I am often asked by my counselees, “Why am I here?”
The simple and straightforward answer to this question could change your life: We are here to glorify God.
Glorifying God happens when the focus of life changes from living for my pleasure and glory to living for His pleasure and glory. It demands that my heart change from a “me” centered focus to a God-centered focus.
In order to accomplish this goal, changes must take place. The first change that must take place is in the heart itself. Change requires action on two frontiers: the first is the renewing of the mind through the memorization and internalization of Scripture. In order to know what needs to change from a biblical perspective the Word of God has to enlighten us.
Then we need to take the action step of putting the truth of the Word into practice. Making application of the Scriptures to life is a critical component for if you know the Word and do nothing with it, what benefit is there in that?
For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
James 2:26 (NASB)
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
James 4:17 (NASB)
Putting the Scriptures into practice can involve what Jay Adams calls radical amputation; cutting off anything that leads you to sin and putting it away from you. I know a man who has the television removed from his hotel room before he arrives because the television is a point of stumbling for him. He cuts off his access to the television which is not a bad thing to do. However, if you only stop wrong behaviors how does that affect the heart and in some cases, your eternal destiny? It has to go beyond that!
Remember that I have told you before that the heart that is set on self is focused on what is most important to me, what I want, and what I desire. The heart focused on self might place happiness and what makes me feel good ahead of the needs of others.
These goals reveal the heart of an idolater, and if the desires go unmet the person will often sin in response to being denied. The idolater is also willing to sin to get them what they want. The pursuit of the fulfillment of their hearts desires is more important than the glory of God.
We satisfy the itch of the heart. There is no room for God in this equation.