PROVERB PRACTICALS god changes your wanter, proverbs 11:23, audio
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Proverbs 11:23, The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
You have heard it said on many occasions that God deals in absolutes, he deals in right and wrong, good and evil.
God speaks of righteousness and He speaks of wickedness as if these things cannot dwell together but are always separate.
But think on the fact that in this body dwelleth no good thing but we also know that Godís Spirit dwells in every believer and Godís Spirit never directs evil.
Paul spoke passionately about this condition which occurs upon salvation for upon salvation God imparts to every person a nature that opposes the nature in which he was born, that sinful nature of every man, woman, boy or girl.
So God in his infinite wisdom introduces a struggle within his children, a struggle between an old nature and a new nature.
The old nature is a nature of wickedness for it is without God but the new nature is a nature of righteousness for it is a nature given by God.
Our proverb speaks of these two natures as it categorizes men into two groups, the righteous and the wicked.
Now the wicked have only one nature, that which they were born with but the righteous, while in the natural body, have two natures, the one that they were born with but they also have a new nature, a nature that was born of the Spirit at the new birth.
Paul spoke so eloquently in Romans 7 about the two natures that affected his desires.
He desired to do good and desired not to do evil but was caught betwixt the two for he found in him a law that when he would do good, evil was present in him.
In this he spoke of the struggle that God had brought into his life, a struggle which was to be won only by relying on Godís indwelling Spirit who would bring life to Godís fighting weapon, His own Word, which we know of as the sword of the Spirit.
And Paul concluded his discourse with praise by thanking God that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ his new nature would be victorious.
So the lesson here is that while we are in the flesh we have two natures within, both armed to do battle.
The flesh is armed naturally and does not have to be trained in battle however the new nature, the spirit made alive by Godís spirit must be trained to do battle with the weapon that God provides, Godís word, Godís sword.
That is why, if we have a new nature, we must be armed in order for that nature to be victorious.
So what does this mean as far as our proverb is concerned?
The first part of this proverb speaks of our new nature for it speaks of the righteous.
Our new nature is righteous for our new nature was born of the Spirit of God.
Our old nature was born with the nature of man, the nature of Adam and because of Adamís sin it is not a righteous nature.
Therefore God can say with absolute certainty that the desire of the righteous is only good.
This means that the desire of your new nature is only good for your new nature is the nature of God and God is good.
If your desire does not produce good it is because you have let the old nature rule for the old nature is wicked and does not produce good.
Your new nature does not make deals with your old nature.
It does not accommodate your old nature for your old nature wishes to satisfy the flesh.
This is the mode of operation of your old nature.
A righteous man, a man whose new nature is in control, has a helper in not allowing the flesh and carnal mind to show itself for he has been born of the Spirit.
Paul speaks of this struggle in Romans 8:10-16, And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
That new nature, that quickened spirit, now has desires in conformance with Godís desires.
That new nature now delights in the God who created the new nature and therefore any desires that the new nature brings forth pleases God.
The psalmist David knew this when he penned under the inspiration of that same Spirit, Psalm 34:4, Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Jesus Christ expounded about this delight when he told his disciples that He is the vine and they were the branches.
This is the kind of connection where delight takes place.
Branches delight in the sap which flows to them from the vine in order for them to bring forth fruit.
What delight would a branch have not connected to the vine for an unconnected branch is dead?
Jesus told them of the delight of connected branches when he said in the same passage in John 15
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
How can God be so giving? How can God say to sinners, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you?
Well he is not saying this to sinners.
God doesnít speak to the dead, he speaks to the living.
He is saying this to the righteous.
He is saying this to the new nature which he has created in a new creature.
He is saying this to those who are in Christ Jesus.
In essence he is saying this to his Son.
He is not saying this to the old nature for the old nature does not delight in the Lord, the old nature does not abide in Jesus Christ.
Godís word does not abide in the old nature for Godís words are enmity to it.
The old nature does not have desires that please God nor does the old nature do good.
God speaks to the new nature and God arms the new nature which asks what it will and therefore God can say it shall be done unto you and therefore as our proverb says, The desire of the righteous is only good.
So a righteous man by the power of Godís indwelling Spirit will not allow the desires of the flesh and of the mind to rule, but instead will only have desires in accordance with Godís word.
But on this side of glory the struggle continues and we are prone to feed the old nature and keep it active but the righteous manís wish is that God keep him from desires inconsistent with Godís will for Godís will is only good.
I remember my childhood where my mother told me many times, This is for your own good.
You must eat your peas for it is for your own good. I think she even said that about liver.
Keep up your grades in school and behave for it is for your own good.
I did not usually agree for I had not the wisdom of my mother.
I didnít like peas, I didnít like to do my homework, I didnít like to behave.
But my mother had my best interests in mind for she had already traveled the road that I was to travel on.
She knew what was along that road and what I was to meet along that road.
She knew best and it was for my own good that she gave me instructions.
God knows infinitely better than any of his children what is best, what is good and the new nature delights in His knowledge.
Godís Spirit which indwells your spirit knows what is best, knows what the desires of your heart should be and helps you to have the desires that only result in good.
Paul writes of this in: Romans 8:26-28, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
God is sovereign and with that sovereignty comes an assurance that the desire of the righteous will always result in what is good for them.
Unknown to Godís children is Godís Spirit making intercession for us according to the will of God.
He says to God, your child needs this or that.
It is best for your child.
Your child doesnít know it but I know it and in a truly righteous state he would have that desire.
The struggle for your child is that he knows not what he should pray for.
Your child does not perfectly know what the desires of his heart should be but I know and make intercession for him in order that all things work together for good to them that love you.
What do you do for your child?
Donít you know that your child should have desires for good?
Think about your childís needs when they are babes for they do not think about all their needs.
A baby desires to be fed and he or she makes that known. Does she think about the blanket that she needs to keep warm?
Does he care about a safe crib where he will not fall out?
Does you child desire the rod at times for his or her own good?
No, you have to have those desire for his or her good.
Their desires are not that which brings about good in their lives so you intercede for them and desire for them that good may come to them.
This is what God desires for the righteous and therefore can say that the desire of the righteous is only good for he brings this about for this is Godís work.
God is good and His will is that good be done through his children.
Arenít the righteous being conformed to the image of his Son.
Isnít the desire of his son only good?
Didnít he say at the age of twelve I must be about my fatherís business and isnít His fatherís business doing good?
Therefore our proverb rightly concludes that the desire of the righteous is only good for the creator of the righteous will make it so.
But this is not to be so as regards the wicked for the wicked are still bound by the old nature.
There is nothing good about the old man for the old man is bound in sin.
Remember even the plowing of the wicked is sin.
So therefore our proverb tells us that the only thing that can come about with regard to the wicked is wrath.
The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
For even the plowing of the wicked is in opposition to God.
There is nothing left for the wicked but wrath for they oppose the goodness of God in not desiring the will of God for their lives for there is no goodness outside of the will of God.
God is good and if you are not in God there is no good for you for outside of God dwelleth no good thing.
Remember Godís instructions to the Israelites, Eat your fill of manna.
But they grew tired of Godís provision and lusted after flesh.
They thought well of the things they ate in the slavery of Egypt.
Numbers 11:5, We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: 6But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
Godís provision wasnít good enough.
Their desires were for their own provision.
They longed for the things that they left in Egypt.
They longed for the things of the old man.
God gave them their expectations, and it fattened up the flesh but it sent leanness to their souls.
Numbers 11:33-34, And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague. 34And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.
The lesson of course is to test our desires against the will of God as expressed in His word.
God loves the righteous for they are righteous because of his Son and God has plans for his children and all of his plans result in good.
He told the exiled Israelites of his plans for them upon their return to the promised land and I think we can apply this to our lives if we are in his Son.
Jeremiah 29:11-13, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
One day the old nature will be truly banished and God will give a new body in which only the new nature abides.
The struggle will be over for God will be victorious in the lives of His children and every desire of his children will be in accordance with Godís word.