An Undeniable Craving

Are you living in order to please God? Seriously stop and ask yourself that question. At this time of year, when we are making resolutions and lists of things to accomplish in 2009, are we thinking about what God desires or is our goal sheet filled with what we think needs to be changed or done so that we have a successful new year?


Paul tells us we are to life a live in order to please God.


1 Thess 4:1-2 (NIV)


1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.


Paul is telling us here that it is an expectation that we live in order to please God. Not just for certain tasks or in specific areas of our lives, but in everything.... and then to do it more and more!


This is contrary to current expectations of the world we live in. We are bombarded with messages to live for ourselves, do what feels good, put yourself first. Success, we are told, is the job you have, the income you make or the list of accomplishment you can rattle off.


So what does it mean to live in order to please God?


First, it's impossible to live to please God without the power of the Holy Spirit. God sent His son as a sacrifice on the cross so that we could enter into a real and intimate relationship with Him, growing in our desire to please Him. In addition, He knew our flesh is incapable of living to please Him. And God's plan for us is so perfect He didn't just send the perfect sacrifice, He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us at the point of salvation.


As believers, we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Christ as our Savior. At the moment of salvation, we are changed from the inside out. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit gives us an internal desire like we have not had before. We desire to know more about Him. It's similar to a new relationship. If there is a connection, you soon find yourself thinking about that person all the time. You desire to spend more and more time with him or her because you want to know everything about them, like a craving. This is the internal change we experience as new believers, internally craving to know more about God and His ways.


Peter says it beautifully in 1 Peter 2:2-3
Like newborn babes, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.


God is telling us that we are to crave time with Him. As a believer, the Holy Spirit gives us that craving to know more about Him so we can learn how to live in order to please Him as Paul instructed in the earlier verse. It's like feeding your soul. To crave something means you have to have it…you seek it with great purpose. To crave something means your body yearns for it. Typically we develop a craving for something after trying it for the first time. You can't develop a craving if you have never tried the food before. So Peter is definitely speaking to Christians here. Someone who has not yet accepted Christ will have a curiosity but not a craving. Their curiosity can be intense, but the craving doesn't come until you have tasted that the Lord is good.


So do you crave time with God? Do you miss Him when you have not spent time with Him?


Cravings are most familiar to us when discussing food. We know what it feels like to crave a specific food or meal. Are you aware when you have missed a meal… how about 2 meals? Would you be very purposeful in finding food if you had missed breakfast, lunch and dinner? When we miss too many meals, we actually suffer physically with headaches or other symptoms.


Do you have that kind of ravenous emptiness when you have missed daily time with the Lord? When you realize that you missed a meal for the soul…do you become very purposeful in finding time to get that meal as soon as possible or do you consider it something that you can get to later…after you finish all the stuff you need to do?


If we have missed time around the dinner table, (breakfast, lunch, dinner), getting a solid meal moves up in priority on our 'to do' list. How much more so should it be if we find ourselves going without time around the table with God?


Living in order to please God takes time in His word, getting to know Him more and more each day. It takes time in prayer, where we can talk and listen to the leading of His Spirit.




1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.


I am asking God to give me a craving for His word that cannot be filled with anything but time in scripture and prayer. I am asking God to give me a craving to live in order to please Him. Before I make my list of resolutions and goals for 2009, I need to know what pleases my Lord.


How is God leading you into 2009?


God Bless and Keep You,


Tami

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