CULTIVATING A GREATER DESIRE FOR GOD
By Rodney W. Francis.
In the Christian life there are a number of things that we will not attain to without first having a desire for such. Once we become born-again believers, we have an obligation before God to demonstrate to Him (by our actions) that He, indeed, now comes first in our lives. The Scriptures are clear that we are to ask, and then it will be given to us. We are to seek and then we will find. We are to knock and then the door(s) will be opened to us. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (see Matthew 7:7-8 ). God responds to our genuine desires. The Bible declares: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 ). If we truly delight in the Lord, then the major desire of our heart will be to know Him better, so we can delight in Him even more. And the Lord will satisfy that desire. This is not a promise for people who want “things” but for those who want more of God in their lives. When our delight is first and foremost in the Lord Jesus, then our desires are going to be right and God-glorifying. When Jesus is not Number One in our life, then we will ask with the wrong motive or intention. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (see James 4:1-8 ).
Right desires come as a result of our submitting to God and drawing near to Him (James 4:7-8 ).
If we need to be filled ~ or more filled ~ with the Holy Spirit, then we have to express that desire to the Lord, and He will respond by giving us an infilling of His Holy Spirit. Jesus said: “Blessed are those who hunger (“to be hungry, suffer hunger; to hunger after, long for” – Bullinger’s) and thirst (“to thirst after, long for”) for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6 ). Notice that we must hunger and thirst after/for righteousness. Jesus also declared: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive . . .” (John 7:37-39 ).
WE MUST “EARNESTLY DESIRE” TO FUNCTION IN THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS
When it comes to the exercising of the Nine Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-10 ), they flow out of us when we demonstrate to God that we “earnestly desire” (“be zealous for, serious in intention”) them (1 Corinthians 14:31 ). “Pursue (“go after”) love, and desire (“be zealous towards”) spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:1 ).
Why is it so important to cultivate a genuine and strong desire for the Holy Spirit to flow in and through us?
The answer is because the way of the Holy Spirit is so different to anything we have ever experienced of our own thinking.
We often do not realize that without a strong desire working in us, then the natural part of us, our thinking and worrying about what others might say (if we step out and say or do something we have never done before) will take over and we finish up not obeying the Holy Spirit.
Our desire to be used of the Lord has to be stronger than any other reason or excuse we may have.
As long as we have an excuse, we will always disobey God.
When God is truly first in our life then we carry an earnest desire within us to want to please God and to do whatever He asks of us. His word teaches us that we are to be “zealous (“eager”) for spiritual gifts . . . for the edification (“building up”) of the church that you seek to excel” (1 Corinthians 14:12 ). The word “excel” means we are to be motivated with a desire to be the very best at exercising the Spiritual Gifts! I very rarely meet or hear of any Christians stating they want to excel/be the very best in this ministry of exercising the Spiritual Gifts!
WHY ARE SPIRITUAL GIFTS SO IMPORTANT?
The exercising of the Spiritual Gifts is very important. God has given them to build up people and the Church. Spiritual Gifts are God’s idea, not ours. Whatever He gives us is important and necessary if we are to gain the best benefits in our Christian walk. They are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit of Truth. Things are accomplished through the exercising of Spiritual Gifts that can happen no other way. I have personally seen more things happen as a result of the exercising of the Spiritual Gifts than any other way of Christian ministry. People get born-again, healed, filled with the Holy Spirit; the call of God is clarified in peoples’ lives, specific guidance is given, and on and on it goes. As a result of obeying the Holy Spirit ~ for exercising the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is obedience to the voice of the Spirit ~ our lives become far more effective and fruitful than not having the benefits of such. I have never been to Bible College (only to teach), was a school drop-out, yet the Holy Spirit spoke to me at 18 years of age and gave me the prophetic foundation for my life and ministry. He said to me: “If you will get to know My voice, and will do what I ask of you, there is nowhere in this world where you and I cannot go together, and we not be successful”. That statement was captured in my spirit and has been the motivation of my life and ministry for the past 59 years. God has worked with me and enabled me to minister to millions of lives (over the years) through The GFM Ministry and preaching. I have proved time and time again that the way of the Lord is right. When we learn to trust Him (over and above every other thing or person), then we will see the benefits of having a desire to please God and have Him first in every part of our life. Hallelujah!
When we are ministering in the Spiritual Gifts we are ministering Spirit to spirit to people. God, Who knows exactly what people need, gives us words of knowledge, wisdom, discernment, healing, etc., that minister to people at their very point of need. I was reminded recently of a meeting I spoke at in Bristol, England some years back. As I was preaching the Holy Spirit was giving me words of knowledge with regards to individual people as to what their position in the church was. As I was speaking those words out, the two pastors (sitting on the front row) were talking and laughing together. As they got louder I stopped preaching and asked them what they were laughing about. One of the pastors stood up and said, “Rodney, those seven people that you have just told what their positions are in this church, were actually placed in those very same positions at a church meeting two nights ago. Do you know what that means to us, to have those very people in the very same positions confirmed by someone who knew absolutely nothing about such a meeting? You have confirmed to us that we have done what the will of God is for them and the church”!
Notice that the Scriptures mentioned in this article all reveal that we have to have such an earnest desire that it motivates us to demonstrate to God that earnest desire.
That desire has to be strong enough to cause us to demonstrate to God by our actions that we desire Him and His will more than anything else.
When we can demonstrate that kind of desire, then we are going to experience God using us more and more for His purposes.
There is nothing greater in this life than to know the will of God and to be doing it.
God is looking for that kind of desire today.
May we all continue to cultivate an earnest desire for God’s total will to be done in and through each of our lives. That way we will make a positive difference in this day. God bless you!