Tuesday, March 8th, 2022
If you’re like me, you’ve probably prayed for “health, wealth, and happiness” countless times. After all, what else could we want for ourselves and our loved ones? In short, so much more. George Stulac, a former Canadian Olympian, once said, “We pray for safety instead of purity because we do not see impurity as dangerous." We are born sinful, given to our flesh. When we believe that we are good by our own accord, we must remember that it only took one generation - from Adam to Cain - for the worst of humanity to be revealed in murder. So what then? How do we overcome the instincts of our flesh? We surrender our lives in faith to Jesus, trusting in the fact that his perfect blood, free of any sin, was shed to give us a new spirit, the spirit of God, so that we may born again as a new creation. When we do so, praying for things like health, happiness, and wealth is praying for the things that sound good to the flesh. We fail to grasp that if we live to satisfy the flesh, we ignore the fact that living in such a way, we are not seeking after the heart of Jesus, we are merely seeking safety from a world and for a body that will pass away. Jesus had no interest in pursuing these things as his ends — he came to pursue God’s work, and in doing so, he lived a blessed life, full of all he needed. Would that we would pursue the same and rejoice not in the blessings at the hand of the Father along the way, but in the advancing of His mission! However, the flipside of that coin is what Stulac was most speaking to — the dangers of living with wrong motives. In pursuing the things not of God, or even considering the blessings of God as the reason for faith, we place ourselves at the whim of the enemy. If we see the blessings in this life as the reward for faith, what good fortune in life will we not think is from God? We give the enemy a means to derail us, to place us on a path to ruin, by simply dangling a perceived blessing in front of us. Thus, when we pray, pray for clarity of purpose, purity of heart, and understanding of what is of God in our lives. Today, ask yourself, are we praying for the things that will nourish our soul, or keep our flesh alive?
"Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." -- James 1:21 NKJV