“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work’ ” (John 4:34).

ONE OF THE HIGHEST REASONS FOR DOING WHAT IS RIGHT IS THAT WE DESIRE TO BE EXACTLY WHAT OUR FATHER WANTS US TO BE. We do this not for our own sake, but for His. Because we love Him and also trust Him, we love whatever He desires for us.

Loving our Father’s desires does not come naturally. We have to learn this kind of love. The much easier thing is to love what we want for ourselves, and then love what God wants for us only insofar as it coincides with our predetermined wishes. In fact, we often go so far as to decide what God’s will is based upon nothing more than what we want that will to be.

Because of our entrenched habit of self-centered thinking and selfish choosing, learning to do God’s will for God’s sake requires that a war be waged. Our unruly mind must be subjugated to His mind. And the reason for this is not merely arbitrary. As natural as it feels to think self-centeredly, selfishness actually runs counter to the laws of nature. Our demands are in rebellion against reality — they’re a futile attempt in the short run to violate principles that are inviolable in the long run. Selfishness is a revolt against the way the world works, a childish effort that simply can’t succeed in the end. Thus, before it’s too late, our thinking needs to be brought into subjection to the truth about how things really are, and Paul speaks of “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The more we come to trust God’s wisdom and love, the more we’ll be eager to subordinate our desires to His. Our love for Him will draw us into a deeper longing to act according to His will. The apostle John wrote, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Ultimately, being “pure in heart” may mean this very thing: not only to want “one thing” ourselves, but lovingly to want the same “one thing” that is God’s own desire.

“You may grow so to follow His voice that even your thoughts will be brought ‘into captivity to the obedience of Christ.’ This bondage is perfect freedom, for we desire, He and we, only one and the same thing, and the true heartlove makes it all joy to follow, even if the path is narrow and rough” (Lilias Trotter).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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