“So as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” (I Peter 4:2)
What drives your life? What factors are involved in determining the decisions you make? In this verse the Bible indicates two differing possible sets of motives for our decision-making:
1) “the lusts of men”, and
2) “the will of God.”
Whether you consciously realize it or not, one of these two motivations drives the way you make your decisions in life:
— Do you decide based on “what feels good”, or “what is attractive to me”, or “what makes me look good before other people”? These are “the lusts of men.” I John 2:16 describes these motives as “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life.” It says these things are not from the Father, but from the world. These worldly lusts are not to be the basis for decision-making by God’s people.
— But Christians are to have another defining motive: “the will of God.” He doesn’t do what pleases him or his lusts, but what he knows that GOD wants him to do. Go’ds will is found in His word, and is often the opposite of what worldly lusts would lead us to do.
Are you facing a decision today? Maybe it is what people consider to be a “big” decision: a career change, a person to date or marry, etc., but it may also be something as “minute” as “what should I have for lunch?” Whatever it is, if you are a Christian, you are not to make your choice based merely on what your flesh “feels” or desires. That would be decision-making based on “the lusts of men.” Instead, ask yourself: “What would glorify God, advance His kingdom, and accomplish His will here on earth?”
Making decisions like this would be a complete paradigm change for most people — including most American Christians, who are not used to seeking God’s will in this way. Many of us just make decisions the way everyone else does: based on what we “feel” or are attracted to or what makes us look good. But this is nothing less than being guided by “the lusts of men.” And here God commands His people to be different. We are not to be guided by “the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”