Monday, December 24, 2007

Delighting in What He Delights In

From John Woodward -

How does the Christ-life relate to my affections? If I appropriate my identity in Christ by faith, I need to also cooperate with God's Spirit as He "restores my soul". This process of renewal in the mind, will, and emotions depends on personal surrender to God and trust in the indwelling presence of Christ.

If Christ is my life, I will delight in what HE delights in. My affections will be directed to what is valuable.

How prone the flesh is to delight in the sensual and carnal desires of this fallen world. Why else would James need to rebuke the early church? "Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. . . You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures." (James 4:1-3). Why else would John need to caution us in his first epistle? "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world." (James 2:15,16).

The true believer has the blessing of a regenerated human spirit--"the new man" (Col 3:10). We have been made partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet 1:4). Yet the soul is still vulnerable to the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil. "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul." (1Peter 2:11).

God intends us to allow the "new man" to have dominion over the soul and body by the power of the Holy Spirit. (The natural function of this chain of command was forfeited at the Fall, Gen 3). Instead of being under the control of the body, we must make it our servant (1 Cor 9:27). Instead of being under the dominion of the self-life, we need to reckon ourselves dead to sin's authority and alive to God through the resurrection power of Christ (Rom 6:5-11).

When the Lord Jesus is functioning as my Lord and LIFE, He will redirect my AFFECTIONS.

What should you delight in?

"Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4).

Delight in God's perfect will-- "I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart."(Psalm 40:8).

Delight in the Word of God-- "I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure." (Psalm 119:162).

Delight in God's moral principles-- "For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man." (Romans 7:22).

Delight in God's comfort--"In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul."(Psalms 94:19).

Delight in the Second Coming-- "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:13).

Delight in the blessing of eternal fellowship with God--"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your righthand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11).

Evan Hopkins wrote,

"We shall seek what we love and delight in. It is where our treasure is that our heart will be also. 'Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is nothing upon earth I desire beside Thee.'What are the things we are seeking? Those things that are filling our thoughts and attracting our affections. It is upon these we set our wills and concentrate our energies. It is not difficult to seek what we love."

(Broken Bread, July 30).

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