Our Desires, Or God’s?

You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.
1 Peter 4:2, NLT*

Peter’s talking to new Christians, who have made a radical lifestyle change and “no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things” with their former friends (1 Peter 4:4).

They’ve left the old life behind and are learning to live for – and with – God, and they’re suffering for it.

That’s the context, but those of us who’ve been Christians longer, or who didn’t come out of such dramatically sinful backgrounds, can still take something from today’s verse.

We’re still growing in Him, and He’s still revealing areas in our lives where we need to let go of sin and hurt.

Are we still chasing our own desires? Self is still with us, and it finds new ways to rear up. Our own desires may even be good, at least on the surface. That’s not the issue. Our reality check is this: are we chasing what we want, or what God wants? (click to tweet)

It comes back to surrender, again and again. Putting God first, listening for His will today. He may want to redeploy us, while we’re fine-tuning the routine we’ve created for what He led us to do yesterday. Or He may want us in the same role, but we need to see that we’ve started owning it – when it’s His. Or maybe we’ve become ruled by our lists, and He wants to remind us to be quiet with Him first and enjoy His presence.

However He has us serving today, and with every person we meet, let’s cultivate a heart that’s eager to hear His will for each moment.

God, You are our Shepherd and our Leader. Sometimes we still get distracted chasing our own desires, like a dog with its tail, and we forget about being eager to do Your will. Slow us down, re-focus us on You. Quiet our hearts, open our eyes and ears to Your leading. Help us to put You first.

When I’m on the mental hamster-wheel, here’s a song that helps: “A Future Not My Own,” by Matt Maher.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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