lamb of God] was smitten of God and afflicted for our sins.
The Acts of Offering…,self!
The most revolutionary, and required spiritual experience for each follower of The Messiah is for each of us to embark onto ones’ very own Mt. Moriah and Calvery death and resurrection moments. We will all be challenged in our walk in Messiah, to surrender, time and time again, our most heart-felt precious possession [s] as our faithful act of the God divine calling to us as it was with Abraham and Jesus the Son of Man.
Below are just three very brief examples of ways in-which we all may rekindle our spirituality in our quest to become more Christ-like in our lives.
The direct command of The Master in John 3:1-21, “You must be born again, he/she cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Entrance into the Kingdom of God requires being reborn of the washing of sin and the infilling of spiritual regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
The next example for us is The Messiah pressed those who desired to become His disciples the most important spiritual discipline, deny themselves and take up his/her cross, and follow Me. In order to follow Me, The Master requires faithful obedience of self-surrender of one’s soul life. Matthew 16:24-26.
Our last example of the acts of offerings is Romans 12:1, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Some closing thoughts!
It is without question that respectfully, Abraham and The Messiah were deeply spiritually in-tuned with God’s will and purpose for their lives. Both could very well act at any time, carrying out their own will, desires, and ambitions [Abraham failed at times, Messiah was tempted in all things, yet sinned not.]
Due to their heart desire of knowing and responding to the voice of God in their lives, each of us today is eternally benefactors of the faithfulness and readiness toward doing the will of God.
For us who are followers, as is the case for those who are seeking to know and to learn how to effectively respond to the will of God today, let me leave these last words of encouragement to you.
God delights in the readiness to do the very will by- which we are all called, worship and serve God throughout our lives on earth. The apostle Paul wrote this sentiment of service by saying that the great quality of true service is the willing mind!
“If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” [II Corinthians 8:12]. We all will be tested, defeated at times, suffer much in our ever-going life-time learning curve of learning and doing the will of God.
When we too receive the divine command from God, will you and I be ready to manifest a deliberated readiness to be faithful in carrying out God will? It is my deepest prayer that you and I will stand faithful as Abraham did as God was able to trust and use each of us, for the duration of our lives of service.
Grace and Peace