The Lie That We Must Choose Between Pleasing God And Pleasing OurselvesDr. Erwin W. Lutzer | November 28, 1999
Selected highlights from this sermon
We don’t have to make a choice between pleasing God or pleasing ourselves. If we’re diligently and honestly seeking God, we’ll find that His pleasures and our pleasures converge—they become one and the same.
The truth is that we seek temporal pleasures. We want to do our own thing. And when we do that, we’ve created idols in our hearts. Our pleasures become our gods.
But as we mature in our spiritual life, we’ll see that those fleeting pleasures bring misery and sorrow; and that eternal joys and pleasures are found only in God.
You know, here at The Moody Church we have a committee that investigates those who would join what we would call the Executive Committee. Some of these positions are for elder or for deacon or for other important places of leadership in the church, and the constitution requires that we ask them a series of ten questions. One of those questions is whether or not they are willing to renounce worldliness. And worldliness is defined as that which leads us into sensuality and various sins. We asked someone that question, and his response was, “Oh yes, I can say yes to that. My wife and I don’t do any of those things. In fact, we live a very boring life.”
Now perhaps others would have put it more diplomatically, but sometimes we think this to ourselves: “If I really serve God and give Him pleasure, one thing is sure. I can’t give myself pleasure at the same time.” There’s a conflict there we think. The conflict is between pleasure and boredom, between my happiness and my duty, we think.
Well, I want you to know today that I think that that is a very false choice. And the purpose of this message today is that we might understand that we do not need to make that choice. As a matter of fact, first of all, God, as we shall see, is filled with pleasures. God enjoys being God. He is full of pleasure, and therefore He does not deny us pleasure. He, in fact, commands that we have pleasure. “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Well, as you know, this is a series of messages titled Ten Lies About God (and why you already might be deceived). We’ve talked about lies such as that God takes no responsibility for natural disasters, lies that He can be whatever we want Him to be, or that He can be approached in many different ways. Last time we spoke on the lie that the fall actually ruined God’s plan. And today we come to lie number nine. Number nine is that we must choose between God’s will, between God’s pleasures and our own pleasures. We do not need to make that choice, as I will show in this message today.
What we’re going to do is to actually look at five statements that link together this business of God’s pleasures and ours. At the end of the time, if you have listened carefully, and I know you will, I believe that your life is going to be changed. You know that is my philosophy of preaching – to preach in such a way that hopefully our lives as a result of it will be changed forever. Sometimes that may happen. Sometimes it may not, but that’s the goal to which I always strive. And I want you to not judge where we are going until we have gotten there. In other words, don’t draw any conclusions until all five statements have been properly linked together, and then you will understand what God’s desire is for us, and the wonderful privilege that we have of finding joy in Him.
Are you ready? I need to give you a moment to make sure that you are. I see your heads are nodding, and so with that permission coming from you, I shall begin.
Number one is that God Himself has many pleasures. Just think about it for a moment. Just imagine that you were God. Use your lively imagination. All powerful! Nothing can possibly defeat you. All knowledge! Nothing can outwit you. All presence! Nothing can possibly outlast you, and you’ve got all of these resources. Don’t you think that God has enough resources to be happy? I would think so – owning everything, being everything, creating everything! I think He has enough resources to be a happy God.
You’ve heard me say it before, but I have to say it again because it fits so beautifully. Wouldn’t it be terrible, and some of you know where this is going, if God were moody? (laughter) Wouldn’t it be terrible if sometimes He were just totally upset? So upset that there would be no way we could possibly delight in Him! How could you delight in a frustrated unhappy God?
What is God delighting in, may I ask? First of all, He’s delighting in the Lord Jesus Christ. And here I’m just going to give you a lot of verses that you already know.
“This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” In Isaiah God says regarding Him, “He is the one in whom my soul delights.” Colossians 1:9 says: “It pleased the Father that all fullness would dwell in Him.”
Now when the Bible says, “Thou shall have no other gods before me,” that applies to God too. If God were to delight in His creation in a sense that He would not delight in Himself, He would be committing idolatry. He would be putting some other god before Him. Is God committing idolatry when He delights in Christ? No. When He delights in Christ, He is delighting in Himself. Jonathan Edwards said, “The infinite happiness of the Father consists in the enjoyment of His Son.” God delights in His Son.
God also delights in creation. In Genesis 1 it says that God saw that it was very good. It says in the Psalms, “May the Lord rejoice in all of His works.” It even has a verse where it talks about the sea creatures, all those little things that you sometimes see, and there have been videos made of them. God delights in all those things. In Job 38:7 the Scripture speaks about the morning stars, shouting for joy.
I need to tell you that many of the ideas of this message today come from two books by John Piper. One is entitled Desiring God, and the other is The Pleasures of God, books that I commend to you. They are very excellent books. And Piper suggests that the reason that the angels were created before the universe is that God would have somebody on hand to enjoy it. Can’t you just imagine Him lining up all of the angels just before He creates the universe? And then He says to all of them, “Just watch this.” And suddenly boom – all of the stars are flung into existence and you can imagine the morning stars, that is the angels shouting for joy and saying, “Wow! God is great!” In fact, that’s what creation does. It says, “God is great! God is great! God is great!”
If you haven’t been blessed yet in this message, if you’re sitting there saying, “Well, Pastor, I’m waiting for a blessing and it hasn’t arrived yet,” maybe this will do it for you. God delights in His people, and the choir especially should be delighted in this. It says in the book of Zephaniah amazingly in chapter 3, verse 17, “God delights in doing good for all those who hope on Him, and He exults over them with singing.”
Choir, I want you to know today that it is astounding to me that even God sings when He is supremely happy, and the Scripture says He exults over His people with singing. God delights to do good things in your life.
Now the question is, is that idolatry, the fact that He delights in creation? No, because creation sings His praises! Is it idolatry for Him to delight in us? No, because we are created for His glory! Everything contributes to His glory and God delights in being God.
You say, “Well, is He always happy? Isn’t He sometimes angry? Aren’t there some things happening in this world (we hope there are some things happening in this world) in which He does not delight? The Bible says He does not delight in the death of the wicked.
Jonathan Edwards solved that dilemma in this way, and again here I rely on Piper’s interpretation. He says that if you look at what is happening in the world with a narrow lens, there are many things that are happening in which God does not delight, and God is angry over. But if you see the full scope of what God is about, when you begin to understand that virtually everything contributes to His glory, He then is delighting in everything, knowing how it is going to end up. In fact, did you know that there is a verse in Deuteronomy that says this: “I will delight,” God says, “in judging you when you are disobedient.” I read that and I say, “Really?” God says, “Yes, because I will even delight in My justice.” So though in a narrow sense God does not delight in what is happening on Planet Earth in many instances, looked at from the standpoint of eternity and His purposes, He is a delightful, happy God, knowing that it will all turn out according to His plan. God has many pleasures. That’s the first link in our quest for joy.
Let me give you a second. The second link is that we were created to seek pleasure. We were created to seek pleasure. You can deny it. You can argue against it, but I know you better than that. You were created to seek pleasure. In fact, wouldn’t it be strange if God Himself had all these pleasures, all these delights, and then He denied pleasure to us and said, “I don’t want you to enjoy anything. No pleasure to you, thank you!” What a God that would be!
Paschal said it perhaps as well as anyone. “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they may employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object – namely the seeking of happiness. This is the motive of every action of man, even those who hang themselves.”
C. S. Lewis said, “If there lurks in the modern mind the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly hope for enjoyment of it is a bad thing, if you think that” he said, “I submit that this has come to us from Immanuel Kant and the Stoics and not the Christian faith. If you consider the unblushing promise of reward promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with sex and drink and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who makes mud pies because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea.” Lewis says, “We are too easily pleased.”
Now think about it. Why do people get married? I’ve performed quite a few marriages. I have yet to hear a couple say, “Well, our goal is misery (laughter) and we’re so happy single but we would like to be miserable. Would you marry us?” By the way, even those who know they should not get married to a certain person do it because they think that the pain of pulling out of the relationship is going to be greater than the pain of going through with the marriage. Of course, they are wrong, but that’s what they are thinking because we are so constituted that we always act to maximize our joy, and to minimize our pains. And that’s right! Paschal was right. That’s why people commit suicide. It’s because they are trying to minimize their pains. They may not do it, that is, minimize pain, but they think that they are because you and I are so constituted that we seek delight and happiness, and we can’t help it, and we’re created that way by God. That’s the second point.
Now we come to the third link in this chain. God has many pleasures. We are created for pleasure. Number three, our temptation is to seek lesser pleasures. Listen to this wonderful passage of Scripture from Hebrews 11. Just listen for a moment.
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God.” You say, “Well, he sure wasn’t seeking pleasure. Why in the world would he have become the leader of these rebellious Jewish people if he was seeking pleasure?” Well, let’s read the rest of the text. “He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as greater value than the treasures of Egypt because he was looking ahead to the reward.”
Moses says, “Look, I’ve got two different kinds of pleasures before me, the pleasures of sin, which I could enjoy.” And if you know anything about the treasures of Egypt (we had no idea until King Tut’s tomb was exhumed), you marvel at the treasures of Egypt. It’s just absolutely overwhelming. And so Moses said, “I could have the pleasures of sin (I’ve got those pleasures) and the pleasure of knowing God and looking forward to a future reward. And so I’m going to do that which brings me the most happiness.” And he went with God and His pleasures.
Our temptation is to seek the lesser pleasures. That’s what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden. Eve looked at the fruit of the tree. She saw that it was good for food, a tree to be desired to make one wise, and so she said, “I’m going for this pleasure.” The problem was that it cut out many other pleasures, namely the pleasure of walking with God in the cool of the day. It cut out all of these other pleasures. She went for the wrong pleasures. Of course, she desired pleasure, and that wasn’t wrong, but she went for the wrong ones. Notice it says “the pleasures of sin for a short time.” One translation says, “the fleeting pleasure of sin.”
What can we say about these lesser pleasures? First of all, they are, indeed, fleeting. They’re here today and gone tomorrow.
But pleasures are like poppies spread.
You seize the flower. Its bloom is shed.
Or like a snowflake on a river,
A moment white, then gone forever.
The fleeting pleasures of sin! Or another way that we can characterize them is that they are idolatrous, these pleasures of sin. They are idolatry because we begin to seek our happiness in them rather than in God. Piper is right when he says that sin is what we do when God is not meeting our needs. Luther said that no man consciously sins but that, first of all, he thinks wrongly about God. He thinks to himself, “If I go my own way, I will get more happiness. God is not the means to happiness.” And so he is deceived by the pleasures of sin, which are idolatrous and therefore can never finally, fully satisfy. These lesser pleasures are fleeting. They are idolatrous. They promise freedom. That’s their promise. They make the same promises God promises. They promise freedom but they end in bondage.
Jesus said that a servant has to serve his master, and whoever commits sin becomes the servant of sin. Sin begins to tell them what to do. Sin begins to tell them what programs to watch on television. Sin begins to tell them exactly where to go and what to do, and he is driven and he thinks he is free. It’s been said accurately that sin takes you farther than you intended to go, keeps you longer than you intended to stay, and costs you more than you intended to pay. Those pleasures of sin!
What is addiction? Why is it that God allows some people to be addicted? It is God’s way of reminding people that sin is a bad idea, that the pleasures of sin for a season are deceptive and very much lead to bondage. So the pleasures of sin are over-rated. In fact, there is a text in the Scripture that says that he who rejoices in pleasure (and it’s talking now about the pleasures of this world) is dead while he rejoices and is pleasurable.
Remember that story of a man who walked into a funeral parlor and saw this marvelous, beautiful casket with, of course, the person who had died in the casket. And he saw all of these flowers and saw this elaborate set-up, and he said to himself, “Now, that’s living.” (laughter) He that is in pleasure is dead while he lives in that pleasure. And that’s our temptation.
If I could get this message across to every teenager!
See, the problem with teenagers (and we’ve all been there, and by the way it’s not just teenagers but it’s folks like us who were teenagers a long time ago) is it’s easy to look at the world and think we have been gypped. We say to ourselves, “If only we could cast off these restraints and do our own thing.”
There is a story about a kite – a legend that said that the kite thought to itself, “You know, if I could just get rid of that string (The string is holding me down), I’d be able to fly higher. I’d be able to fly as high as the stars, but that string is restraining me.” Well, one day the string snapped, and the kite was so happy because now it could go to the stars and kiss those stars, but it discovered a law of aerodynamics that the string that holds a kite down is the string that holds it up. And I want to say to you, as I say to myself, that if we want to fly high, if we want to be the ones who are going to rise to the stars, let us remember it is inevitably best that God be in control. God must be in control.
Well notice how far we’ve come. God has many pleasures. We are created to seek pleasure. Our temptation is to seek the lesser pleasures, the pleasures of sin. Spiritual maturity (now we’re on number four) is to substitute the greater pleasures for the lesser ones. Now take your Bibles and turn to Psalm 16 where David talks to us about pleasure. And there are dozens of passages to which we could turn, but I have chosen Psalm 16.
You’ll notice how David is talking about two different kinds of gods, two different kinds of pleasures and two different kinds of life-styles. This is such a beautiful Psalm that I shall begin at verse one.
“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you. (And that can be said about us. Apart from God we have nothing that is good.) As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. (Now notice)
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply (the sorrows of those who choose pleasure, and when you think of that, don’t just think of idols that you dance around. No, no, no! It says in Ezekiel, “These people have created idols within their own hearts.” You see, we are idolaters within because we have this hidden pleasure, because we say to ourselves, “I’m doing my own thing and self is on the throne of my life.” That is idolatry.) and those who follow those kinds of gods, their sorrow shall be multiplied.”
Did you ever wonder why some people are so miserable? God is just trying to get through to them. That’s all! It’s His way. Misery is a gift of God. It is His way of saying, “Why don’t you give up the fight? Why don’t you turn to Me? Why is it that you continue to go headlong in the pursuits of pleasures that have that aftertaste, that darkness, that sense of emptiness? Why is it that you will not turn to me? The sorrows of those who go after other gods are multiplied.
Do you know what happens during times of revival when God really begins to minister? The desire to be right with God and the desire to seek His pleasures is so overwhelming that people are finally willing to give up the lesser desires which they have held to their bosoms for years and years and years with self-justification and rationalization.
Now notice! David said, “As far as the false gods are concerned, they are behind me. They have no part in me.” So he looks back and he says, “Those gods are behind me. Around me I have nothing but blessings.”
Verses 5-8: The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”
You know, when he talks about the boundary lines, he’s talking about the actual land that was divided up, you remember, when the tribes came, but of course, we can apply it. “The lines (boundaries) have fallen upon me in pleasant places. God has just blessed us.”
Would you take out a moment and think about how God has blessed you, the very fact that you are here today, that you are listening to a message, that you have the opportunity to sing and to give praise to God, the fact that you have Christian friends and a Christian family and have been adopted by God, and we have the Scriptures (His love letter to us), surely the lines (the boundaries) have fallen unto us in pleasant places. We are surrounded by God’s blessings. And by the way, even though we are surrounded, some people still will be unable to be grateful. Surely that is a disgrace.
But he says, “The false gods are behind me.” He says, “The Lord is before me. I have set Him continually at my right hand.” God is always there. No wonder he can say also, “Therefore (verse 9) my heart is glad, and my whole being (my tongue) rejoices.”
Now there’s some joy to go for. You want to pursue pleasure? Pursue those that have that sense of purity, that sense of fulfillment, that sense of saying, “This is the purpose for which I was created.” Let me give you the invitation of Scripture: “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.” “I rejoice,” he says.
Now notice that this is what happens in this life, and what happens after we die? Verse 10: “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol (the grave), or let your holy one see corruption (decay).” And this was applied to Jesus. In the case of David, David was saying, “I expect to live after the grave.” In the case of Christ it was, “I am resurrected after the grave,” and so it was applied to Christ in the New Testament.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Do you notice this in the text? David is saying, “While I am living, the Lord is at my right hand. After I die I am at his right hand where there are eternal joys and eternal pleasures.” What a marvelous statement of the joy and the happiness in God.
Now, we finally come to number five. God Himself has many pleasures. We are created for pleasure. Our temptation is to seek the lesser pleasures. Spiritual maturity is to choose the more abundant, the greater pleasures of God.
And number five: God’s pleasures, His will if you please, and our pleasures converge and become one and the same. You’ve heard me say it before, but even when you want to do what is best for you, and you should do what is best for you, you want to do what gives you most pleasure, gives you most fulfillment, what do you do? You pursue God with all your heart and your mind and your soul because the Scripture says that He generously rewards those who diligently seek Him out. There are pleasures at His right hand forevermore. And the enjoyment of God becomes the pursuit that we now undertake and it is there that we discover our happiness.
Now, you say, “Well, does that mean that we’re always happy, happy, happy?” No, no, no! Not even Jesus was always happy, happy, happy! Look at Gethsemane! But here’s what I want to tell you. When we pursue God we discover that there is no contradiction. Or let me put it more clearly. Sorrow and joy can coexist. They do not cancel one another. I’ve seen this at funerals where people on the one hand had sorrow, and we sorrow, but not as those who have no hope. There is also joy in the midst of sorrow. There is a bringing together of the delight of God and the harsh realities of life, and they coexist in the lives of those who pursue the pleasures of God.
Some of you perhaps have read the biography of George Mueller. If not, I commend it to you. Mueller always prayed. He prayed day and night, and he said that he received more than 8,000 answers to prayer. In fact, I ought to tell you that Mueller ran a number of orphanages in England and never asked for money. Now this doesn’t mean that everybody is supposed to do that because we have examples of people in the New Testament of people asking for money. But he decided he would do it this way for this reason. He said because there were people who no longer believed that God was faithful, he had to give them a demonstration of God’s faithfulness, and so he always prayed the money in. But Mueller said this. He said, “What is the first task of the Christian?”
Now what if this were not a message today. What if I were sitting in your living room and you and I were talking, and I were to look into your eyes and ask you that question, “What is the first task of the Christian – our first responsibility?” Let me give you Mueller’s answer. Mueller’s answer was that the first responsibility of a Christian is to find his soul happy in God – to be content with God. See, that’s because once you are content with God you don’t have to sin to find contentment. Remember that sin is what we do when God is not meeting our needs. If God were to meet our needs, if God were to be making us content, we’d be able to put up with an awful lot.
And that’s why Mueller would get up early. He would read the Bible before breakfast with the intention of having his soul satisfied with God before he would begin the day. And then the rest of the day flowed from there.
• My soul, hope thou only in God for my expectation is from Him.
• As the deer pants after the water brook, so my soul pants after Thee, oh God.
• When shall I come before the Lord? May I delight in Him!
You think of all of the words of Scripture that encourage us to find delight in God. But the moment we begin to do that we begin to see all these thieves show up in our devotional time. They all come there saying, “You’re not going to be happy in God. You’re not going to be happy in God. You’re not going to be happy in God.” What are they? Let me list those. People sometimes say, “You know, nobody can preach unless he knows his people.” There is some truth in that, but I want you to know that all that a pastor has to do is to look into his own heart, and he’s really looking into the heart of his congregation. We all struggle with the same things.
Let me give you some thieves that will rob us of finding our all in God. First of all, guilt! Sin causes the cup of joy to spring a leak, and therefore the joy that is in our hearts is drained out because of sin that we’ve not taken care of. You come before God and say, “I want to delight in you today. I want to receive the joy today,” and immediately a thin issue will come up with which you have to deal. But God is capable of getting us beyond that hump. He is the one, you know, who gets us there.
A second thief that shows up is anxiety. Anxiety says, “You’re not going to enjoy God. You’re not going to enjoy God.” Anxiety! What foolishness! This past week I woke up at 4 o’clock one morning. I never went back to sleep because I was thinking about one small thing that I couldn’t get out of my mind. What a waste of time! I woke up in the morning, you know, all tired and everything because of something that I couldn’t do anything about anyway, lying in bed. Foolishness! So God said to me, “How do you expect to find your delight in Me when you are focused on one little thing that you can’t do anything about?” Isn’t that the ultimate foolishness? So we have to deal with that. We have to give those matters over to God so that these stray thoughts of anxiety don’t come into our minds.
And then there are such things as bitterness. Let me tell you the truth about Jonathan Edwards. Of course, I always tell you the truth so I wouldn’t have had to preface that with those remarks. But just in case for those who are wondering, let me tell you a true story.
Here’s America’s premiere evangelist! You’ve all heard of him and the Great Awakening! He was a marvelous preacher. I have sometimes read his messages – at least the beginning. He’s the one, you know, who preached “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” and people actually held onto the pew and trembled because they thought that the earth was going to open up right then and that the final harvest would take place while he spoke, we read.
Edwards was voted out of his church on a technical issue that I won’t go into, an issue, by the way, that he was totally right about, but a shirt tail relative of his stirred up all kinds of controversy about him, and consequently all this dissatisfaction spread within the church. They had a vote and he was ousted, I think, by something like 230 opposed to 32 for, so he left the church.
Well, that’s a difficult pill to swallow. Some of you have gone through things like that in your businesses. You’ve gone through injustices. I know it because injustice permeates the globe. But this is what his biographer said, and this would have been worth you coming to hear this sermon if you had heard only this. Are you ready for it because you can’t miss this?
His happiness in God was beyond the reach of his enemies.
There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.
Oh Jesus, blessed redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God.
Yes, there is that place where your happiness in God is beyond the reach of your enemies. They can’t get to it because God continually delights your soul.
Now, to complete the story, Edwards actually left the church and went to live with the Indians, and providentially it was an excellent idea because it was there that he had more time, and he wrote all those good books that some of us still continue to read today, which probably would not have been written if he had remained a pastor. He could see, therefore, within even injustice, the providence of God because his soul delighted in the Lord.
So you take care of all those things, and then what you discover is that there is joy in God. There really is.
Fannie Crosby, you know, was not born blind. As I mentioned in another message she had perfectly good eyesight but there was a little bit of rash when she was born around her eyes, and a doctor had some salve in those days that he thought was going to cure her, and it made her blind. It burned out her little newborn eyes. She was not bitter over it because she accepted that too as God’s providence. But one day, in a song that we are going to sing in a moment she included this stanza:
Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer and with Thee, my God,
Commune as friend with friend.
Of course, you were born to desire pleasure. There is no other way that we can operate. But I encourage you today. Go for the great pleasures. Go for God. Go for the delights. Go for that which is best for you. Go for your relationship with the Almighty, this happy God who commands us to “delight thyself in the Lord.” And say, “I will not rest until I have come to know Him, and I will have that quiet time before I leave for work in the morning, and I will pursue Him, and I will deal with the issues that keep me from knowing Him,” because remember He rewards those who diligently seek Him out.
What do you mean with this business of saying, you know, “We live a very boring life because we don’t do worldly pleasures?” No, no, no! You live with the pleasures at God’s right hand forever more.
Join me as we pray.
Father, forgive us for drinking from such polluted fountains, trying to quench thirst that only You can quench. Forgive us, Father, for all the deceptions, all the sin that we allow in our lives, thinking that we can eke out some pleasure just before we die. We ask today, Father, that You will help us to understand that it is in God that we delight, and to remember the words of Augustine: “Oh Lord, Thou has made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their all in Thee.” Help us to be done with the pleasures of the world, and remember that he who does Thy will abides forever.
For those who have never trusted Christ as Savior, even today, we pray that they may look to Him as their Savior, that they might begin the lifelong pursuit of knowing the living and the true God. Create that within us because we are needy we ask, in Jesus’ name, Amen.