Following our own desires, what we want instead of what God wants for us is what shapes us. Our desires need to line up with God's plan and a holy lifestyle.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ alright today? Oh I trust so, bless your heart. I’m fine, thank you. Full of blessing and joy, and grateful to God for the privilege of being alive and being with you by way of radio. The miles drop away and it is as though we were seated together across the table, talking about the things of God and of eternity; and I like that! Don’t you?
We’re looking at 1 Peter 1. And I wanted just to walk around a little bit in a phrase that we find in verse 14, “As obedient children…,” remember we talked about that? “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts,” – that’s our word, ‘desire’ – “former desires in your ignorance, but as He which hath called you His holy; so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” That’s an old English word meaning ‘lifestyle’. “Be ye holy in every part of your lifestyle because it is written, ‘Be ye holy for I am holy.’”
We stop there for a moment. I want to go back then to verse 14, “Fashioning yourselves according to the former desires in your ignorance.” Your desires actually shape your character, have you realized that? If you follow your desires as, as all of us do sometimes or, or other, you will be shaping your character in those regards. Fashioning yourselves – you can’t blame anybody else for that. This is something you and I do by and for ourselves. Not – it’s an interesting verb – schematizes is the, is the closest English word you could have suschematizo.
And it’s in the reflexive form, so that means ‘working on yourself’. You’re doing it yourself, and you are conforming, shaping, yourself with something. What is it? With your desires, see. Can you understand how this works? You want very much to do something, you know you shouldn’t but you do. And you feel bad about it. But another time you try it, and it doesn’t feel quite so much, so bad. And before you know it, you have been shaped, your character has been shaped that way.
I’ve met people who seemed to be pathological liars. My guess was that it was not a matter of pathology, but a matter of habit. And in going back into their lives, sometimes one would discover that there was the first lie, and then the second, and then the third, and then the one hundredth, and then the thousandth… And lying then became a matter of lifestyle. They had shaped their character that way by following the desire to trim the truth.
Sometimes in traveling through the world I have been simply aghast at the, at the character of a person who could not see anything, but that he associated it with something dirty, obscene, and immoral – there are people like that. And it, it comes as a shock to you, you know. You haven’t lived in that kind of a milieu yourself. And, and, and it comes as a shock that, that the simplest expression will be turned into something obscene by a person who has lived that way until his desires have shaped him, shaped his mind.
If you follow what you want instead of what God wants, you will be shaping your life thereby. That’s an awesome thought, isn’t it? I was looking around for something that might illustrate this. And the thought occurred to me that this whole matter is a lot like building a, a building project. You have your original blueprints, and construction begins.
Then you come to the builder and you say, “I want this, and that, and the other.” He says, “Well, you can do it, but we’ll have to institute a change order.” Now a change order is simply an official way of saying, “Change the blueprints.” And he warns, he warns you that it’ll be costly. What I have found through the years in any touch I may have had with buildings – and that’s been considerable, now and again – is that change orders are not very often practical, and they end up being very costly.
Well you can see the parallel immediately, can you not? God has a blueprint for you. It’s found in the Word of God. He says, “And He has a plan that, that is especially for you.” He said, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you – thoughts of good and not of evil – to give you a desired end. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” John, chapter 6 said of Jesus, “He Himself knew what He would do.” God knows His plans for you. “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” So God has plans for you, and His will concerning those plans is found in the inerrant, inspired Word of God, the Bible.
Now you come along, and I come along, and we say, “Well I want this, and I want that.” And what we’re doing is we’re, we’re putting through some change orders. Careful about that. You’re shaping your life, you’re shaping your life by your desires. And you’re changing God’s blueprint. It’s going to be costly, as well as impractical. Well, I want to walk around with you in that concept because it is so very important. And I need to be reminded as do you, that when we desire something, it better be in line with our Lord.
And so we come back to that verse in Psalm 37, “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” See, you come to God first, and you line up with His will. And then your desires, because they’re in line with His will, are going to shape your life God-ward, and heavenward. And you’ll be holy.
All right, let’s go on then. He said, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former desires in your ignorance, but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of lifestyle.” Have you given any thought lately, have you given any thought lately to the, the matter of a holy lifestyle? Now we think of our religious life I think oftentimes in, in compartments, don’t we? We think of it in compartments. We, we go to church, and we worship. And then we go on out into what we call the real world – you’ve heard that experience, that expression, haven’t you? “When I get out into the real world,” the college sophomore sometimes says in his astute and ineffable wisdom, “then certain things will be.”
Well, the world is just as real when you’re a sophomore as it is when you get out. Only you’ll have more responsibility and, and have to face it more probably. But “all manner of lifestyle”, what does that mean? Holiness, when I wake up how do I… You know, sometimes I don’t feel like a Christian, do you? Do you always feel holy and religious? Maybe there are some of you who wake up shouting halleluiah! But I don’t know, I don’t always do that. How do you achieve holiness when you wake up in the morning?
Bishop Taylor Smith, who is now with the Lord a good many years, visited this country from Great Britain as a guest, a guest of the Moody Bible Institute back in their Centennial or something, whatever it was. And he said that upon awakening every day, as he lay in bed, before he got out of bed, he would pray, “Oh God, make this bed an altar, and make my body the sacrifice. I yield myself to Thee now.” And he would deliberately turn himself over to the Holy Spirit of God, body, soul and spirit, upon awakening.
I find that’s a very good thing to do. First thing you do when you awake is talk to your blessed Lord. It doesn’t have to be a long, loud prayer – especially if your better half is still asleep. It needs however to be deeply sincere and from your heart of hearts. Talk to your blessed Lord, and turn yourself over to Him. You don’t have to get up with a grouch on you know, and, and plod your way through the opening moments of the day until you’ve had your first or second cup of coffee and feel more like a Christian. You don’t have to do it that way. You can start holy with God. All manner of lifestyle.
What about my relationship with the family. Breakfast of course in many households is a hurried and tumultuous occasion. “Where are my socks?” “I can’t find a clean shirt.” “What happened to my slip?” And so on, you know. And, and different members of the family are, are calling out for help, or complaining, or whatever. What is the way to be holy (Laughs) in those early moments of the day when everybody is dashing around? Well you see, if you’ve met the Lord first before you got into that melee, you are more apt to be responding to pressures as a Christian should.
And instead of saying, “Why don’t you put stuff away, you’ll be able to find it,” you know, and, and give them some snappy answer like that, you’ll be giving them a loving answer that’s helpful. Holy at breakfast. Before, during, and after. Doesn’t mean gloomy and religious. It means loving and God-glorifying, with Christ showing through your life as you interact with your loved ones. Holy in all manner of conversation, and manner of lifestyle.
What about when you go to work? How do you achieve holiness at work? Now you can’t come to work singing, “Holy, holy, holy” at the top of your voice. If you do, the men in white coats will have you by 10:30. You’ll be in Personnel right away and, and, and beyond that they’ll put you in a, a, a room with rubber walls so won’t hurt yourself. You can’t be officially religious in many situations. I know that, and so do you. But you can be absolutely dedicated to Jesus, you can be absolutely at peace with you-, yourself, and with God, and with the world. You can shine for Him with a love that defies the aggravating pressures of the job.
You can do all of that and more as the Holy Spirit of God who indwells in the believer, lives the life of Christ through you. Holy on the job doesn’t mean religious on the job. It means Christ-honoring, shining for your Lord in love and in helpfulness, and in Christ-likeness all the while. Holy on a date means my body is the temple of the Lord, and I’m going to honor Jesus in that regard. Holy in matters of finance means I’m going to be scrupulously honest so that when I witness to my banker friend, he’ll have the knowledge that I mean business and that I’m not insincere. So on down the line. It’s quite a, quite a mouthful isn’t it? You think about it, and pray about it, and God will apply it to your life.
Father, God, today oh make us holy people in every part of our lives. In Jesus’ name I ask this. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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