When we turn to God, faithfully obeying the gospel, what we’re seeking salvation from is the wreckage of our own sinful hearts and lives. And the wonder of the gospel is that God can do this. He can rebuild a heart that we have wrecked.
As Christians, the new delight we can have in God is the real thing. It’s what we were made for. It’s all we’ve ever dreamed of and then some. And the main thing about it is that it centers on God Himself. He, in the end, is all we really desire.
In any contest between the head and the heart, the heart will almost always win. Our loves are powerful things; they direct our actions almost irresistibly. So we must constantly work on our desires and diminish the loves that lead us away from God.
We need to see sin for what it is: a worshiping of the wrong god. Not many of us would want to be known as idolaters, but that’s what it comes down to when, at the devil’s urging, we exchange God, our hearts’ true desire, for anything else at all.
When we talk of “hard times,” we should be careful. For all the hardship we face from a shortage of life’s necessities, we face an even greater challenge when we suffer a surplus. If we’re not careful, our character will weaken in times of affluence.
Do we really want our hearts to be adjusted to God’s holiness or not? If we do, there is a price to be paid and a discipline to be submitted to. We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom. There is no other entrance, no easier entrance.
It’s a foolish waste of time to always be looking for shortcuts. Today is how we get to tomorrow! And if today is difficult, as it often will be in this world, we ought to do more than tolerate it. We ought to taste it deeply and give thanks for it.
Our actions spring from our thinking — and if our thinking were to be filled with the adoration of God, just imagine what the result would be! Our deeds would be drawn toward Him with a force that all the evil armies of hell could not stop.
Whatever God expects us to do, He will help us to do. And help with those things is what we ought to desire, more than we desire His help with lesser concerns. In anything related to the gospel of Christ, we needn’t worry about coming up short.
The light we should ask for is light to illuminate the road we’re actually going to travel. Guidance is only for those who are going somewhere. So if we’re reaching forward, we should pray for light — but our intention must be to move forward!