Posts Tagged ‘selfish desires’

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool seem right to him, but a wise man listen to advice.

Every fool thinks he is right. He cannot think otherwise. He thinks everyone else is wrong. A wise man learns to resent his own thoughts. He knows they are selfish, biased, and deceitful. Instead he listens attentively and submissively to the counsel of others, for he knows they are speaking with less selfishness, bias, and deceit than his heart thinks.

Man is corrupt from the inside out. His heart – the internal place of affections, motives, and choices – is the most corrupt part of all. The Bible declares the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, which indicts it horribly (Jer 17:9). Who can truly know the perverse nature of their heart? Not you, unless you believe the Bible.

By nature, you hate God, wisdom, correction, and those who correct you. By nature, you love yourself, presume you are right, and believe you do everything better than others.  The only reason you ever fail is someone else’s fault or bad circumstances. You have every base covered to continue believing you were and are always right. What folly!

To crawl out of this cesspool of human pride and rebellion, you must learn to mistrust, criticize, and resent your own thoughts. This is one of the toughest challenges of wisdom, for with powerful instincts and lusts you want to protect and follow your thoughts. It is the ultimate exercise in humility to admit your own error and accept another’s opinion.

The single best measure of wisdom is your ability to crush your own thoughts and receive instruction. This is the most common point made by Solomon throughout the book of Proverbs. He constantly appeals to his hearers to receive instruction, knowing that their hearts naturally rebel against any advice or ideas contrary to their own.

Each man must come to God and Scripture in total trust and submission. A holy esteem must be formed for every precept; a holy hatred must be cultivated for every contrary thought (Ps 119:128). Solomon wrote, “Trust in the lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Pr 3:5).  “Be not wise in thine own eyes” (Pr 3:7).

You must silence your screaming heart. Crave wisdom, and admit it is not in you by nature. Acknowledge that only God truly has real wisdom. Prove all things by Scripture (I Thess 5:21; Acts 17:11). Use a multitude of wise counselors for practical decisions (Pr 11:14; 15:22; 24:6). Keep your heart diligently and strictly (Pr 4:23; Is 8:20).

Daily choices bring your heart into play. Fools listen to their hearts; wise men consult God’s word. Fools reject others’ instruction and warnings; wise men love and seek them. Do not be content thinking you are right; make sure you are right by these two criteria.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 4:3-5 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching’s ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.  But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 

Many speakers, teachers, and writers talk about the pursuit of knowledge.  But often they don’t want knowledge; they want power.  Such people won’t listen to “sound doctrine” Instead, they “turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

You can see this everywhere – from liberal churches to university campuses.  People claiming to have a bit more enlightenment than what the dusty Bible has to say; people claiming to improve on God’s words.  Such people have several things in common:

(1)  They do not tolerate the truth.  They have no interest or respect for absolute truth or any standard for judgment.

(2)  They reject truth for sensationalism.  They want truth that fits their situation and makes sense for them.  What they feel, what works for them, what seems compelling-that is their truth and they claim an absolute right to it.  No one should even attempt to tell them differently.

(3)  They gather viewpoints to suit their selfish desires.  Although they profess objectivity, their only defense for their viewpoints is that those viewpoint suit their  desires.

Such teachers have a following because they are telling people “what their itching ears want to hear.” These people are following myths.

Lets Bring it Home: Be careful.  False teaching can be found in many places-even inside the doors of some churches.  Like Timothy, you must “keep your head in all situations” and seek God’s Word for the truth.

To keep cool when you are jarred and jolted by people or circumstances, don’t react quickly.  In any work of ministry that you undertake, keeping a clear mind in every situation makes you morally alert to temptation, resistant to pressure, and vigilant when facing heavy responsibility.

Under Gods Command

Judges 9:1-5 Abimelech son of Jerub-Ball (Gideon) went to his mother’s brothers in Shechem and said to them and to all his mother’s clan, “Ask all the citizens of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you: to have all seventy of Jerub-Baal’s (Gideon) sons rule over you, or just one man?  Remember, I am your flesh and blood.” When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow “Abimelech, for they said, “He is our brother.” They gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Ball-Berith, and Abimelech used it to hire reckless adventures, who became the followers.  He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers, the sons of Jerub-Ball, But Jotham the youngest of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding. 

With Gideon dead, Abimelech wanted to take his father’s place. (Jerub-Baal is another name for Gideon; see 6:32.)  To set his plan in motion he went to the city of Shechem, his mother’s hometown, to drum up support.  Here he felt kinship with the residents.  These relatives were Canaanites and would be glad to unit against Israel.

Israel’s King was to be the Lord and not a man.  But Abimelech wanted to usurp the position reserved for God alone.  In his selfish quest, he killed all but one of his 70 half brothers.  People with selfish desires often seek to fulfill them in ruthless ways.

Lets bring it home: Examine your ambitions to see if they are self-centered or God-centered, Be sure you always fulfill your desires in ways that God would approve.

Under Gods Command
Jesus is the way to the Father

John 14:12-14 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Jesus is not saying that his disciples would do more amazing miracles-after all, rising the dead is about as amazing as you can get. Rather, the disciples, working in the power of the Holy Spirit, would carry the gospel of God’s Kingdom out of Palestine and into the whole world.

When Jesus says we can ask for anything, we must remember that our asking must be in his name-that is, according to God’s character and will. God will not grant request contrary to his nature or his will, and we cannot use his name as a magic formula to fulfill our selfish desires. If we are sincerely following God and seeking to do his will, then our request will be in line with what he wants, and he will grant them.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.