Owasso Spirit-Filled Church

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I have been stuck on two sentences in Philippians all week.

Philippians 2:12-13 NLT – Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

The part that stands out is that God gives you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. We get how He can give us power. But desire? God can update our desires?! Other translations say, “God works in you both to will and do for His good pleasure.”

This Greek word translated both to “will” and “desire”, depending on what translation you are reading, is further defined as:

  • To be resolved or determined
  • To be fond of doing
  • To take delight in

So, God is working in you, giving you the resolve to do what pleases Him. He is filling you with determination. He updates your desires so you enjoy doing what He asks you to do.

This resonates so much with my personal walk with the Lord.

There was a time when I loved watching sitcoms. I would sit in front of the TV for hours watching Reba or Last Man Standing or some other sitcom.

Then, several years ago, the day came when the Lord asked me to stop watching all that stuff. Interestingly, it wasn’t hard to let go. It was like my desire was updated. I didn’t care for those shows anymore. I was determined to do what pleased God.

After a few months of no TV at all, I sat down one evening to watch something. It was like I was seeing it through a new set of eyes. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

It was something we would all consider a clean show, yet I felt my faith being ripped away from me. Someone was sick in the show, and the doctor told them they’d never get better.

It was amazing how the words that were entering my ears were going in, stealing the faith that had been built up over the months that I didn’t watch secular TV.

After a few minutes of torture, I said, “No way. I am not giving up what the Lord has given me for some stupid show on TV.”

I haven’t watched anything since. And it’s not a religious rule. It’s something I want to do. And it’s not something I am trying to force on you. I am simply illustrating how the Lord can update your desires.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

Just a few weeks ago, if you had asked me if we were ever going to have multiple services here at NoLimits, I would have quickly told you no, unless the Lord leads.

Then, during our ten days of prayer and fasting, I clearly heard the Lord say, “After September 17, you’ll need two services to accommodate the increase. Make room!”

My spirit leaped when I heard it, but my flesh groaned. So, I wrote it down with my eyes closed. I didn’t really want to see what I was writing.

Towards the end of the ten days, I went back and read the things I had written. I got to this one and had to sit on it for a moment. Then, I finally decided to be obedient.

I said, “Okay, Lord. Since this is Your desire, I know you’ll equip us to make it happen. Let it be done as you have said.”

As soon as I stepped into obedience, my desire was updated. My flesh wasn’t groaning anymore. I became resolved to do what pleases God, and the thought of two services became a delight.

This illustrates the first part of the scripture I read to you:

Philippians 2:12-13 NLT – Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

In order for God to update our desires, we must first decide to obey Him with deep reverence and fear. He doesn’t update your desires automatically. It is the reward of obedience.

You can’t just sit around and wait for God to update your desires before you start obeying Him. If you want your desires to become His desires, you must first obey.

And when you obey with deep reverence and fear, you aren’t obeying with an attitude. It’s not partial obedience. It’s a simple heart posture of, “God, you’re the boss. I humbly submit to You.”

So, is your flesh groaning about having two services? Decide now to obey God so He can update your desires. No need for you to be miserable!

This is a Biblical reality. If you choose to obey God, He will update your desires. He will turn something you despise into something you are fond of doing, something that brings you delight!

But you have to take the first step. You have to work hard to show the results of your salvation by obeying God with deep reverence and fear.

can verify this is true. God has updated my desires over and over again. And it’s the most amazing place to be when your desires become His desires.

God’s Desire

God really only has one desire: building His kingdom. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

That’s why Jesus told us to seek first the Kingdom of God. It’s why God promises to take care of all the other stuff when we seek His Kingdom first. That’s how serious He is about His kingdom.

Let’s put this in perspective. This is like your boss saying, “If you focus solely on building the business, I’ll take care of your house, food, cars, and all the stuff you need. You won’t even have to pay the bills. If you focus on building the business, I’ll take care of it all.”

That is the invitation. If you focus on building the kingdom of God, all the stuff you need will be added to you.

But there’s a condition! You can’t be worried about the stuff. You must only concern yourself with God’s kingdom.

This is tougher than it seems. I mean, the reason our flesh groans at a new service because Kade might ask me to serve the new congregation, and that gets in the way of my “me time” on Sunday afternoons.

In other words, we’re more concerned about the stuff than we are building God’s kingdom. We don’t want to lay down what we want to do in order to pick up what God wants.

You are free to live that kind of life. But if you do, your desires will always be at war with God’s desires. It’s much better to obey God so He can update your desires.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my desires to be misaligned with God’s desires. I want to be right in line with what He wants, no matter how hard or inconvenient it is.

I want to get to where I truly live in God’s kingdom. I don’t want to live in the world’s system. I want to live in God’s kingdom.

Let me show you something else that reveals how serious God is about His kingdom.

Acts 1:3 NLT – During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

Jesus had forty days with the disciples after He was raised from the dead before He ascended into heaven. What did He spend those forty precious days doing? Talking to them about the Kingdom of God.

I can hear the Lord giving us the same invitation. As we sit and commune with Him during our prayer time, guess what He wants to talk about? His Kingdom! He wants to tell us about His Kingdom!

How about the Apostle Paul. Did he catch on to this? Take a look:

Acts 19:8 NLT – Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God.

How did we lose sight of this? How did the American Church get where it is today, where the Kingdom of God isn’t talked about or demonstrated? Instead, it puts on an entertaining show!

I took part in this nonsense! I didn’t even think about building the Kingdom of God in my first twelve years of ministry. It was all about building a church that pleased the masses. How disappointing.

Nevertheless, God got ahold of me. I’m not here to build a people-pleasing church. I am here to build the Kingdom of God. I’m here to equip the saints so you can GO build the Kingdom!

GO occupy those places of leadership and influence. GO possess the land. GO build that business. GO preach the gospel. GO build the kingdom of God!

So, what does the Kingdom of God look like? If we sat down with Jesus in our living room, what would He tell us about the Kingdom of God? He would echo what we call the sermon on the mount.

Let’s read it together, starting in Matthew 5. This is a long block of scripture, so you are going to have to discipline yourself to listen.

Go ahead and read Matthew 5-7

You can read it here at Bible.com or wherever else you prefer to read.

These are the very words of Jesus. You might as well imagine Jesus up here preaching to you because I am going to be reading His very sermon.

(Watch the sermon video to hear Kade’s commentary as he’s reading through the passages)


About the Author

Kade Young

Kade Young is the lead pastor of NoLimits Church.