December 17, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious." 1 Peter 2:7
In the outward appearance there is little difference between the "man of God" and the "man of the world." But the inner workings of their hearts are as different as light from darkness. The man of the world has his focus on the things of time and sense. The measure of his happiness is in direct relation to his attainment of pleasure, riches, power, position and the things that appeal to his old nature.
How often we see men consumed with an intense quest of their goal, only to find, in reaching it, that its gratification eludes them. They have chased an illusion instigated by Satan himself and have found only a shadow of what they thought would be the height of their ambition. How many today are engrossed with such goals that are but superficial fancies that obscure the reality of the true virtues of life. Disappointment reigns and they become vulnerable to the invasion of the insidious ways of sin and Satan.
What makes the man of God different? First, Jesus Christ reigns on the throne of his heart. His life is governed by a personal relationship with Christ who has transformed his life. "His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:2). God has implanted within such a man's heart a desire to know Him and to seek the mind of Christ in all things. This is not the result of man's doing, but rather the power of God that has invaded his life and focused his heart on things eternal and true. His priorities have changed from the folly of worldly pleasures, attainments and self-aggrandizement to a life that's focused on eternal values. These are important and fulfilling to him. His purpose is living for ONE outside himself, Jesus Christ. He seeks to reach out to others to encourage others and give of himself.
The answer to life for the "man of God" does not come from his head only, but primarily from his heart. Dallas Willard, in his book "Renovation of the Heart," explains so clearly what takes place in the one who seeks "first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." He writes, "We must understand that spiritual formation is not only formation of the spirit or inner being of the individual...It is also the formation by the Spirit of God and by the spiritual riches of Christ's continuing incarnation in his people including most prominently, the treasures of his written and spoken word and the amazing personalities of those in whom he has most fully lived."
How imperative it is for this spiritual formation of the heart to be under the control and compelling influence of the Holy Spirit. We then will not be so concerned in trying "to do" and how "we act," but rather being immersed in the love of God and having His love invade our life and find its natural manifestation through our life. It will not be self-effort to accomplish but abiding and resting in the love God instills within our hearts. This formation of His love and life within our hearts develops an unrelenting desire of obedience, so necessary if Christ is to live His life through us.
The character of the "man of God" begins to develop and emerge with an unwavering trust in God. He trusts in God's security, for he knows "no weapon that is formed against them can prosper" (Isaiah 54:17). He trusts His grace, knowing "All things work together for good" (Romans 8:28). He trusts His providence, knowing his times are in His hand: "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you" (Isaiah 41:10). He trusts His mercy that is everlasting (Psalm 103:17).
It is to these, who "believe," that He is precious. Is He precious to you? You have only to experience His grace in salvation, His mercy and compassion, that is new every morning, and His abounding love which says, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." Unto you therefore, which believe, He is precious!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-12-17
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