This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
— 1 Timothy 3:1
One of the greatest frustrations I’ve experienced through the years is working with people who have great potential but are apathetic about life. It’s even more frustrating when these people grew up in Christian homes and should therefore have been taught to pursue a higher standard for life.
But many people weren’t raised according to a high standard of excellence as my parents raised me. Therefore, they don’t possess a deep desire to be excellent in everything they do. They grew up in an environment where low-level thinking was viewed as normal, so that’s the standard they’ve accepted for their own lives. However, a person who comes from a low-level background hurts only himself when he uses that as an excuse for staying mediocre.
It’s so frustrating when you give people the opportunity to learn, to adapt, and to better themselves, but they don’t take advantage of these opportunities and therefore never experience needed change. You can send them to school, educate them, and even pay for them to fly halfway around the world in order to learn new and better techniques. But if they don’t possess the inner drive to become better and more professional, it doesn’t matter how much time or money you throw at them. It’s all a waste unless they have desire.
This is the reason the apostle Paul put “desire” at the top of the list when he wrote to Timothy and instructed him on how to choose leaders for his church in Ephesus. In First Timothy 3:1, Paul said, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” According to this verse, desire is not only an important quality to possess, it is a requirement for any believer who wants to fulfill God’s plan for his or her life!
The word “desire” comes from the Greek word orego, which means to stretch forward or to reach toward. It denotes the longing, cravings, urge, burning desire, or yearning ambition to achieve something or to become something. It portrays a person so fixed on the object of his desire that his whole being is stretched forward to take hold of that goal or object.
In other words, this word doesn’t portray a person who just “thinks” about becoming something; this is a person who is determined to become something! He has put his whole heart, soul, and body into his dream, and he won’t take no for an answer! He will do whatever is required; he will change anything in his character that needs to be changed and do anything he must do to achieve his goal.
It takes only a few personal experiences with desireless people to make it perfectly clear why Paul put this quality at the top of the list of character requirements for leaders. There is nothing more dreadful or irritating than to work with someone who is gifted and talented but who doesn’t even possess enough initiative to get up and do his job!
As I said, one of my greatest frustrations — and this is true of every leader — is in trying to help, nurture, and develop people who have great potential but are apathetic about life. Desireless people stroll through life at their own pace, accepting standards and practices that would never be accepted in the business or secular world. They are like dead people!
You push, shove, beg, plead, and pray for people that fit this description to get involved. Finally, they respond to your constant requests to do something at work or in the church. They even do it for a while — at least until they feel a little opposition or are just too tired! At that point, they give up. These people don’t have enough desire to make it through the obstacles they face along the way. This is another reason a potential leader must demonstrate this quality of strong inward desire.
Obstacles will come as you grow in the Lord. From time to time, hindrances will try to knock you out of your spiritual race. If you don’t have a strong desire to be used by God and to become someone important in the work of His Kingdom, it won’t take too many of these obstacles and hindrances to make you give up and back out of your commitments. That’s why it’s essential to develop an inner desire strong enough to overcome the forces that come against you along the way.
You need to know that even though every person has a dream for success, that doesn’t mean every person will attain it. It takes great effort and hard work to achieve success in any realm of life. Many people who dream of success will never experience it because they don’t desire it enough; therefore, they aren’t willing to put forth the effort to make it happen.
As a result, a large portion of the lost world looks at the Church as a pathetic entity made up of a bunch of nincompoops who aren’t serious about what they do or say. This lack of desire is the reason why so much of what is done in the Christian world is of such inferior quality. A person who is satisfied with little will never achieve much. On the other hand, a person who is full of desire for excellence will never be satisfied with a low-level performance in his or her life.
But how about you? Do you have enough desire to get up and do something with your life? Do your actions demonstrate that you are fixed on a goal God has given you? How much time do you waste watching television when you could be reading, studying, working, and developing yourself into someone better? You’ll never become someone great or achieve anything special by doing what everyone else does. If you want to stand above the rest of the crowd, you’ll have to do more than what others do. If you don’t have desire, you’ll never make it!
So ask the Holy Spirit to stir up strong desire in your heart to become all that God has called you to be and fulfill all that He has told you to do. Keep developing your desire until it’s strong enough to overcome the forces that come against you along the way. Stretch forward with your whole being and take hold of your goal!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, thank You for speaking to me so strongly today about my personal level of desire. For me to be what You have called me to be, I know that I have to develop a stronger inner desire than I am demonstrating in my life at this moment. Holy Spirit, please stir my heart so fiercely that I won’t be satisfied with my current level of life. Please give me a godly discontentment with the level I’ve already achieved so I’ll be motivated to keep reaching for higher levels in my personal life!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that I am filled with desire! I am fixed on the goal God has given me to achieve, and my actions demonstrate that I am committed to achieving God’s plan for my life. I read, study, work, and develop myself regularly so I can become better and achieve higher results. Because I will never become someone great or achieve anything special by doing what everyone else does, I do more than what others do. Because I have desire, I will make it!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. What are you doing to develop yourself so you can reach the goal God has given you? Are you studying, reading, or serving and learning at the side of someone who is already doing what you want to do?
2. What will be required of you in order for you to see your dream come to pass?
3. If you keep doing exactly what you’re doing right now, what will be your status in life two years from now?