10 But this is the new covenant I will make
with the people of Israel on that day, says the lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
-Hebrews 8:10 NLT
If our heart has not changed, following God’s rules will be unpleasant and difficult. We will rebel against being told how to live. The Holy Spirit, however, gives us new desires, helping us want to obey God (Phil 2:12-13). With a new heart, we find that serving God is our greatest joy.
12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
To be like Christ, we must train ourselves to think like Christ. To change our desires to be more like Christ’s, we need the power of the indwelling Spirit (Phil 1:19), the influence of faithful Christians, obedience to God’s Word (NOT just exposure to it),, and sacrificial service. Often it is in doing God’s will that we gain the desire to do it (Phil 4:8-9). Do what He wants and trust Him to change your desires.
19 For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.
Have you prayed for deliverance from your burdens today?
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
What we put into our minds determines what comes out in our words and actions, Paul tells us to program our mind with thoughts that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise. Do you have problems with impure thoughts and daydreams? Examine what you are putting into your mind through television, internet, books, conversations, movies and magazines. Replace harmful input with wholesome material. Above all, read God’s Word and pray. Ask God to help you focus your mind on what is good and pure. It takes practice, but it can be done.
What have you asked God to help you with today? Are you #prayedup and ready for whatever the world puts in your path today?