MORE OF GOD! ~ CULTIVATE A DESIRE
By Rodney W. Francis.
The word “desire” is written 111 times in the Bible. It is a word that has a stronger meaning than we tend to give it in these days. The Biblical meaning in the New Testament is: “a desire, yearning, longing; earnest desire, desire to have, to seek earnestly or continuously, to have zeal for . . .” (Bullinger’s); “delight, pleasure, asking, request, cleave to, pant after, to ask excessively, to desire greatly . . .” (Young’s). Good and right desire is a serious seeking after the Lord and those things He wants us to have in this life. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 ).
God must be our first priority ~ our Number One desire ~ if we want the benefits of loving, knowing and serving Him in an effective way. His ways are far higher than our ways, and so we have to be desiring more of Him strongly enough that we will pursue His plans and purposes for our lives. We cannot live passive and/or spiritually lukewarm lives and expect the reality and purposes of the New Covenant revelation of Jesus Christ to be revealed fully to us. We have to demonstrate to the Lord a desire that is strong enough that we put Him first in everything in our daily lives. Otherwise other desires will creep in and rob us of so much that God has for us.
Our desire for Jesus and His will must be stronger than any other desire we have.
When it comes to serving God ~ and especially in working with the Holy Spirit and His Gifts ~ we are told to “earnestly desire” them (1 Corinthians 12:31 ; 1 Corinthians 14:1 , 39). The word “earnestly” means “to fix the eyes intently upon, more intently, extended, stretched out . . .” (Bullinger’s); “more fervently, with prayer” (Young’s); “zealously affect” (Strong’s). “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:17-18 ). When the word “earnestly” is added to “desire” it makes it all the more of a priority. Why? Because there are so many natural and spiritual things, personal thoughts, hindrances, excuses, negative people, etc., who will try and prevent us from stepping out in the faith realm with the Holy Spirit so we can be a greater blessing to others. Elijah demonstrated that an earnest desire accomplishes things that are outside the realm of natural circumstances.
DESIRE EARNESTLY THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS
The Apostle Paul carried a strong desire in his heart to impart the Spiritual Gifts into other believers. Consider what he has said: “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established” (Romans 1:11 ). The word “long” is a strong desire. Here is what two other Bible Translations say: “For I have a strong desire to see you, and to give some grace of the spirit, so that you may be made strong” (Bible In Basic English); and “For I greatly desire to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to establish you” (Darby Bible). Paul knew the value of Spiritual Gifts functioning in and through the lives of believers. Spiritual Gifts enable us to bring a “now word” to people right from the heart of Jesus to bless, encourage and impact their lives for good and for God. Consider what the Bible says: “But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31 , Amp. Bible); “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy . . . But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men” (1 Corinthians 14:1-5 ); “For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged” (1 Corinthians 14:31 ; “Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:39 ).
To “earnestly desire” means we have to see the subject as being so important that we are committed to pressing through and seeing that desire turned into a practical outworking reality in the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility is to press through to that place where God can use us in supernatural ways and with divine appointments ~ for that is what they are when we are working with the Holy Spirit and exercising His Gifts. More wonderful and “God appointment” happenings take place through the exercising of the Spiritual Gifts than any other way I know. So many testimonies come forth when we obey the Holy Spirit. The exercising of Spiritual Gifts has helped me to recognize and know the voice of God more clearly in my life, as each of those Gifts function as a direct result of our hearing the voice of God and recognizing the different ways He speaks to us.
Sadly, far too many Christians are not encouraged to pursue the Spiritual Gifts. As a result they are not functioning as they ought to be, and the result is the Body of Christ suffers because it does not receive the benefits of what the Spiritual Gifts are for. Where the Spiritual Gifts are functioning out of a genuine love and desire for the Lord, the faith level rises and so many more things happen in the midst of God’s people.
What I am talking about is for every Holy Spirit-filled believer to be desiring and pressing through into.
They are not just for “special ministries or leaders” to operate in.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are inside you because the Holy Spirit is in you.
Through genuine earnest desire we can release those gifts of God to bless, encourage, edify, exhort and comfort people ~ every human being needs these gifts of God and the benefits they bring us. Hallelujah!
TRUE DESIRE GETS RESULTS
Jesus spoke of the power of desire when He said: “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them” (Mark 11:23-24 , KJV modernised).
Here we see the power of desire. Every one of us must be challenged by this statement of Jesus. There is so much more to be accomplished when we can get our desire for Jesus at the top of our desires! As you will now realize, to be a follower of Jesus Christ means that He must be Lord of all of us, every part of us! Our desire needs to be very positive and, we are to pray according to the major desire of our heart to Jesus, expecting that He will answer those prayers. Praise the Lord!
May our love and desire for Jesus be such that we will want to spend time with Him, getting to know Him better, and giving ourselves to His will and purposes, so we can have the joy and fulfilment of “being a worker together with God” (2 Corinthians 6:1 ).
It is desire that motivates us.
If we desire anything strong enough, then we are going to put aside lesser desires in order to achieve the one major desire that is in our heart.
When Jesus is our Number One desire, then we will put all lesser desires aside in order to know His love, plans and purposes for our lives.
The question is: “How strong is your desire for more of Jesus?”
Is that desire strong enough to cause you to make whatever changes or adjustments required to live and walk more fully in the purposes of God?
There is nothing more satisfying or fulfilling in this life than to know the will of God and be doing it.
You can accomplish great things when the Holy Spirit is allowed to operate in and through your life!
Go for it!