Tag Archives: flesh

Does God Owe Me?

Does God Owe Me

Have you ever thought God owes me ?

1 Peter 1:14-16 has been hitting me and those near me so hard that I feel like I could write about it for a few weeks! I’m thankful that the Spirit is pushing this so hard in my life and pray that I will continue to be open to God’s will.

Anywho.

Some of you out there are very righteous people. Not self-righteous, but righteous. Your heart truly seeks God; God’s word plus His Spirit lead you to a righteous life.

You don’t ask for much. You ask on behalf of others: help them get that job, heal them by your power, bring them to a saving knowledge of Your son. For yourself, you don’t pray for wordly things: you pray to grow deeper, gain wisdom, want what God wants.

So when that one little thing comes along that you’re really passionate about or that one big thing is taken away, it’s tempting to think, What!? God owes me! I’ve lived a righteous life. I always seek Him! Why me!?

But this is not Biblical. The Bible doesn’t say, Be righteous, and then God owes you. Live a sacrificial life, and God will make sure you get that one thing you want.

Sounds kinda nice, huh?

We don’t live a righteous life and then get served by God.

Holy God served us first and calls us to a life of holiness.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,  knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:14-21, ESV)

I’m learning this with my children. Just because I try to live my life for God and to serve His people, it doesn’t mean that my kids will know Jesus. It doesn’t mean that my children will choose to love people. I certainly can’t just coast. My flesh wants to abdicate their care on someone else, and yet God knew all that about me and still put His very own Son in my judgment place.

And I want – I long – to be like Him.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4, ESV)

Lord, align my heart with yours so that I want what you want. Thank you for showing me that I owe you my very life, but you’ve given me grace so that I do not live out of fear or guilt. But in freedom, I hold out my children, my marriage, my failures, and my flesh. Take them and refine them.

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Desire Part 2: What Satan Wants

Last time, I wrote about having true joy over earthly pleasures. But my flesh doesn’t just desire pleasure – it also desires evil. The flesh in me wishes ill on others. The flesh in me wants things that are not good for me. The flesh in me hopes for the pieces to fall in place so that I can cheat my way out of something. Didn’t we already talk about how my flesh wants and wants and wants?

And there is an enemy who loves my flesh and its incessant desires. This enemy is real. His name is Satan.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8, NIV)

Do you remember Cain? He brought his offering to the Lord, and for whatever reason, it was not pleasing to Him. If you were Cain, how would you have reacted when God called you to the carpet? I would have been embarrassed, upset, and trying to cover for the reason my offering wasn’t acceptable. Cain? He got angry:

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7, NIV)

My fleshly desires, if allowed, open a tiny crack for that prowler to stick a toe in. “It desires to have you…This is what Satan wants. He wants me to slip – to open the door a crack – to let sin takeover for a split second so he can fling the door wide open and clinch me.

Don’t miss our good God’s subtle mention of grace. He says, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” But he doesn’t say “If you do not do what is right, you will not be accepted.” – No! He says you are in danger. While I let sin creep in and watch my life disintegrate into a fleshly toilet, God is waiting – waiting to take us back into his arms, to lift our downcast face, and restore us.

Come back Tuesday for the last part of the Desire series, and we’ll find out what exactly our God wants.

Oh Lord, save me from myself. You have already redeemed me, and that means the enemy can’t snatch me out of Your hand. But he does want to destroy my witness to the world for you. Protect me from the lie that says a little sin won’t hurt.

Desire Part 1: This Is My Desire

What is your deepest desire? This is a question that was posed to me through Beth Moore‘s book Jesus: 90 Days With the One and Only. Yeah, I’m reading Beth Moore – don’t hate! I’m getting a lot out of this book. Sidenote: The 90 Days has pathetically turned into about 9 months – and it’s not over! Sidenote 2: she makes me want to call you “beloved” in my blog. I refrain when the desire hits. 🙂

Back to the question about my deepest desire. I really had to think about this, but I knew I needed to explore two paths:

  1. What does the “Christian” in me think?
  2. What does my flesh think?

My pat answer is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. And I know deep down that I truly desire that. But I also know there is a lot of flesh in this hunk of human – and what does she want? I wrote down the first thing that came to my flesh-mind: Happiness. This answer, if I were to hear it from someone else, would make me gag. It’s so trite, and “isn’t it what we all want?” ::Bat eyelashes::

Um…yes, it is what we all want. But I think it takes a different form than what our flesh thinks. My flesh wants a big, professionally-decorated, windows-covering-the-walls, comfy, built-in-espresso-machine-in-the-kitchen house. My flesh wants a free schedule and endless sleep. My flesh wants – and it never stops wanting.

My heart, however – the soul-thing that is connected to the Holy Spirit – wants joy. Joy fulfills. Joy is not dependent on temporary things. Joy overflows from a life that has been redeemed!

Those delivered from bondage will travel on it,
those whom the Lord has ransomed will return that way.
They will enter Zion with a happy shout.
Unending joy will crown them,
happiness and joy will overwhelm them;
grief and suffering will disappear. (NETBible, Isaiah 35:9b-10)

My joy cannot be rooted in things of the here and now – even great things, like my husband, my son, our jobs, our ministries. The joy I want can only be found in our Savior. In pursuing His kingdom and His righteousness. And I’m even more amazed that I won’t even know the extent of joy possible until we enter His heaven and are drawn right to our knees.

So, beloved 🙂 – what does your flesh want? How do you remind yourself to find the True Joy?

Stay tuned for part 2 of the Desire series – the desire of our enemy.

Heavenly Father, your truth is always better than my flesh. Thank you for giving me joy that is rooted in You. You know best that I often do not experience this joy because I’m focusing on earthly desires. Align my will to Yours. Let Your true joy overflow in my life.