Ephesians 2:1-4 – As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
I believe this is part two of my comments on desire (see yesterday’s blog entitled, “Pluck It Out”).
I am a great one to preach against desire. It seems like my life is a battle waging in my head over what I want verses what God desires of me. It is really true that there is nothing new under the sun. Man has been tempted by the same desires since Adam and Eve first looked at the forbidden fruit. They may have been tempted by the serpent but it was their choice, their desire to give in. And look what it cost them!
I struggle with my desires to eat. My Kryptonite lately has been ham. Not that proceed stuff in the store but the buttery goodness of the smoked him right out of the oven. I could go all “Henry the Eighth” on that and just pick it up by the bone and shove it in my mouth. And the problem is that there is ham in my refrigerator right now. Forget the fact that ham kicks up my gout. If there is ham in the house my desire is to eat it.
I struggle with my desire to be liked. I know that for many my beliefs are an offense. There are those who hate me just because I wear the name of Christ. Everyone has their own opinions about things and it bothers me when someone tells me they don’t like me because of something I believe. It is almost as bad as someone saying they don’t like you because you wear glasses or because your hair is blonde. I cannot separate my faith in Christ from who I am. But I accept it because Jesus said, “If they hate you it is because they hated me first.”
I struggle with my physical desires. I am a man. I must admit that I, like most men, struggle to keep my desires in check. There are so many times that I have had to turn off the television because of temptations. They use our desires to sell everything from toothpaste to cars. So I battle to keep my mind and eyes on Jesus rather than on earthly desires.
It is a blessing to receive God’s amazing grace. Grace is undeserved merit. It is hard to explain grace to ones who have never received it. But once you experience his grace you too will say that it is amazing!
I praise God for his grace and mercy which were poured out for me on the cross. It is because of this great love that I can focus on him rather than on the desires of the flesh. He has given me reason, strength, and self-discipline that I can overcome any temptation. The Apostle Paul said, “The only temptations that you have are the same temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to endure it” (I Corinthians 10:13 – Easy-to-Read Version).
Dear Heavenly Father, I bless your name for your great love and grace that you demonstrated for us on the cross. I praise you for bringing me out of the world of sin and desire. I praise you for providing a way for me to escape temptation. I ask for you to give me strength as I walk in your light and for you to cleanse me of all my iniquities. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.