Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Monday, November 17, 2014

3 Ways to Lust for Jesus

The title of this is weird, I know.  I'm going through a study on Philippians by Pastor Matt Chandler and this is a term he used.  Today I want to talk about lust for Jesus.  I'll be using Philippians 3:1-11 and Psalm 63 as my source verses.  Please read them. (Disclaimer: anything too brilliant may have been stolen from Matt Chandler)

Have you ever been madly in love?  More accurately, have you ever been infatuated with someone?  I mean you had to have them, had to be with them, had to hear their voice?  Have you done the "No, you hang up" thing?  Have you ever had the seemingly uncontrollable lust to be with someone and know them in all sense of the word?

Paul and David were like that with Christ.  Both of these men had, to steal some lines from Chandler and the Bible, a holy discontentment, a yearning for, a groaning for, a lustful pursuit for God.  Why don't I?  Why don't you?  Why are we so content with scraps of God when there is infinitely more to be had?  Why don't we have an uncontrollable lust for more?

David puts in this way:

"O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you." Psalm 63:1, 3

Paul said that all his works were worthless compared with knowing Jesus.  Look at this yearning Paul had:

"... I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ."  Philippians 3:8

Paul wrote that he wanted Jesus and valued Jesus more than anything.  He said everything in comparison to Jesus was rubbish.  Rubbish is a poor translation because the translators didn't want to write the real word.  Paul really says he considering everything shit in comparison.  He had a value for Christ that I don't have.  I don't treat the things in my life as crap compared to Christ.  I fit Christ into my schedule around the crap... Paul would find that sad.

So, how can we be more uncontrollably in love with God?  I'll offer my own piece of advice as well as what Matt Chandler suggested.  The first is a Matt Ray original and the second two are Matt Chandler originals.

1) Explore who God is.
God is infinite and that means that there is infinitely more to know about Him so this pursuit will never end.  That being said, I don't believe that you'll fall uncontrollably in love with Him until you know a little more of the beauty of who He is.  Do studies of who God is, not what He requires of you, but just a character study.  If you want help I suggest reading The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer and Knowing God by J. I. Packer for starts.  These helped me immensely.

2) Ask: What stirs my affections for Jesus?
My wife would say, "What romances my heart for Jesus?"  Find things that stir your heart toward God.  Some examples: the whiteness of snow, creation and being in it, orchestral music, deep theology books, milkshakes with friends, etc.  Do whatever it is that points your heart toward heaven.

3) Ask: What robs my affections for Jesus?
What keeps your mind from thoughts of God?  This can be TV, sports, Facebook, thoughts of work while you're at home, worry about the future, etc.  Whatever it is that points your thoughts back on to yourself or on to nothingness needs to be ended or controlled.  These things don't have to be inherently bad, they just need to be bad for you.

Be lustfully in love with Jesus.  I know the phrase sounds strange, but I think it works.  We should be in an uncontrollable pursuit of more of God.  Hold high the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus today.

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