Thursday, February 21, 2008

Whaddaya Want? (Part 2 in the "Check Yourself" Series)

My husband's late uncle had a great little saying: "You do what you want to do."

Now, I don't know about you, but I feel like I do a LOT of things I don't want to do: the dishes, the laundry, breaking up fights between the kids, getting up early in the morning, pretty much anything that doesn't bring me immediate happiness or satisfaction. So why do we do all those things that we don't want to do?

Because we do want to do them.

I want my family to have clean dishes from which to eat and clean clothes to wear. I want my kids not to kill each other. But, we don't live in a "magic wand" world where the things we want just happen with no cost or inconvenience to us. Everything is a package deal. The cost comes along with the desired outcome. Sometimes you pay up front; sometimes you pay later. The question is, how badly do you want what you say you want, and are you willing to pay the associated cost?

When it comes to faith, these are the most basic and important questions to ask ourselves. A non-Believer needs to decide for herself, "Do I want to have meaning and purpose in life and go to Heaven when I die?" If the answer is "yes", she's got to be willing to pay the cost of dying to self, submitting her will to Christ, and living obediently. Pay now, benefit later. If the answer is "no", she will "enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:25), but the cost will be eternal damnation.

The question the Believer needs to ask herself is, "Do I really want to know God better, have a vibrant relationship with Him, see my prayers answered and be strong in my faith?" (If the answer is "no", you need to do some serious praying and determine if you are actually saved. Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;" (John 10:27) If you are a Christian, you will have at least some desire to follow Christ.)

Most of us would answer "yes" to that question, but are we really doing what it takes to make it happen? Do we want it badly enough to turn the TV off and spend time in the Word every day; get up on Sunday and attend church; set aside plenty of time to pray; deny self and stop doing things that are disobedient? At the very least, are we asking God to give us the desire to obey Him and help us to do these things?

What do you really want?