First of all, one great love. To love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And that should be something that is set before us daily. As we see in Deuteronomy chapter 6, it’s something that should be written on the doorpost of our house. That when we leave, when we come in, we are constantly reminded that the great thing we are about is to love the Lord our God. That when it all comes down to the basic root of everything, I’m to love the Lord my God, and I must be reminded that this is the thing I’m to do. I’m to have one great love, and then again, I’m to have one great passion.
We listen to Matthew 6:33, that kind of sums it all up: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Men. How different would we be if only these two verses were taken seriously? If only these two verses were brought before our eyes two or three times a day? And as I said this morning, is it not true, that you and I can go weeks without being reminded of the most important things in the Christian life? The things that God Himself incarnate set out for us are forgotten. In all our activity and all our busyness. And everything we do we are to do because it is the will of God, and because it brings glory to God. Even the most menial tasks.
Something that I often ask myself: ‘When was the last time you drank a glass of water to the glory of God?’ ‘That you relished a glass of water to the glory of God?’ ‘When you drank it knowing it is a gift from God?’ It comes from Him and is to return to Him in praise. In a sense we are to be reminded of Him every time we think, every time we look down at our hands and feet, every time we attempt any endeavor we are to do it to the glory of God. There has never been a time in the life of Paul Washer that I have loved God as He ought to be loved. And there has never been a time in the life of Paul Washer that I have glorified God as He ought to be glorified. You see it changes everything doesn’t it. Now it’s not just a knit picky little legalistic system that you can check off and say, ‘I’m a righteous man.’ You see holiness, when it comes down to it, is separation from the things that displease God, in order to be separated unto the person of God. To esteem God above all things, infinitely above all things His value, and to live in accordance with that estimation. So as men our goal is to learn, is to grow in this truth that everything we do we’re to do for the glory of God. I have met men in the world that were not only consumed by passions, but were controlled by them. Men who are controlled by singular passion. I’ll give you a perfect example, it’s about to come upon us here and it’s the Olympics. I in no way want to speak on this in a negative light, but I want to use it as an example. There are men who since they were six years old have done nothing but run down a 100 meter track. Every day of their life since they were six years old. They have gone without sleep. They have gone without hobbies. They have gone without lives. They have gone without dating. They have gone with absolutely everything in their life, for one purpose; to run down a 100 meter track and get a medal. Is that not true? Look at the gymnasts, they’re absolutely amazing, their bodies. Many of them since they were three and four years old, all they have ever done is eat and sleep this passion.
And then there’s us. It’s not some gold medal to be hung around the neck or some wreath that will be put on our heads that will last only for a day. But you and I. You and I are called to be controlled by one singular passion; the doing of the will of God and for a crown, that does not perish. We must strive to be in the center of God’s will.
Now, another thing that He has given us, not just one great love, not just one great passion, but He’s also given us a great commission. Men, we were not made to live like most men. We were made to fight. We were made to strive. We were made to work. We were made to conquer. We were made to give ourselves for something that is eternal. Adam was given the command to do what? To go out and subdue. To bring everything in creation in harmony with the will of God. To do all his governing, all his things within the context of God’s will.
Now we live in a fallen world that lives in darkness and death. The kingdom of the evil one spread abroad throughout the land. You and I were not called to play video games. We were not called to sit in front of a television set. We were not called to give ourselves to trifles. We were called to advance a kingdom! To live with a passion, to fight for Him! And to only every once in a while drop our swords and look up for a smile. I want to fight! I don’t want comfort! I don’t want ease in Zion! Because the kingdom of God is built not by those who rest easily in Zion, but by those who go out into the streets and fight. And the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. They are mighty. Intercessory prayer, the proclamation of the Gospel, and sacrificial love. Men. Rise up O men of God. Do what you were called to do! Be valiant and strong! And know that it’s going to cost you. You take your stand beside Jesus Christ and His cause, and you watch the devil come after you buffeting you from the outside and from the inside. But that’s what war is about.
And so He has given us a great commission. To pace a room at night saying, “There Is a place, there is a place where He is not worshiped, where He is not worshiped. There is a place where He is not worshiped.” “I can not sleep.” “There is a place where He is not worshiped.” “There is a place where the flag of Zion does not fly.” That’s what we were made for, to set aside our little temporal causes, and to give ourselves to this one great battle. And so if we set aside these basic principle difficult things, in order to jump out there and do something public and something great. Then we prove ourselves to be hypocrites. What is the most important trait in a man, is it giftedness? Absolutely not! Some of the most gifted men in the world are self destructive, and destroy others. What does your wife need? What do your children need? What do your children need? What does the world need from you? Christ-likeness. This is what were are to strive toward and it breaks my heart.
Sometimes you know, I don’t like to go to conferences, I don’t like to preach in them. Sometimes in the middle of all the stuff being said all the time, I just want to stand up and say, “Enough!” “I’ve already got more truth than I know how to obey.” I don’t just want to ‘know!’ I want to ‘change!’ And I don’t want to change on the so called ‘spiritual level.’ That at ‘public’ level, (maybe is a better word.) I want to change in the inner chambers of my heart. That even His thoughts, -the deepest expression of who He is- it was His desire that they be according to the will of almighty God. The freest man on the face of the earth is the one who makes himself a slave to a perfect master. Where has God been wrong, and where has He wronged you? Has there ever been a time when you’ve listened to Him, when you’ve obeyed Him, when you’ve sought out His will, that He has misled you somehow? Never! But have you ever followed your own ways and been misled by your own devices? Always. It is extreme. It is deliberate. “But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women, on the other hand discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” Now here’s an extremely important question. When I go to an Olympic athlete and I watch him, it is obvious what he eats, what he drinks. He gets up early in the morning, he trains. He goes to school, he comes back, he trains some more. He eats right, he goes to bed, he gets up. He reads journals on his particular sport. He is constantly working to be better. And we admire them for that.
But look what he says here to you, “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” And again I want to just put this where we can understand it. The people who most observe your life. Would they see you taking positive, real steps in your life to grow in godliness? I can’t tell you how many men that I have been around that would tell me about their fathers, and say things, “You know, my father was a lot of good things, but the thing that had the biggest impact on me was: Every morning, before my dad would get up to plow, or do this or do that, I’d see him there before the word of God, studying the word. And I’d see him praying.” I’ve heard so many testimonies. That they can look at their dad and in spite of all his failures and faults, they knew this: Dad was serious about disciplining himself to godliness. Men. We have to believe this as though our life depended upon it, because I can assure you it does. And not only does our life depend upon it, in a great way the life of our family depends upon it. To study the Word.
Listen to me. How often do you cry out to God for greater and greater manifestations of the Spirit’s power in your life? Two things about the Holy Spirit: One is, that we must be asking for greater manifestation of the Spirits power in our life. And we must be careful, walk on eggshells, that we not grieve the Holy Spirit. What a precious treasure. That we not grieve Him. Well these are just some principles that I thought might help you because they both hurt, and helped me. So let’s pray.