What we want and what is best for us are usually two different things. Let’s let God direct our paths. He knows what is best!
Proverbs 8:17-21 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing [spiritual and material] wealth on those who love me and making their [heart’s] treasuries full.
There is SO MUCH about walking with Jesus that we simply cannot fathom, yet. The lists given by Paul concerning righteous living (Romans 12:9-13:10, Eph. 4:17-6:9 are two) serve to show us the depths of our sin and just how primary we are in our learning. We should have gotten a clue from the 10 Commandments, which serve as a primer–we can’t even keep those!
How pervasive is our sin nature? How invasive has it become to us? James tells us:
James 1:13-15 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
He goes on to describe just how deep these evil desires run, but also tells us how to overcome them:
James 1:19-21 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth [that is in our hearts] and the evil that is so prevalent [within us] and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
What moral filth is he talking about? How about Bitterness, rage and anger, brawling (temper) [outbursts of physical destruction whether of property or a person] and slander, along with every form of malice (Ephesians 4:31)? Got any of these in you? Me, too! Oh, how they ride so close to the surface!
How do we “humbly accept the word, which can save us?” First, we need to READ IT, which is how we learn that we CAN put off the old self (Eph. 4:22) and put on Christ (Romans 13:14). We can be made new in the attitude of our minds (Eph. 4:23), created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (24) if we turn to Him for…everything!
Here is the bonus: When we look like Christ, He uses us to attract others to Himself! Let’s let our light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).