15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

My great grandfather preached in the Midwest, started churches, and even helped found a university/seminary. My mother tells me the words that often came from his mouth were, “the will of God is my happiness.” He kept a plaque on the wall of his study saying the same in Latin “DEO VOLUNTAS MEO FELICITAS.” My mom still has his preaching Bible with his notes. What little I know of him and his passion for God inspires me. It gave him pleasure to do the will of the Father. His affections determined the choices he made and the directions he went, the life he lived.

Jesus loved his Father and it was his good pleasure to do his will. Every precious moment and interaction on this earth was in agreement with him. Even when he was tempted for 40 days in the desert his affections were guarded. He refused the desires of the flesh and did not eat the bread offered. He refused to test God and refused to bow down to Satan in the offer for all the kingdoms of the earth. The confrontation ended with Jesus saying, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” (Mathew 4:10).

Jesus was tempted like we are with worldly desires and pride. His example serves us well. The truth is we become like what we worship and bow down before. If we want to be more like Jesus, we must worship him alone and follow him more closely than anything else. What consumes the affections of your heart? Take a look at how you use your time and your resources. Look at who and what you love. My great grandfather was from the same isles as C. S. Lewis. Consider this quote from the great author and apologist, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in, aim at earth and you will get neither.” What’s your aim? Determine today to set you affections on the eternal, and make the will of God your happiness.

James 4:1-10: “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore, it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

By Donna Burns  

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