It’s Time to be Jealous!

I grew up being taught that jealousy is wrong.

The first time I remember learning this lesson was in preschool. Another kid brought a yo-yo to school and was playing with it during recess. I thought it looked like fun, so I grabbed it out of his hand. Of course, he didn’t like that, so we got into a shoving match.

When the teacher on recess duty came over to separate us, she asked why I took the yo-yo from out of his hand. I said, “Because the classroom rules state that we are supposed to share.” I guess I was taking it upon myself to help my friend keep the rule!

The teacher sat me down and explained that I was dealing with jealousy. She said that jealousy is wanting what belongs to somebody else.

Jealousy, as I was taught, was a bad thing.

So you can understand how surprised I was the first time I read 2 Corinthians 11:2: “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.”

If jealousy is such a bad thing, why is the apostle Paul not ashamed to admit that he is jealous?

The answer lies in the reason why it is wrong for humans to be jealous in the first place. Jealousy is always based upon wanting what does not belong to us. But it is different for God because everything belongs to Him. The Bible refers to God as jealous –not as a negative attribute, but instead as a positive attribute. Why? Because He deserves all glory, honor, and praise from every living being.

Ultimately, the reason it is good for God to be jealous is the same reason it is wrong for us to be jealous.

In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul is very clear that his jealousy is a “godly jealousy.” In other words, Paul isn’t jealous for himself, but instead, Paul is jealous on behalf of God. His desire is for God to receive the honor, glory and praise from the lives of the Corinthians.

Now that’s a great kind of jealousy! In fact, I think more of us need to be jealous like that.

Do you have a godly jealousy for your neighbors? What about your children? Are you jealous for God to get all the glory from your finances? Are you jealous on God’s behalf for your church?

I think its time to be jealous!

It Takes a Village

I have two roles in my family. I am a father and a son at the very same time. At first glance, you might think that my relationships with my dad and my son are extremely linear –ie. My dad teaches me and I teach my son –period. But actually, the learning process is not so black and white.

If you spend much time around my house at all, you will find out that my son teaches me just as much as I teach him. For the most part, he doesn’t realize what he is teaching me –but it is powerful stuff. Aside from teaching me about Power Rangers and Thomas the Train, he also teaches me patience and priorities. These are lessons that I will continue learning for life.

Similarly, I have been able to teach my dad a thing or two. I’ve spent many hours helping him learn to use email and search engines; but I imagine I have helped him learn patience too… Okay, I know I’ve helped him learn patience!

I’ll be the first to agree that the more mature have a responsibility to train the less mature. But that does not mean that the less mature don’t have something to offer.

In fact, I believe that the more mature we grow, the more we have the ability to mutually teach each other as our relationships become less parent/child-oriented and more peer-oriented.

That’s how a family grows. And I think the same can be said about the way the church grows.

As a disciple grows, he needs people to invest in him while he simultaneously invests in others. Although many people have made attempts to chart this in a linear fashion (Dave disciples Bill, then Bill disciples John, then John disciples…), anyone who has spent time observing discipleship over a course of time realizes that it’s not always so black and white. Instead, discipleship is more like a family where everybody helps each other grows.

Disciples, then, need the family-like mutual edification of a local church. That’s why Jesus commands disciple makers to, “[baptize] them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Each member of the church is a fellow disciple and disciple maker. Everyone has something to offer and something to learn. As time goes on and disciples love one another, encourage one another, exhort one another, rebuke one another, and correct one another; they become more like a family. In this discipleship community we call “church,” disciples are connected in a web of relationships that mutually disciple one another for life.

Sweet Tea and the Spirit

I have several friends who order their drinks without ice. Whenever they order at a restaurant, the server always does a double take. “Sweet tea with no ice?”

But my friends have a practical reason for their anti-ice stance. They want the maximum amount of tea possible in their glass. I guess, from that perspective, when the server pours a tea with ice, the glass isn’t really filled with tea.

I’m not sure I have the theological expertise to perfectly explain what is meant by “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). In fact, there are many different interpretations of what that phrase means. But, that does not take away from fact that it is a command of God for all believers.

We may not agree on everything on the subject, but the one thing I think we can all agree on (no matter our various viewpoints) is that it is difficult to be filled with one thing when you are filled with other things.

For instance, it is difficult to be filled with the spirit if you are filled with:

  • Pride
  • Materialism
  • Anger
  • Envy
  • Selfishness
  • Bitterness
  • Etc.

If someone has a glass of tea with ice, the first step toward having a glass full of tea is to remove the ice!  In the same way, in order to be filled with the Spirit, believers must remove everything else from their lives that gets in the way.

Ultimately, the idea is to remove anything that competes with the Holy Spirit for control of your life. That’s the idea behind Galatians 5:16-24:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

            In this passage, Paul explains how the things of the flesh battle against the things of the Spirit. When we remove the things of the flesh from our lives, the the Spirit has full control of us. That’s why He says, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

You may have already figured out that this task is much to difficult for you or me to accomplish. The flesh is just too powerful to defeat alone. That’s why Paul is quick to remind us that “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

That means Christ has defeated my impatience toward the slow drive-through line; my anger toward the man who criticized my idea, and my jealousy toward the neighbor with the new sports car. Sadly, I rarely stop to think about how these daily struggles keep me from enjoying a life filled with the Spirit.

So, to break it down:

1)   We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit

2)   Being filled with the Spirit removing the things of the flesh from our lives

3)   We can’t remove the things of the flesh from our lives in our own strength

4)   But Christ has crucified our flesh on our behalf

5)   Therefore, being filled with the Spirit means fully trusting in Christ’s power over sin in our lives and faithfully obeying Him.

Now that’s a full life!

A Healthy Separation

After a disappointing loss, legendary football coach Bear Bryant was asked if there was separation on his team. His answer was simple: “No, but there’s gonna be.”

Separation can be healthy. Driving tests separate people qualified to drive from those who are not. Prisons separate criminals from law-abiding citizens, and hospitals separate the sick from the healthy.

Yet, contemporary culture abhors the idea of separating people. Everyone gets a participation trophy, Boy Scouts are accused of being prejudiced toward girls, and equal-opportunity has turned into equal results. The value of the day is inclusion and its core tenet is that everyone belongs.

Sadly, the church has bought into the “everybody belongs” mentality. Until the past couple of decades, the Sunday corporate worship service was geared toward church members. Guests were always welcome, but the service was understood to be designed for the membership. In recent years, however, some have altered their services to be more like a rally to draw in unbelievers without drawing a healthy line of separation between believers and unbelievers.

The issue is NOT about who is welcome to attend Sunday services. Rather, it is about for whom to design Sunday services. Unbelievers are welcome to attend. But when visiting, they should observe a service designed for believers, not for unbelievers.

Here are a few reasons why:

Corporate worship on Sunday is usually the only time the entire congregation comes together at one time during the week. Doesn’t it stand to reason that we would take advantage of this time to speak directly to the members? During the one opportunity to speak to the whole flock at once, shouldn’t the pastor focus on the flock rather than those outside the fold?

Corporate gatherings catered to believers in the church are the assumed biblical norm (Hebrews 10:25, I Corinthians 5:4, James 2:2). The idea of a “seeker driven” or “attritional” style gathering would be foreign to the early church. Their lives were their method to reach the lost –not their services.

Scripture never commands believers to invite unbelievers to participate in corporate worship gatherings. Provisions were made for unbelievers to observe worship, but not participate.  How could unbelievers be expected to exhort, rebuke, or give testimony? Further, in cases like I Corinthians 5:4, it makes no sense for an unbeliever to be a part of disciplining a believer.

Biblical examples of corporate worship point toward feeding believers, rather than recruiting the lost. The idea of an unbeliever attending is treated as a possibility in corporate worship but not the purpose.  Even when Paul entertained the idea of an unbeliever attending a corporate gathering (1 Corinthians 14:26), he explained that edifying believers would be the best gospel witness to unbelievers.

All examples of direct evangelistic preaching to unbelievers take place outside of the church gathering  (Acts 17).  In situations such as Pentecost and the Areopagus in Athens, Peter and Paul (respectively) shared the explicit gospel message –not a watered-down “feel-good” sermon. They never softened the message or backed down from the truth. They were cordial, loving, and kind –but nonetheless presented a bold and un-equivocating message of repentance.

Blurring the lines between believers and unbelievers has gospel ramifications. The church is Christ’s body and a visible representation of His gospel message. If everyone belongs, then who needs Christ? Further, if the guest of honor in a worship service is the unbeliever and not Christ, why would the unbeliever want to be converted? They would instantly lose their status! The gospel makes a clear separation between the saved and the lost. Whether culture acknowledges it or not, one day, Jesus will separate the two groups like a shepherd separating sheep from goats (Matthew 25:32).  A Sunday service geared toward believers is consistent with this message and avoids giving unbelievers a false sense of security.

Sunday worship for believers impacts unbelievers. None of this is to say there is never a time for evangelizing inside the church. As in 1 Corinthians 14:26, Scripture is open to the possibility that an unbeliever may visit a congregational service. And we must also be intentional toward unbelieving children of church members who need to be evangelized. But the Bible never promotes the concept of inviting the lost to church. Such an approach can easily turn into an attractional event in which we re-program worship around unbelievers. Yet, unbelievers do not worship Christ!

If we want unbelieving visitors to be converted during our worship service, we should do everything possible to exalt Christ and worship Him in truth proclaiming the fullness of Scripture! In that way, we are showing them Christ –and not a reflection of themselves.

When an unbeliever visits a church service, they need to see how the body of Christ worships Him. How could we expect them to see His glory if we are not magnifying, expounding, and praising Him! Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32).

Lifting Jesus up means showing how much greater He is than us. He is set apart. Or, in a word, separate.

Ministering to believers and lifting Christ up for unbelievers ares not two different tasks. They can be accomplished all at once. It just requires a healthy separation.

The Closer the Better

Integrity and character are hard to find. Especially given the fact that we naturally expect people to have “hidden agendas.” Whether it is a salesman, politician, newscaster, or neighbor, we sadly have trouble believing integrity and character exist.

There are some legitimate reasons for this. Our experiences have been shaped by people’s false motives and dishonest dealings. We’ve all felt the embarrassment of getting “suckered” into a deal by a slick salesman. (Have you ever bought something from a kiosk at the mall?)

Theologically, we know that man is prone to selfishness and deceit because of his sin. But perhaps the greatest reason we suspect false motives in others is because we are prone to false motives too!

The only person to live on this planet with perfect integrity and character is Christ. And the good news is that He has the power to transform our integrity and character to be like his.

Perhaps you can think of several people who are obviously being transformed in this way.

One of my friend recently described a man of character by saying, “Most people look better from a distance. But my admiration for him increases the more I get to know him.”

I think that’s a great way to summarize Christ-like character.  It gets better as you get closer –just like our relationship with Christ himself. And, the closer we get to Christ, the more we develop Christ like character!

Knowledge vs. Skill

Knowledge is great, but it is no replacement for skill.

If a man said, “I know every play in the playbook,” we wouldn’t automatically assume he is an NFL quarterback.

If a woman said, “I can name every bone in the human body,” we wouldn’t necessarily call her “doctor.”

And if someone said, “I know every planet in the solar system,” we wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that they were an astronaut.

So why is it that when a Christian shares a bit of Bible knowledge, we call them a “disciple?” Have we forgotten that discipleship is more than knowledge?

The word “disciple” simply means learner. But the idea is to learn more than knowledge. In the Great Commission, Jesus said to teach disciples to “obey” everything He taught. In other words, discipleship is a skill of learning to obey –not just learning to know.

Therefore, the fruit of discipleship is not merely the communication of facts about Christ, but instead a lifestyle that imitates Christ. To settle for anything less is to make students –not disciples.

Can you imagine what would happen if you took a man with football knowledge but no skill and put him on the field with 300 pound defensive linemen? Ouch.

Or what if you put a lady with knowledge about the skeletal system, but no medical training in charge of an emergency room? That would be a catastrophe.

So why do we assume that just because someone has attended Sunday School and church services all of their lives, they must be qualified to lead others to Christian maturity? Are we really convinced that Bible knowledge alone is the sole prerequisite for making disciples? If so, the demons would be qualified! (James 2:19)

So what should we look for in a disciple-maker? What kind of attributes qualify someone for Christian leadership? Here’s a few thoughts:

1)   The ability to apply Scripture –not just quote it.

2)   A consistent lifestyle of obedience to Christ.

3)   A history of unselfish investment into the lives of others.

4)   A continual pattern of growth through the practice of spiritual disciplines.

5)   A tendency to life sacrificially for the cause of Christ.

So, whether you are a pastor looking for a new ministry leader, or a new believer looking for a mentor; look for more than knowledge –seek out skills!

Is Weak Gospel Language Acceptable?

“Accept Christ.”

Sounds good, right? You read it on church signs and hear it in sermons. But is that all there is to it?

Certainly “accepting” Christ is necessary, even good. But it’s not the full picture. I’d like to suggest some bolder language, and here’s why:

• It’s not a very clear message. What are you accepting about Christ? That He is the Son of God? The demons accept that and tremble.

Actually, the demons do more than “accept” Christ –they believe! That’s right, James says they “believe –and shudder” (James 2:19)

If the demons are so moved by Jesus, shouldn’t believers be even more so? “Acceptance” doesn’t seem to convey the weight of Christ’s glory in the cross.

We should long for conversions like the Corinthians’ who received Christ “with fear and trembling” (2 Cor. 7:15) and to see believers growing in Christ as they “work out [their] own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

• Acceptance is not the issue. Focusing on “accepting Christ” can easily miss the crucial fact that Christ does not accept you, your sin, or your best attempts to please Him. The only thing He accepts is faith in Him alone. That’s why we need to be more clear by communicating as Christ did.

• Jesus called people to salvation in robust terms:

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19)

“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

Jesus used words like “Repent,” “Deny,” and “Follow.” Those are terms of faith, turning away from sin and clinging desperately to Christ. Faith is active, not passive (like “accept).

• Churches are full of people who have “accepted Christ” but nothing more. They aren’t transformed, they aren’t growing, and they have no desire to lift of the Name above all Names. They may have served as deacons or Sunday School teachers, volunteered in the nursery or as an usher, and they may have perfect attendance in worship services. But, one day, Christ may say to them, “Depart from me, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23).

• The Church isn’t weakening due to a weak Lord or a weak commission. No, the church is weakening because she is full of weak Christians –many of whom are not Christians at all. As a result, the world refuses to take the church seriously. Perhaps they have a good reason. Weak Christianity is “un-acceptable,” both by Christ, and by the world.

I’m not saying that a person can’t be saved in response to a call to “accept Christ.” Certainly, many have. But why risk confusing the message with weak, unclear language?

Should we accept Christ? Absolutely. But acceptance is just not the full picture.

May I propose we start using stronger language in sharing the gospel? I suggest we call upon people to repent of their sin and, by faith, to trust in Christ alone for salvation and follow Him as Lord.

That’s the kind of strong language I believe Jesus finds “acceptable.”

Leaving Home For Love

In July of 2008, Mom and Dad had just finished building a new house. It was going to be their last move. Dad had already retired and Mom was just a few years away. The new house was just outside of town with plenty of land for dad to justify buying a tractor.

At the time, Jill and I lived about three hours away from Mom and Dad. We visited their new house while were still unpacking boxes. I remember it was very hot outside and Jill was very pregnant –about a month away from giving birth. Dad was showing her the new John Deere he had bought and we all smiled as he talked about giving tractor rides to his soon-to-be-born grandson. It was so much fun to see my parents enjoying this new phase of their lives.

The next month, Jill gave birth to our son, Bryce. Both sets of our parents were there to celebrate at the hospital. We had no idea that the next time we would all be together would be in another hospital.

On November 1, Jill, Bryce, and I were involved in a terrible automobile accident. Jill was airlifted to a hospital in Little Rock. Early the next morning, Jill passed away.

Minutes later, while still in the hospital, my parents said, “Scott, we have talked it over and if you would like, we will sell our house and move to help you with Bryce.”

They had spent years waiting for their dream house yet it only took minutes to let it go.

Many people grow up knowing their parents would do anything for them. I am one of the few that has witnessed it happen. On November 2, 2008, my parents fleshed out their unselfish love toward me.

I wonder if that is what it was like when Christ entered into the world. For centuries God had been communicating His everlasting love for His people through the Law and Prophets (Jeremiah 31:3). But the message of His love became fleshed out in Christ (Hebrews 1:1).

I am still overwhelmed by the great love my parents have for Bryce and me. Their willingness to leave behind their new house in order to move into my house is a reflection of the way Christ poured Himself out on our behalf. Philippians 2:6-8, explains that Christ, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Christ left His home behind in order to enter our world. He exchanged the constant praises of the angels for the ridicule of mankind. His humble sacrifice on our behalf knew no bounds –to the extent that He gave His life on a cross.

But death did not keep Him in the grave. Instead, He conquered sin and death on our behalf. Then, he returned to His home in Heaven. He wasn’t abandoning us, but instead preparing a place for us.

Jill has joined Him in that place. And one day, my parents and I will too.

Thank you Mom and Dad for fleshing out your unselfish love toward Bryce and me.

Thank you Jesus, for fleshing out your unselfish love toward undeserving sinners (Romans 5:8). Because you left Your home to live with us, we now have a Home to live with You.

Proper Proclamation

To preach simply means to proclaim.

It doesn’t necessarily mean raising one’s voice or getting “worked up.”

What is important about preaching is the content of the sermon and the manner in which it is presented. The content must be biblical and the presentation must be representative of the nature of Christ.



A sermon must start with Scripture. Preachers must avoid starting with a clever idea and twisting God’s Word to accommodate their idea.

Instead, Scripture must be the well from which all ideas in the sermon are drawn. Illustrations, explanations, and applications must all be rooted in God’s Word.

A sermon must explain the Scripture. The whole idea of preaching is to proclaim what God has already spoken. That means the task is more than reading a text. Conversely, the task must stop short of adding new ideas to the text. When a listener walks away, he or she should have a better understanding of what God intended to communicate -not just the preacher’s personal views or opinions.

A sermon must help the listener apply the Scripture. Preachers must go beyond saying “this is what these verses mean.” They must also say, “here is how you must live in light of the verses.” Otherwise, the preacher may be helping listeners be “hearers’ of the Word and not “doers of the Word” (James 1:22).



The preacher must remember that He is presenting the living Word of God. He is a messenger representing the Almighty. Therefore, his presentation must not embarrass God.

The presentation must be Christ-like. After all, He is the Word made flesh (John 1:14) and the Scriptures all testify of Him (John 5:39). If the message of Scripture is grace, surely the presentation should be graceful. Sharing the weight of sin and the coming judgment toward sin is not the same thing as berating sinners to shame and embarrass them.


Preaching is a weighty task because, by definition, the preacher communicates on behalf of God. And, for the very same reason, it is a great privilege. Therefore, the responsibility for proper proclamation is a message we all ought to be preaching!

What Desires Do You Desire?

For about nine months I followed my diet perfectly. I went out of my way to choose healthy foods. Sometimes it meant bringing my own meal to a Christmas party or eating nothing while my friends indulged in desert.

But one day my will power ran out. I guess I had just had enough of the healthy routine. It started with one piece of candy. Then, chips and salsa. Soon, I entertained a piece of chocolate cake –and then another piece of chocolate cake (on the same night). It’s as if my desires had been reawakened after months of hibernation.

Here’s an earth-shattering thought: We act according to our strongest desire. I know, it sounds simple. But this little thought has powerful implications.

No matter what you are doing right now, your action is directly correlated with your strongest desire. In simple terms, it means that we eat when we are hungry, stop when we are full, and smile when we are happy.

Of course, very few (if any) of our actions are that simple. You may not eat when you are hungry. I skipped many free cookies over the past year because my desire to be healthy was greater than my desire for a snack.

Here’s another example: Imagine you spot a young man in a flower shop purchasing a dozen roses. Do you think his greatest desire is to own twelve red flowers? Probably not. But, his actions (purchasing roses) are determined by his greatest desire (pleasing his girlfriend).

What about times when you might say, “I really don’t want to do this,” or “This isn’t what I chose to do”?  In those situations, the action itself may not be your greatest desire, but that the action is dictated by your greatest desire. That’s why parents work second jobs to put their children through college.

We could continue the discussion by trying to identify the thousands of desires that work together in shaping our decisions and actions, but the basic idea always comes back to the fact that we act according to our strongest desire.

By the way, God designed us this way for a purpose. His desire is that He would be our greatest desire.

Jesus referred to this concept when He said, ““The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44). The man found something that fulfilled his (and our) greatest desire –the desire for joy. The result is that he was more than happy to sell everything for the sake of joy.

The problem is that our hearts are already set on other affections and we are blinded to the joy to be found in the treasure of Christ. Because we are born into sin, we desire sinful things that exalt ourselves rather than desiring the glory of God.

Here’s the challenge. If our desires and affections dictate our actions, how can we change our desires? The simple answer: we can’t.

That’s why diets eventually fail when our desire for unhealthy foods outweighs our desire for a slimmer waistline –you can only psyche yourself up for so long. Will power is never a permanent solution.

The Bible explains the difficulty of changing our desires by referring to our hearts as “hearts of stone” in Ezekiel 11:19. In this passage God condemns Israel for not changing their hearts when they heard his Word.

But wait, isn’t that unfair of God to condemn them for something they are powerless to overcome? Sure, it would be unfair, except for the fact that man chose to become a slave to sin when he sinned in the garden. It is our own fault. And, to be just, God is condemning our condition. This concept is sometimes referred to as the “Old Covenant” in which God told man to obey or die (Genesis 2:17).

But that’s not the end of the story. God doesn’t just leave man helpless. Instead, God continues the conversation by saying, “I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them.”

In other words, God says I will change their desires by replacing their stone cold hearts with soft receptive hearts that desire Me. This concept is called the “new covenant.”

The new covenant changes a rebellious sinful heart into the heart of Christ, whose chief desire is to glorify God in all things. This heart transplant does not come without a cost, however. Because our rebellious hearts deserve death, Christ died in our place. His sacrifice absorbed Gods wrath on our behalf making a substitution possible.

And that’s where we come back to desires. In the Garden, the night before his arrest, Christ prayed expressing that dying on a cross was not His greatest desire. However, His strongest desire was to do whatever pleased the Father. “Not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). It was “for the joy that was set before him [that he] endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2) and through his blood we now enter into the new covenant Ezekiel had prophesied about (I Corinthians 11:25).

Christ’s greatest desire is to please the Father by making our greatest desire to please the Father as well.

So if you struggle with a particular sin or a recurring pattern in your life that doesn’t please God, remember, will power is not the answer. You need a change in desires that you cannot perform. Instead, you must rely upon the power of God to perform the change within you.

That doesn’t mean you just sit back passively and wait for your desires to change. King David, when facing the same dilemma of the heart, prayed for God to change his desires:


“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:10-12)


His desire was not for will power, but a willing spirit. And he wouldn’t be satisfied with new habits, but only with soul-satisfying joy.

I don’t know about you, but I have a desire for that kind of desire!