Fueling a Greater Desire
How do we begin to defeat sin patterns in our life? By being filled with a greater desire.
Welcome to the Light of Christ weekly podcast. Light of Christ Anglican Church is located in Georgetown, Texas at MLK and University Avenue. We are a modern expression of the ancient faith. You can learn more about us at lightofchristgeorgetown.org.
Today's morning meditation comes from Ephesians chapter five beginning at verse 15, "Look carefully then how you walk not as unwise but as wise making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine for that is debauchery but be filled with the Spirit addressing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. Giving thanks always and for everything to God the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ."
I was reminded of this verse after going to a dinner party the other week. I met an old friend there that is getting ready to compete in a bodybuilding championship. And so, we were all gathered around eating sugary food and, not being a very good friend, I was trying to tempt him to join us. But he refused. He decisively refused. And he did so because his heart is set, his desire is set, on being fit so that he can win this championship. And so, that reminded me of Paul's words here in Ephesians.
When our desires become warped and lead us into sin, often we are trying to defeat those by just saying no. And it's important to say no to evil desire, but to just say no is not enough. It's like playing a game of whack-a-mole. No sooner do you push one down than another rises again in its place. Instead of only saying no, we have to say yes to being filled with a greater desire, a desire to please our heavenly father. You see, you could say that this greater desire that my friend has to win at this championship drowned out his desire for sugary foods. You could even say that it transformed his desire to eat, to come into line with that greater desire, so that he's happy drinking a low carb, high protein shake. Likewise, when our desire for the Lord is great, our other desires come in line with that greater desire.
How are we filled with the Spirit so that we are not drunk with wine as Paul tells us? Well he says, "Address one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. Giving thanks always and for everything to God." These are our spiritual tools. Sin has absolutely no control over the heart that is singing with thankfulness Christ's words to the Lord.
If you have gone to an Anglican church you may notice that we sing the same songs often over, and over, and over again in our liturgy. And one of the ways that you can begin to conquer sin in your life and to increase your desire for the Lord is to sing these songs heartily even if you can't keep a tune. Trust me on this. God doesn't care. To not care what others think while singing Christ's words with all your might is incredibly liberating and being in tune has absolutely nothing to do with it. And so, during the week you can take these songs which are hidden deep in your heart and you can sing them to the Lord and they become really spiritual fuel to increase in you your desire for the Lord. So, how do we defeat sin in our life? We open ourselves up to receive the word of God into our heart, to be filled with a greater desire, a desire to please our heavenly father.
Thank you for listening to the Light of Christ weekly podcast. Let us end our time together with a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. A Covenant Prayer written by John Wesley is found on page 673.
“I am no longer my own but thine. Put me to what thou wilt. Rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee. Exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, oh glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit thou aren't mine and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.”