I would like to begin a series of articles concerning godly habits
of spiritually successful people which is an extension of the last
series of articles concerning principles in Christ from Romans.
Most self-help books are concerned with material success from which
comes happiness. But Christians are happy and consider themselves
materially successful when they are living according to God's will
(Matt. 6:24-34). Therefore, we must concern ourselves with spiritual
success and believe in God to provide for our material needs wherein
we are happy and successful - both spiritually and materially.
Christians are habitual learners. We must learn to know the will
of God before rendering obedience to the gospel. And, we must continually
learn to renew ourselves into knowledge (Col. 3:10) and present
our bodies as living sacrifices to God (Rom. 12:1-2).
There is precedent for God's people being learners. We see that
Israel had to learn the will of the Lord - teaching it from generation
to generation (Deut. 6:1-9) from which we also learn (Rom. 15:4).
We see that Jesus was a learner - learning obedience by the things
which He suffered (Heb. 5:8). The apostles also were learners -
Paul learned to abound and to suffer need (Phil. 4:12). The apostles
were commissioned to teach the world denoting that men must learn
(Matt. 28:20). And fathers are commanded to bring their children
up in the training and admonition of the Lord denoting that our
children must learn (Eph. 6:4).
I hope to devote the first few article of this series to learning.
The first component part of learning that I would like to consider
"Desire" is a craving, longing; hence a strong desire.
There are good desires and evil desires. When the desire under consideration
is evil, translations usually employ the word "lust."
Sometimes this strong desire is referred to as passion. These are
the things (good and bad) that one is passionate for - it is the
drive that motivates people to accomplish things which others consider
unworthy of the cost. Some of us have a passion for medicine or
law and are doctors and lawyers. Some of us have a passion for education
and are teachers. Some of us have a passion for sports and are statisticians,
coaches, or athletes.
A Christian's foremost passion must be for God, His will, and hence
learning about God whereby we may live pleasingly before Him. Christians
must desire a heavenly country (Heb. 11:16), desire the pure milk
of the word (1 Pet. 2:2), must hunger and thirst (desire) for righteousness
(Matt. 16:24-26), must seek, knock, and ask (relentless desire and
drive; Matt. 7:7-12), must desire to lose their life and take up
their cross (Matt. 16:24-26), and must desire the law and judgements
and the Lord (Ps. 19:7-11).
If our greatest passion in life is to serve the Lord, we will sacrifice
everything (even life itself) to serve Him. What is your greatest
desire? What does the fruit of your life tell others about your
desire to serve God? What will you give in exchange for your soul