Joni sings "O Breath of Life" and shares how the Holy Spirit gives us the desire to do the things that we ought to do.
I'm so glad you are listening today. Welcome to Joni and Friends.
O breath of life come sweeping through us
Revive your church with life and power
O breath of life come cleanse, renew us
And fit your church to meet this hour.
Oh, how we need the wind of God, the breath of God to sweep through us because it is only God who can give us the, well... the "want to," the desire. There are plenty of things we "ought" to do, but rarely do we have a heartfelt desire to do what we should do. We ought to forgive people who have offended us, we ought to love unconditionally, we ought to seek the good of others, we ought to put our spouse first, we ought to pray often, we ought to, we ought to...! But like Romans 8:7 says, "The mind of the flesh is hostile to God... it is not able to submit to the law of God.
Believe me, if we end up ever wanting to forgive or wanting to love unconditionally, or desiring to put somebody else first or pray often or really wanting to read the Bible more or whatever... it is only because God has placed that "want to" in our hearts. It's a gift from the Holy Spirit. And it's why following Psalm 119 says, "Incline my heart O God to your testimonies" and elsewhere the Bible says, "Make glad the soul of your servant for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul." Oh, friend, if we pray that way, if we ask for God to do His heart-changing work in our lives, He will. He promises He'll do just that. In Ezekiel 36, He says flat-out, "I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk [did you hear that, He's going to cause us to walk] in my statutes." That's good news if you're having trouble growing in Christ.
You know what I do when I see I'm not following through on things I should? I push myself to do the right thing, recognizing I'm probably doing it in the flesh, but I pray that God will nevertheless eventually bless me with the deep desire and He will give me the happy desire to forgive or pray or read or truly love. And this isn't hypocrisy. Dr. John Piper says, "Hypocrisy hides and pretends that the "want to" is really there when it's not." No, no, no I want the Holy Spirit to give me the desire to do His will. And you know what? He does. He inclines my heart and He makes me glad and He causes me to walk in His statutes. And that's not hypocrisy, it's just a little lesson in how to grow in grace today, making all your ought-to's... happy want-to's!
Would you like to learn more? Hear more about this subject? Well, I've written a little booklet called "obedience" in which I share several stories which I know are going to inspire you to cultivate that desire, that heartfelt gladness in wanting to do things you should, you ought to do and do them happily. So later when you're at your computer, would you click on joniandfriendsradio.org and tell me you'd like to have me send you my booklet about obedience? And look, if what I've shared today needs a bit of explaining, then let me know... just click the "Contact Us" tab at the top of my webpage and share with me your questions and your thoughts. And it's my prayer that God will keep giving you the "want-to"!
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