MIDWEEK MINUTE (5/22/19): How Badly Do We Want It?
It’s graduation season! School is almost over, and for some it’s already done. There are graduation ceremonies to attend and graduation parties to celebrate. When I was growing up there was high school graduation and, if you went on to college, graduation for that, too! Now a’days there’s graduation for pre-K, elementary school, middle school, and high school, as well as graduation for GED, home school, and college.
Let’s face it, graduation is a MILESTONE in our lives. It is a DEFINING MOMENT. It means that we have finished a long, hard road. We have dedicated most of our formative years to the discipline, with the occasional antics and shenanigans, to learning most of the tools that we will use to get through life.
But most of all, we have learned how to learn – because we will always be students for the rest of our lives. We will have to learn to be self-sufficient. We will have to learn new jobs. Learn new relationships. Learn new technologies.
So, the question is, what are we learning at this point of our lives? What discipline are we undertaking to improve and enrich ourselves? How badly do we want what we want? When we take on a new interest, hobby, or a new job, we throw ourselves into it with full force! We become dedicated to the path of discovery that will bring us the answers we need in order to fully embrace and enjoy our new pursuit.
When I moved to Nashville in 1977, I had three years of college biology and chemistry under my belt. But as “life happened,” I never went back to complete my degree. That is, until 2010 when the Lord opened up the door for me to finish a degree a ministry & leadership. I graduated with that in 2013 and with my masters in 2016. I’m not trying boast here, but what I’m trying to say is, that for me, I WANTED IT BADLY! I wanted to dive into the Bible and LEARN how to understand God’s Word. I wanted to LEARN what my purpose is. I wanted to LEARN HOW TO LEARN who God is and to learn what it is that He wants me to do with my life.
Everything that DEFINES US is based on something that we have LEARNED. And everything we have learned is based on our DESIRE to seek KNOWLEDGE about those things in life that we pursue, those things in life that we chase after with AGGRESSIVE PASSION.
To what do you dedicate yourself, in what do you immerse yourself, for what cause do you sacrifice yourself to pursue those things about which you are most passionate? Is it your pursuit of owning your own company? How about the pursuit of that special relationship? Your pursuit of being a better musician, better technician, better supervisor, or better player of Fortnite? Whether for professional reasons or for reasons of leisure, HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT IT?
This brings me to the obvious question for those of you who are reading this article. If we consider ourselves followers of Jesus Christ, HOW BADLY DO WE WANT HIM? Are we working toward the day of Spiritual Graduation when God says, “Well done, My good and faithful servant?”
I loved biology and chemistry. I hated math, especially algebra. But to graduate, I had to learn them all. The work was HARD, but the payoff was REWARDING! When we open our Bibles to LEARN about God and His Son, parts of it are easy. Parts of it make sense. But then other parts, MANY parts, are HARD to understand and HARD to make sense of.
Unlike all other religions of the world, the Bible was never intended to be a simple How-To book of steps to follow in order to become a Christian, to become a good citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven. Rather, the Bible is God speaking to and working through a series of fallible, confused, and broken people. These were real people who led real lives, just like us. God led them, disciplined them, and rescued them, just like us. Through a series of events God taught them, shaped them, and encouraged them, just like us. And ultimately, God sacrificed His one and only Son for them because HE LOVED THEM, just like us!
We live in a modern culture where CONFLICT reigns supreme. Opinion has become an individual’s personal truth. Ego, esteem, and pride have become our competing values. And the LIE OF THE WORLD is to tell you that you WANT THESE THINGS BADLY!
However, God still speaks an absolute and unchangeable TRUTH that has stood the test of time. God is still speaking to His people, that is, US! He is still leading us, discipling us, and rescuing us. He is still teaching us, shaping us, and encouraging us. We today are extensions of the people of the Bible. We are to learn from them how to Trust God, how to Know God, and how to Love God.
“For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be His own special treasure” (Deut. 7:6).
If we really consider ourselves as “God’s special treasure,” then we have to ask ourselves, “HOW BADLY DO WE WANT IT?” God demands our attention and commands our paths. He wants us to graduate with honors! He doesn’t grade us on the curve; there is no A, B, C, D or F. There is only PASS or FAIL.
How badly do you want to pass? How badly do you want to graduate? Badly enough to STUDY hard? Badly enough to discover WHO YOU ARE TO HIM? Badly enough to dive into the Bible and LEARN WHO GOD IS? Badly enough to take the time and discipline to pray that He will help you figure it out?
Living a life in Christ is not easy. But because it is THE most important thing in life, we must ask ourselves: HOW BADLY DO WE WANT IT?
Now I’ll leave you with one final question. If you understand that you really do need and desire Jesus to be Lord of your life, and YOU WANT IT BADLY… WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? The question demands an answer. And the answer, all the answers, are in His Book. Read it. Savor it. Don’t rest until you understand it. God meets His people in HIS WORD.
WANT IT BADLY, my friends!
God bless you all, and we hope to see you Sunday!