“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
The keyword in the verse above is, “after.” To be after something means to pursue something. When I was dating my wife, I was going after her, or you could say that I was pursuing her. It is said about David in the Scriptures that he was a man who was after God’s heart. In other words, he was a man who was in pursuit of knowing the heart of God. It was David’s life ambition to learn the heart of God because he wanted to please God.
The verse above shows the key that determines your ambitions in life. Whatever you pursue is what will determine your ambition. If you are “after the flesh,” you will do the things of the flesh because that is what you are pursuing. However, if you are “after the Spirit,” you will do the things that the Spirit will want you to do. In other words, it is what you pursue that determines your goals, desires, and ambition in life. Let me share a few thoughts about your ambition and the importance of what you pursue.
First, your pursuits in life determine your direction in life. One of the greatest things that determine where someone will end up in life is direction. If you want your direction to be right, you should keep your pursuits in life right. You can’t be going after the flesh and not expect to end up doing the things that the flesh wants you to do because whatever you go after determines the direction you will go in life. Too many people don’t pay attention to their direction, but what you are going after always points you in a certain direction.
Second, your pursuits reveal what is important to you. Whatever your ambition and goals in life reveal what is important to you. One of the greatest reasons people don’t have a heart for the LORD and the things of the LORD is because their ambitions determine their direction, and their direction determines where they will end up at the end of life. Solomon’s heart was after women, and the women he married turned his heart from the LORD. David’s heart was in pursuit of God’s heart, and David always landed in the right spot with God at his side. My friend, you can’t hide what is important to you, because what’s important to you is what you talk about.
One of the ways I can tell what is important to people is by what they post on social media. Many preachers reveal their heart by the posts they make on social media. Sadly, most preachers reveal their lack of passion for the souls of men because they never talk about leading anyone to Christ. What is important to you and what you are pursuing leaks out in what you say.
Moreover, many parents would be wise to check their pursuits in life. You can try to feign to your children what is important in life, but what you pursue is revealed by what you do. Many parents wonder why they lose their children to the world and the answer can be found that they simply followed what you truly pursued in life. You can’t turn out godly children when you are going after the flesh and minding the things of the flesh.
My friend, what you are after in life is vital to what you do in life. Yes, you must live in this world, but you don’t have to go after the things of the world. Let me encourage you to be careful what you point your heart after, because what you point your heart to pursue is where you will eventually go.