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Redemption and The Work of our Hands (Vol 15) - Knowing your calling # 3 - Your desires.

Sunday English Service - 18 FEB 18


Please turn with me to Psalm 37 verse 4 --Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. --You remember we're teaching about work, and in this teaching first we talked about how God has designed us for work and work for us. God's original plan and purpose and design for work, God has made man as a worker for a purpose. And work is supposed to do certain things for us and we are supposed to work in a certain way, to bring God glory and show forth and manifest his glory on this earth. We looked at that first and then we talked about how the fall and sin ruined work in so many ways, and made it a toil. And now in the third part we're talking about our redemption and the work of our hands. As redeemed people now, redeemed from the curse that was brought by sin and the fall, how does the blessing that has now come upon us through Christ, how does it help us to do our work in this world. That's what we're talking about, and in that couple of weeks ago I began to talk about our calling.

Calling is a very important subject in the Protestant circles because for so many centuries, several truths have been hidden, laid buried, brought out by Luther and Calvin and other reformers through the Protestant Reformation. It changed and transformed society, and one of those truths is the truth about calling, it's a major thing in the Protestant circles. Like I've always said, the European countries that embraced Protestantism grew to become very wealthy, prosperous nations where the society itself became rich, not just a few aristocrats in a country which was the case for so many centuries. The larger society itself became quite wealthy because of this kind of teaching concerning calling. The teaching is this, that everyone is called. Before that for so many centuries, for about a thousand years or more, the teaching was that only people going into ministry as a priest or a monk, into a monastery, dedicating their life to the Lord, not marrying and so on, only those people are called. All other work they thought is necessary but not a call. We just need somebody to do the plumbing, somebody to do the electrical, or somebody to do this and that, but that's not a call. So that produced the kind of philosophy where all these other works were looked that as a very ordinary thing, there is nothing special about it. Therefore, the result of the work was also nothing special about it you know.

When people realized that their work amounts to nothing, and only a priest's work and a monk's work mattered before God, and that is a calling but all others are not called, we're just laboring. Then you produce a different kind of work, the results are different. But once Martin Luther began to teach about the calling and said that everyone is called, no matter what profession you're in, you are called. Every profession is a calling, even a housewife that takes care of children, cooks and takes care of her home, homemaker is called to do that. So in that way when the teaching began to be given in that way, the society began to transform because everybody felt so important, they gained dignity for their work and they began to do their work for the glory of God. They realized that it's a God-given work, and that made the difference, that's the reason for the prosperity and the blessing that followed and the cultural change that happened in Europe, they say, alright.

So let's talk about calling and I began to talk about how to know your calling, we're talking about how to know your calling. I said at least three things must be considered, the first thing that must be considered is the needs of the world around us. We live in a society, in a town, in a country, in a place, and we need to consider the needs of the society around us. What is my part that I should play in this society, at this time, in this place, in this situation? That is one thing that must be taken into consideration, what part may God have for me to play in this? Secondly, you must take into consideration your gifts and talents and skills, that you feel is very special to you. It comes very easily for you, that God has gifted you with a certain skill and ability and talent. That is very important, that's a very important indicator of what your call may be in life. The third thing is what I wanna talk about today. Last week we talked about gifts and abilities, this week I wanna talk about the third thing.

The third thing that you must consider when you are looking to see what God may have called you for, is your innermost desires or your truest desires, deepest desires. Not just ordinary desires on the surface, your innermost desires, your deepest desires, your truest desires are an indication of what God's call may be for your life. You know there is a mysterious connection it seems, between the will of God and our heart's desire. The two seems to be in some way very deeply connected. So when we want to discover our call, we always find that it is closely bound up with discovering what we really want. Do you want to discover your call? Then discover what you really want. In discovering what you really want, you may be able to discover your call. What do you really want? When you're at your best, what do you really want? What do you want in the deepest heart, you know, in the truest sense what do you want in life? That is an indication of what God may have called you for.

Now the thing is this, when you're talking about discovering what you really want, you're talking about what you desire inside. That's why I read this verse, delight yourself also in the Lord, this verse says, Psalm 37:4, and He'll give you the desires of your heart. Desires, desires, just think about it - desires of your heart, He will give you the desires of your heart. So what you want is referring to the desires of your heart. Now people are kind of afraid of talking about desires or even thinking about desires, and even considering desires in a church setting you know; because somehow religion has taken on a different turn where we think we should live without desires you know. That we are meant to have no desires, that to have no desires is the true Christian person that you have no desires, you have resigned yourself from life itself and you have no desires you know. That kind of a Christianity I think is promoted in some circles. So when we talk about desires we think it's a very worldly thing, desire is a very worldly thing. But just think about this, God has created you and I with a capacity for desire. I don't think anybody will disagree with that. With a capacity for desire, just like He has put in our tongue the ability to taste food and enjoy it. Just like He has given us the ability in our body to feel pain and benefit from it, to be protected from danger and so on. In the same way God for some reason, has put the capacity for desire in us. So we are able to desire certain things.

Now desires can be wrong desires, sometimes the desires can come from the flesh, arise out of fleshly... as part of our lives, or it can come from our spiritual side of our lives. We need to be able to discern, recognize the difference between the desire that comes from ourself, from our flesh, from that part that works through sin, and the part that works through our life in Christ. Now when our desires are superficial, inauthentic, and when they are based on selfishness, then it is most likely that our desires are not God-given desires because these are superficial. These are inauthentic desires, they are desires that are based on selfishness. But if your desire is based on deep, authentic, loving desires, if they're deep, authentic, and loving desires, they're truest desires in your heart, there is something holy about it and it is based on love, then it is very likely that it comes from God, it is Godly desire. So don't reject desire on the whole, you know.

In English there is a saying, don't throw the baby with the bathwater you know. You are supposed to throw just the bathwater, not the baby you know. So don't throw out desires completely, there is a good side in desires, God has kept the desire in you for some good reason. You know today in the cars, some of the high end cars they come up with GPS you know. They come with a GPS and a lot of you know about it, in case you don't know, it is a device that is fixed in your car that when you get in the car, you can enter your address with the pin code and street name and door number and so on. And immediately a map shows up with a route going to that place where you want to go. And as you begin to drive, a satellite watches your car and knows where you're at, and guides you to that place, the address that you have put in. It sees where you are, when you make a wrong turn it tells you, no, this is wrong. It tells you to go straight, turn 100 meters from here, turn right on such and such street. It will tell you the name of the street and so on. And it will guide you every step of the way like a person sitting right next to you, you know. You can choose a woman's voice, you can choose a man's voice, you know.

I have a friend, a preacher who always puts that and there's a woman's voice coming up you know, that talks very nicely, kindly and so on. And he says, "I'm never alone, she's very kind and nice, always talking to me. Without her I miss her, so even when I know the way I just put her on anyway." So she guides you and talks to you and tells you when you're wrong, and turn around and do this and that. And finally gets you to the place accurately, you know. But of course in our country the situation is different, we don't need GPS, we have a lot of people standing on the road you know. You just stop any corner, tea shop somewhere or some people standing on the road, you can ask them hey which way to go to this place you know. And you can stop in every corner and enquire and go, or in every tea shop enquire and go. I think spiritually also, we have too many tea shops. A lot of guys offering some help, they say, "You write to us, we will tell you God's will, we'll tell you who to marry, which job to take, where to go, what to do. We'll pray for you, God will tell us and we'll let you know." So we stop at every tea shop like that.

Now but the thing is it's dangerous, I have missed my way completely sometimes asking these guys because some of these guys are so you know egotistic you know, they just don't want to admit that they don't know. So even if they don't know, they'll say, "Just go straight sir and turn left," and it will be going somewhere else. So you gotta watch out you know, a wrong guy may be guiding you. A GPS is a far more advanced device, it doesn't make such mistakes, it's very careful, it's very well made and you can take it anywhere in the world. They've come up with this thing as the size of a cell phone, it's already in your cell phone itself. Anywhere in the world you can use it, you can get off from the airport, rent a car and drive yourself. You don't have to know the way anyway, you can just drive and go as long as you know driving you know. But the thing is this, God has kept our heart like a GPS, like a device to contact us and to guide us to our destiny.

Just think about that, the heart and its capacity for desire, is meant to serve God in such a way that when God wants to lead us and direct us, He can contact our heart and through the desires of our heart, influence us and direct us in a particular direction towards our destiny. Thank God for that, that's why I say, God is good. God didn't tell me to write to somebody to find out what God's will is for me. God didn't tell me that I gotta go a thousand miles traveling and get a token and stand in line for a prophet to tell me what God's will is for me. God has not left me like that, to go and you know look for somebody desperately to guide me. God has given me the Holy Spirit, when I say me I'm talking about you, every single one of us. God has given us the Holy Spirit living in us, and He is contacting us all the time. Many times we ignore, we have the Holy Spirit and then we go to a prophet you know. We take the Holy Spirit also, and the Holy Spirit is wondering what are you doing you know. And that guy contacts the Holy Spirit. He says, you've wasted your time and the whole trip and all these hours trying to make this trip, contacting somebody to know the will of God. See the greatest blessing of the New Covenant is this: that we have the spirit of God living in us, dwelling in us 24/7, all the time we have Him dwelling in us. And that He's able to guide us and lead us into our destiny.

So Christian life is not some religion where you just go to some church and just worship... no, it is the Holy Spirit being with you all the time. You can talk to Him, He talks to you, He guides you, He can be very personal. You can be very sure and learn how to follow His guidance and listen to His voice., and once you get used to his voice, you'll miss Him when you don't hear His voice. Just like that preacher missing that lady's voice there, you will miss hearing the Holy Spirit speaking to you, guiding you and leading you. And when He leads and guides, it is wonderful, you know exactly what to do. For that God has devised man's heart in such a way, He has given us the capacity for desire, so that God can get in touch with us through our desires and put His desires in there and propel us in a particular direction, alright.

Now this verse, just look at this verse it says, delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Now a lot of people take this verse and verses like this, there are many other verses like this that He will give you the desires of your heart. So they are, they're divided in opinion. If you look at the Christian world, there are people that will say, He will give you the desires of your heart means whatever you desire, God will give you, that's one group. They say, "Whatever you desire doesn't matter, God will give you." There's another group saying, giving all kinds of explanations as to how this doesn't mean that, you know. That it doesn't mean whatever you desire, He'll give you the desires of your heart. And there are reasons why God can't give you the desires of your heart and so on. But how do they understand this? How do they understand this verse that says, God will give you the desires of your heart if you delight yourself in the Lord. There are many other verses like this, not just this verse.

Let me just read to you a sample of some verses, Mark's gospel chapter 11 and verse 24. --Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray --Now some translations will have it like this, whatever things you desire when you pray, alright? --Believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. --Why the word desire is added by some translations? In Tamil actually that verse Psalm 37:4, does not use desire at all, you know what word it uses? It uses prayer, delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you whatever you ask, in terms of prayer. That's the way is says - venduthalgalai arul seyvaar - that means He'll give you whatever you are praying for. Now how can you substitute the word prayer for desire? What does prayer have to do with desire? Very simple, what you desire is what you will pray for. If you want to know a man's desire, look at his prayer because he's expressing his desires in prayer. Prayer is nothing but verbalizing your desires. So you look at a man's desires, you look at a man's desires, you will look at what he's praying. You're able to see what he's praying for and you can look at a man's prayer, and you'll understand what his desires are. They are one and the same, that's what I'm trying to say. The prayer and the desire are one and the same, it's just two different words but basically they are the same. That's why in the Tamil translation, the word prayer is used, He'll give you whatever you ask, it says instead of whatever you desire.

Now, that is why Mark 11:24 some translations say --what things soever you desire when you pray --because when you pray you're asking what you desire. Believe that you will receive them and you shall have them, it says alright. So notice here, whatever things you desire, again that's what I wanna emphasize. Whatever you desire, it's talking as if God will answer 100% of our prayers, and whatever we may ask, God will give alright. Now John's gospel, and in John's gospel this is there again and again particularly in the last great teaching of Jesus Christ. In chapter 14, starting from chapter 14 verse 13 and 14, it says --And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. --Notice the word anything, whatever you ask. So again the emphasis is upon the fact that you can ask anything, whatever you ask in His name that He will do it. And whatever you ask in His name, that He will do it because the Father may be glorified in the son. Chapter 15 verse 7, same John's gospel chapter 15 verse 7 --If you abide in Me, and my words abide in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you. --Ask whatever you desire, again look at the whatevers and anything, that kind of word. Whatever you desire, it will be done to you. Chapter 16 verse 23 and 24, --And in that day you will ask me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give you. --See Jesus is going to go away, He's going to die on the cross, then be taken up into heaven, go to the Father. So He says hereafter you will not be asking me, you ask the Father but in my name. And he says, whatever again, again notice the word whatever. Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you. --Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. --Now I think I've read you a good sample of this kind of passages. All of these verses have the same characteristic, that whatever you ask Jesus or God, the Father in Jesus' name, He will give it; anything you ask, whatever you ask.

Now how do we understand that? You know there are some people that find it very difficult to believe that, they say, how is it possible that He can give everything? There are some people that say, "No, He gives everything. Anything that you ask and everything that you ask." Now those who believe that God gives anything and everything that you ask, sometimes are disappointed because they didn't get what they asked you know. They say, "How come I asked and He didn't give?" you know. And the people that say God doesn't give us everything that we ask, you know they use this as an excuse for unanswered prayers. So they can pray, pray, pray and never get answers, and they say well what can I do, I just pray. If God wants to give, let Him give, if He doesn't want to give what can I do? That kind of excuse, they use it as a excuse.

Now let me show you the right answer to this, how do we take this verse? How do we understand this verse? You know it says delight yourself in the Lord, Psalm 37:4, He'll give you the desires of your heart. What does it mean? Does he mean that He'll give you whatever you desire? Well, the problem with desires is many times our heart desire can be wrong, therefore, everything that we ask, we cannot guarantee that we're asking according to God's will. Everything that we ask may not be in line with God's plan and purpose for our lives. So that verse must be taken in connection with that. Heart is a very difficult thing to understand because our heart can really trick us ourselves. We can be desiring wrong things, totally opposed to God, evil things even sometimes. See we are saved, we are born again, made new, a new creation and all that. But do you know in our mind we're still being renewed in our mind day by day. Now that means we are progressively changing little by little, day by day we're changing and becoming more and more like Jesus. But not altogether there, we're not 100% perfect, nobody's 100% perfect. So it is possible that our heart may desire the wrong thing, and ask the wrong thing if we allow the carnality, the unrenewed mind, the kind of thinking that is not renewed by the word of God. If we allow that, we can end up desiring the wrong thing and asking the wrong thing.

Now look at some statements in the Bible about the heart of man, look at Jeremiah 17 verse 9. --The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked --Are you listening? The heart is deceitful above all things, that means the heart will fool you, more than anything else in this world. You think somebody has got a good heart, but then when an opportunity to do evil comes, it's unbelievable what kind of evil they can do. You wonder where all that evil came from, where all that... all those bad things came out of, it came from the heart. The heart is deceitful above all things, it can really fool you. You'll think it's alright, it's good, but it is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked it says. Literally it means incurably sick. --Who can know it? --Now that's the reason we find it very difficult to believe people sometimes. You look at the face, you say this guy is very innocent, he just won't do it. But then you don't know what his heart is like, I mean the guy can murder, the guy can steal, the guy can commit adultery, the guy can do whatever any number of things you know, can come out of his heart. Unbelievable how they look so innocent, but behind the look of innocence is a heart that is so desperately wicked, incurably sick, as the Bible says, and deceitful above all things.

Look at Jesus talking about this in Matthew 15 verse 19. --For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man. --Out of the heart Jesus says, where do all these evil things come from? He says out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. They all come from out of the heart. Turn to Mark 7 there's another passage, Jesus talking again, Mark chapter 7 verse 20 to 23. --And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.All these evil things come from within and defile a man. --The origin of all these things is man's heart, man's heart is the place from which all of these things come. A lot of people in the world, people don't understand this and actually in the world there is an opinion, that man is actually alright. Man is good, only the environment is bad, that depending on the environment he becomes evil or good. But actually man if he's left by himself, he'll be good because he's got inherent goodness in him they say, inbuilt goodness in him. But the Bible teaches exactly contrary, unbelievable.

Turn to Romans chapter 7, Romans chapter 7 there is something maybe even some of you believed, I don't know you know. It's very easy to believe that you know when people say that, man is basically good you know, all of us are good, we have some goodness in us and all of that. Yeah there is some goodness in us, but I wouldn't say it's all good you know. There is some goodness in us because that goodness, that measure of goodness that you see in all men, even in wicked men you see some goodness you know. Some guys that are thieves sometimes help poor people you know, there is some goodness in them. That is a trace of the nature of God that is in them in creation. They're made in the image and likeness of God, there is little bit of trace left of that, you know. But essentially they're evil in their heart it says. Romans chapter 7, let me read to you from verse 18. Paul is talking here he says --For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh He's talking about his flesh that means if you remove the power of God and the grace of God and the redemptive work of God from my life, that's what he means in my flesh. If you remove that factor in my life, in me, in my flesh, nothing good dwells. There is nothing good, do you believe that?) For to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. (I can determine, I can decide, but I cannot execute he says, because I don't have the power. I want to do good, I desire to do good but what I desire, I'm not able to do he says.) For the good that I will do, I do not do. But the evil I will not do, will not to do... for the good that I will... (let me read it again.) For the good that I will to do, (that is the good that I'm determined to do,) I do not do. (See I decide to do good but I don't end up doing good because the power is not in me.) But the evil I will not to do, (that means the evil that I did not wish to do,) that I practice. (In other words he's saying I want to do good but I'm not able to do, the evil that I don't want to do, I end up doing. I'm practicing the exact evil that I don't want to do, he says.) Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but the sin that dwelleth in me. --b

Psalmist said, I was born... my mother conceived me in sin, I was born in iniquity. He realized that's the source of... he said that after he committed adultery with Bathsheba. When the prophet came and reprimanded him for it, he says, yeah I understand what the problem is, the sin problem. Yeah he was a good man in many ways, but see the heart is deceitful, it's wicked, desperately wicked. It deceived him in the moment of weakness, it just took him and he realized yeah, I forgot that I am basically born in sin. My mother conceived me in iniquity and born in sin, sin nature is part of me. Therefore that sin nature took control over me and made me to do these things, the sin in me that made me to do these things, he says. Alright, so the Bible view is totally different. That is why the heart, even though God has given the heart originally to put his desires and to lead and guide man, and to be in contact with man; now the heart can also be contacted by the Devil, contacted by the flesh, contacted by all our carnality, and be influenced and be led in the wrong direction. That is why the heart, when we say desire of the heart a lot of people are afraid you know. Oh desire of the heart, that will ruin us, desire of the heart will lead us in the wrong direction and so on.

That is why I believe that Psalm 37 verse 4 does not mean that when you delight in the Lord, He will give you what you desire when it says, He'll give you the desires of your heart. I believe that instead of taking it as he will give you the desires of your heart, you should take it as - if you delight in the Lord, if you fellowship with the Lord and live closely with God, He will give you desires. It's a totally different thing, will He give you what you desire, or will He give you desires? I believe that first God will give you desires, when you delight yourself in the Lord, the first thing that happens in your life is a transformation of your life. God knows where the problem is, God knows where evil can influence you. So God knows what is trying to get at you and fill you and so on, so God gets to our heart when you delight yourself in the Lord. When you enjoy your relationship and fellowship with God, there is an inner transformation that happens in the heart that you are changed in your heart, transformed in your heart. He will give you desires why He must give us desires? Because our desires may arise from the carnality, from the flesh, from the ungodliness, from sin, from sin nature, therefore he gives us His desires, God fixes that problem.

So you must understand it like that, delight yourself also in the Lord, He will give you the desires. He will give you desires, everybody say, "He'll give me desires." Not your desires, He'll give you His desires, He will give you desires. When desires come from Him, those desires will be holy desires, good desires. Those are desires that must be cherished, loved, appreciated, guarded, like the Bible says, guard your heart with all diligence out of it are the issues of life. So God gives us desires. Once He gives us desires, then He will give us what we desire. So that verse first means that He'll give you desires, then He will give you what you desire. If He gave you the desires, then I can understand how He'll give me whatever I desire, no problem. I believe the words of Jesus, I don't have to alter it. I believe the promises of Jesus, they're precious promises. He says if you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, I will do it for you. So far you've asked nothing in my name, but now ask, ask and receive so that your joy may be full. Whatever you ask the Father in my name, that He will do it. I believe it totally and completely and fully, why? Because it is possible that He gives me 100%, I have preached about 100% answers to prayer.

We need not have any excuses for unanswered prayers, we should not use this verse 37:4, Psalm 37:4 you know... and start believing that God doesn't give us everything that we desire, and use it as an excuse for unanswered prayers. That verse is saying that through your fellowship with God, when you trust in Him, when you enjoy His presence, when you enjoy His company, when you get close to Him. You are transformed in such a way that your heart begins to desire His desires. He gives, imparts His desires into you, and because He has imparted His desire into you, now when you pray, you are praying what? You are praying desires that have been imparted to you, those desires that He imparted to you become your prayers. They are your petition, you're praying that, and now when you pray God cannot say I will not give you, because He gave you the desires and He will give you the answer also... because He gave you the desires, He will give you what you desire now because it is not your desire, it is His desire for your life. How many of you understand that. So believe those words exactly as it is, believe those words of Jesus... many people find it very difficult, how can God give me everything I desire? I say to you He gives you everything that you desire. Fix your heart, get your heart right, get your heart in close fellowship with God, fill your heart with his desires, so that you don't have your agenda. That you ask God to fill you with His desires to do His will and plan and purpose, I'll tell you 100% answer to your prayer is awaiting you. You'll understand the entire Bible in that way, Jesus said, ask and it shall be given unto you.

I read one fellow writing in the magazine one time, he said, "I'm on the 19th day of fasting, just a few days left for my 40th day to arrive. Before that you give me, write all the prayer requests." As if his fasting is the one that gets the answers for me. And that after he gets through fasting for 40 days, heaven has shutdown, that God is not gonna answer anymore prayers. That there is no way for me to get answers... His fasting and prayer is so important that that's how I get my answers. And people believe that kind of thing you know, people so therefore they go on all kinds of tangents. You know they'll say, "How many hours do you pray?" So somebody says, "I pray one hour," and then they say well I'm not praying but I have not received any answers, they say, "Make it two hours then, I think your prayer is not enough. Raise it up to two hours." Then they pray two hours, still no answer. Then you go and that fella says, "Make it four hours, that's what I do, four hours of prayer everyday." So he'll make it four hours and then still no answers you go to him and he says, "Well I think you should fast. You should add fasting then only you'll get." And so you add fasting, you fast one day you don't get it, you go to him he says, "Three days, how about three days. Last time I did three days I got my answers, why don't you fast three days?" And then they say, "Why don't you do 7 days? Why don't you do 21 days? Why don't you do 40 days?" I've known guys that do 41 days also, just want to be one better than Jesus you know.

See the whole emphasis... see, fasting is good for us, you know because we spend time with God and so on. Prayer is always good for us, I have no problem with all of that. But I have problem with this idea that the problem with unanswered prayer is that we have not prayed enough, that idea I don't agree with. The problem with unanswered prayer is often is not that we have not prayed enough, that we have not fasted enough. The problem with unanswered prayer is we are not asking according to the will of God, that is the problem with prayer. So instead of increasing the hours of prayer just to get answers, hours of prayer will do good for you, I don't disagree with that. So if you want to pray more that's wonderful, but the thing is, just to think that because you made a two hours rather than one hour, you're gonna get answer, that is wrong. I'll tell you God's word says, call unto me and I will answer you. And in one place God says, before you call, I will answer, I like that. Before you call I will... why is He so interested in answering? And even John chapter 15 verse 7 says, --If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask what you will and it will be done unto you. --And listen to the very next verse, a lot of people don't look at the next verse. John chapter 15 verse 7, after saying if you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you desire and it shall be done for you. Look at the next verse, --By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; and you will be my disciples.--

You know why God is so eager to answer your prayer? You know why God says, call me and I will answer you? You know why God says, ask and it shall be given unto you? Everyone that asks will receive, everyone that seeks shall find, everyone that knocks for him it shall be open. Why God is so interested in answering your prayers, instead of the other way around like some people say, "It's very difficult to get answers from God you know, because He's God and you're just nothing you know." No, the Bible doesn't say it like that, God is more interested in answering our prayers than we are interested in praying. You know why? If you get answers to your prayers, God is glorified, that's what this verse says. By this, by what? Whatever you ask my Father it shall be done for you. After that he says, by this, by what? By getting anything that you ask and everything that you ask from the Father, by this my Father shall be glorified. Every time if you prayed and you got the answer, God the Father is glorified. You pray and pray and pray, you've been praying for years and get no answer God is not glorified, God is shamed.

Some people are asking some others you know, "You've been praying, praying, praying you have no answer," you know. God says I want to answer your prayer, why? Because it has to do with my glory, it's at stake. I want you to pray and I want to answer because my glory is at stake, my reputation as God is at stake, He says. And he says, by this my father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, by your bearing much fruit, the Father is glorified. Now the fruit here doesn't mean good works and all that, no, no, no. The fruit here is referring to the answered prayers. Bearing much fruit is bearing much answers, getting much answers. Have you got a lot of answers? Have you prayed a lot and got a lot of answers? He says, the Father is glorified because you're bearing so much fruit in prayer. You must read it in context you see, this fruit is not like the other fruit mentioned in other places. This is talking about prayer fruit, bearing prayer fruit, answered prayer fruit.

So turn to 1 John chapter 5, this wonderful verse will clear all doubts. 1 John chapter 5 verse 14 and 15 --Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything (listen to the word 'anything' again. John has heard Jesus teach, and John is the one that teaches it in John's gospel in chapter 14, 15, and 16, again and again that whatever you ask, anything you ask, that my Father will do. Now in his epistle he's writing, he says this is the confidence that we have in Him. He's writing towards the end of that first century, after so many years of being a pastor in the church and experiencing the whole Christian faith and its prayer life, he says) this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. --Anything we ask, He hears us, this confidence you can have. So instead of increasing the hours and increasing the number of fasting days and so on, make sure that you're asking according to His will. Then when you pray itself, when you're going in prayer and beginning your prayer itself you have the confidence that whatever you're gonna ask, God is gonna hear. Amen.

Jesus said at the grave of Lazarus when He prayed, He said Father, you hear me every time I pray, He said. Have you read that in John 11? Father I thank you for you hear me every time I pray. Now the Chennaite's prayer is like this, Father where are you? Three months I'm asking, you're not doing anything. Why won't you turn your face towards me? What a difference, the secret is this, here is John he's saying, now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. It's the confidence you can have, in prayer, the confidence is the most important, not how many drops of tears you shed. Not how many days you fasted, fasting is good for you but God doesn't give you anything because you fasted, you know. This is not striking and all that. One fella said, "Let's all join our hands together," what are you gonna do, threaten God or something? You can join your hands together very well, but God is not gonna give you just because you joined your hands together. Somebody said, "Well send sms to everybody, let 2,000 pray, then God will answer." No, no, no, let 2,000 people pray that's no problem, get everybody involved, that's wonderful. But the thing is God answers only because you're asking according to His will. God is an unchanging God, you cannot shake Him, threaten Him, and you know, gherao Him and all that you know. You can't do all these things, even our governments won't budge for that you know. They deduct your salary these days if you don't go to work. Why would God? He's unchanging God, you ask anything according to His will, He hears us. We have the confidence that He hears us, so every time you enter into prayer, you must enter with that confidence. And if we know that He... if we know that He hears us, after he says that we have the confidence that He hears us when we ask in His will. --If we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we asked of Him. --Not only do you know when you go to pray, that He hears you, you also know that whatever you asked, you will receive.

So you go and pray with confidence, you get up and go home with confidence that whatever you prayed and asked for is yours. How do you know that for sure? Because it is according to the will of God. So that is why Psalm 37:4 says, delight yourself also in the Lord, that means get close to God, enjoy God, be a friend of God, be very close to God, intimate with God. You'll be transformed in such a way that all your desires will be put away, that your heart will be filled with your desires. He will give you the desires and then He will give you what you desire, both are true. He will give you desires and... first He will give you desires, then He'll give you whatever you desire. You cannot say He'll give you whatever you desire without first giving desires. First He must give desires, then only whatever we desire, alright.

Now some people say, "Be careful, this guy is talking about desires, that's wrong you know. Desires will ruin you, desires will spoil you, become worldly and so on." So let me point out certain things for you. There is no chance, if God uses your desires, God fills you with His desires. God is working on your desires and raking up your desires, you are never going to go become a sinner because of that. You're not going to ruin yourself by God putting desires in you, it's impossible, why? Several reasons, one, God's desires that He puts in your heart will always be big and mysterious so that such a person who has received God's desire in his heart, will become more dependent upon God, closer to God than ever. When God tells you to do something, it's always bigger than you can handle. And you better be glad about it. Why is it always... doesn't God know our limits? Doesn't God know what we can do? Yeah, He knows very well, but He knows what He can do through us. Therefore He does not give us things to do according to our limits, He gives us things to do according to His plan and purpose. He knows what He can do through us, all things are possible to Him. The Apostle Paul says, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." So God is coming from that angle.
So He says, my projects are all big, whatever I wanna do with you is big, is bigger than you can handle, normally. So that makes you even more dependent, the moment God fills you with desires, I have found that you find yourself in a problem. In a good problem and that is my God, this is too big, I can't handle... I can't do this, I'm too small for this. I am not able to do that, therefore you begin to pray more, you begin to depend on God more, you begin to exercise your faith more, you become a more spiritual person. You don't know how He can fulfill this, it's mysterious how He's gonna do it, how He's going to bring it to pass. Therefore you begin to believe and depend more and more on God. So instead of getting spoiled by big desires, you get more spiritual.

The second thing is, when God gives you desires, it doesn't spoil you, it gives you faith because without faith, it is impossible to realize these desires. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 says --faith is a substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. --Another translation says, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, that's a better translation, plainer. --Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. --Assurance of the things that you're hoping for, not seen yet, not felt yet, not having in your hand yet. You're hoping for something, but you got the assurance right now. You have not seen it yet, but you got the evidence now. So you got assurance and evidence, you don't have what you're looking for. You're hoping for it, but you don't... you have only assurance and evidence that they are yours.

Now, that will make a person very spiritual, you know that? That will make a person in the middle of all of his problems, he will raise up his shoulder and walk. He'll be bold, he'll be confident, he'll be praising God. He'll be thanking God, he'll not be a complaining person, he'll not be a murmuring person. He'll not be a person down and out, he will not be cast down person, no, why? Because he's a faith person, he knows that he's got assurance of whatever is promised. He knows that he has got the evidence of what he... he's sure that he will get it, he's sure that it belongs to him, he's sure that nobody can cheat him out of it. His faith is the assurance and the evidence that whatever he's trying to get, that is his, even though he has not seen it yet, even though it's not in his hands yet. Such a person will be a very spiritual person. When a person doesn't have assurance and evidence, you've seen a person without faith? They'll be hopeless people because they don't have the assurance of the things hoped for, so they're hopeless you know. They'll be cast down, down cast, they'll be down and out, they'll be sad, they'll be dejected, they'll feel lost. But a person with God's desires knows that he needs to have faith and he has faith to accompany it, so that he can see the fulfillment of it. Therefore he grows in faith, his desire has raised his level of faith. He's exercising faith so he's a very spiritual person now.

Thirdly, he's got patience, because Hebrews 6:12 says that our forefathers through faith and through patience, they inherited the promises of God, 6:12 Hebrew. Faith and patience, not by faith only, but by patience. A lot of people have faith but no patience you know, they want everything yesterday you know, cause we live in an instant sambar, instant gulab jamun has also come now, very convenient. Everything is instant, you don't have to make anything, you don't have to bother with anything, just buy it and just eat it, ready to eat. We live in such a society, so we want everything on hand right away. Why can't God just give it to me right in my hand? Well, good things always have to take its time and season. For everything there is a season and time, you wanna have some coconut in your backyard? You plant a coconut thing and it will take you four years before you see the fruit of it. Four years, you've got to water it, you gotta keep it, you gotta work on it, you gotta do everything you gotta do it. You can't just plant it and ten minutes later go get some coconuts from it, you know. It's not possible at all. So patience, so how can a person with patience be unspiritual? How can a person with patience, who's developing patience through the spirit, become a spoiled person because of desires? Desires leads this person to depend on God more, to have faith in God, to walk by faith. Desire keeps this person... makes this person have more patience and not give up his hope. Endure through the times, through the waiting periods, endure through all the processes that it takes. He knows that he will get it, he knows that he can accomplish it, how can he be unspiritual? How can he be worldly person? He'll be more spiritual than a person who has no desires.

People have understood these things upside down sometimes I think, you know. Like I said the other day, a good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children. One fellow was really arguing with me, I said, "Listen, a good man, are you a good man?" A guy that doesn't go to work, useless drunkard who just goes and throws away his money, you know. Irresponsible, doesn't care about his family, doesn't love his children, doesn't do anything for them. That man probably will not leave anything for his children's children. Whatever his grandfather left also, he'll finish off while he's alive. But a good man, hello, are you a good man? He says, "I didn't look at it that way," you better look at it that way. A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children. By the time you leave something for your children and their children, you'll become a good man. Even if you're not such a good man, you'll become a better man because you'll be more careful with your work. You'll work hard, you will go invest the money in the right way, you'll give to God what you must give to God, you know what to do with the money. You'll invest wisely, you'll do things wisely because you're thinking about what to leave for your children and their children. That'll make you a very good man, responsible man, a loving man, a caring person. Hello, good man... we're producing a lot of bad men, saying don't leave anything. Very convenient you know, throw away the money, do everything you know, just go away. The Bible talks about good people. Amen.

So faith is there, patience is there, and then he begins to work because faith is always accompanied by corresponding action. See when a person says I have faith, he must show it by his action. If I'm called to do something, then I must be doing something that relates to that thing that I'm called to do. I can't say I've been called, so I'm waiting. One fellow said, "I'm called to ministry brother, but nobody has ever printed a wall poster and called me for meetings, you know." I said, "You can wait till you're 90 years old, nobody will call. I can guarantee you that." You don't need somebody to print up posters and invite you to a meeting and get a crowd ready for you, you go and preach. And whether somebody invites you or not, find some opportunity to preach. Paul says it very beautifully, he says in season and out of season, which really means when you have an opportunity, when you don't have an opportunity also. Preach the word he says, because you're called to preach, he's telling Timothy. Called to preach, so preach the word, do it, show by your action that this is what you're called to do. Get involved, be active, let your faith be seen in action. Real faith will always be seen in action.

So the person begins to work, then the person gets a vision, this becomes a vision. The call of God in his life becomes a vision, what is a vision? Vision is a plan, God is a good plan giver. In Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 2 God says --Write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. --Write it and make it plain upon the tables, He says, so that the people that run will have something to go by. Write what the vision is, plan, so he begins to plan... see faith is like that, desire is like this. Desire is not something idle that you have inside, and you do nothing about it. No, desire motivates you, desire makes you get up and go to work. Desire makes you work very well. Desire makes you keep your hope up. Desire makes you keep faith. Desire gets you going with patience, persevering even during difficult times. Desire keeps you working. Desire keeps you planning, where there is no vision and the people perish, the Bible says.

Then there is provision. See when God gives you desires, do you know that God because He has given the desires, He's very interested in bringing it to pass, more than you are interested. He's interested in bringing it to pass so that He brings all the aid and all the help that you need to bring that desire to pass. Don't worry about how you're going to bring it to pass, He's the author and finisher of our faith. He began this thing inside of you, He's gonna bring the provision, "pro" "vision" towards... provision literally means thinking ahead of time with a vision and providing. Providing itself is like that, how do you provide for your family? When the fees is due for your child on the 1st, do you think about it on the 10th? No, you think about it the previous month in the 10th, and put away some money for that. Say, on the first I gotta pay the fees, when the rent comes up you don't think about it on the 10th of the month, when it's already past you. You think about it a few days ahead and plan for it, that is provision, you're making provision. Thinking ahead and making it available, that's what provision is all about. And I tell you when God called you, when God put the desire in you, He has already provided for it. Whatever you're called to do, God has already... whatever God has called me to do, He has provided for it already. See desires that come from God make you a real man of faith, makes you move forward even during difficult times so that you never give up. And finally God gives you great peace, even when you're challenged on every side. A peace that passeth all understanding. When things are difficult, when things don't go well sometimes, even at that time you have a great peace because God has given you the desire. And He's the author and the finisher that He will do it, and there is no problem that God will bring it to pass. Amen. Why I said all this is to show you that desire doesn't ruin anybody. Don't keep away from desire, desire is not a worldly thing it's a Godly thing. Desire is not a unholy thing, it's a holy thing. Let God put holy desires in you, motivate you every day, do His will because that is what work is all about. And you will find the greatest satisfaction and truth, a meaningful life you will live. Every day of your life will be meaningful and in the end you will accomplish God's purposes for your life.

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