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Sorting Out Our Desires

A thought that I am challenged with recently relates to ‘desire’. Is it right to have this feeling of desire? Are all desires bad? How far should I go to desire something? These are feelings I have and I am pretty sure we all go through the same thought process of this and other issues.

I think desire is not bad but it must have its limitations as we might start desiring something which could easily be caught up in coveting something. The Bible is very clear that we should not covet and appears as the Tenth Commandment given to Moses by God (Exodus 20:17)

Desiring is a good thing and is encouraged by God. The dictionary gives the meaning for desire as longing for something or having hope. As followers of Christ our desire is not for material possessions but for Christ, God’s Kingdom and what He has called us to do and be.

This is very clear when Paul writes to the church to “…earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:31. This verse tells me that our desire for Kingdom things should consume us and we should chase it until the day we take hold of it.

So let’s sort out our desires so that everything we do is pleasing God and not our egos:

1. The need for desire

We need this feeling of desire as it’s how we are created. God has given us a free will, so daily we make decisions about how we live and what we say. Free will opens up the feeling for desire and we don’t need to go too far in the Bible to discover that if our desires are not kept in check we could easily fall into trouble. (Genesis 3:6).

Proverbs encourages us that desire is a great thing and we need it, as without it we are empty. Absent of all dreams, thoughts and life. Desire creates something in us we want to live for and brings fulfilment to us when we desire the things of God.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

2. Desire outside our control

There will always be desires outside of our control. People we live with, work with and our friends can easily push their desires onto us. Not all these desires are bad that come from others, but we need to be strong to determine what we will allow to influence our life. The wrong influence can easily trap us and take us away from what God’s desire is for us.

An example of this is when Israel demanded a King from Samuel because all the other nations had a king (1 Samuel 8:5-6). This grieved Samuel and God because Israel just rejected the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords.

3. The desire for God

Ultimately our desire should be for God. The Psalmist writes “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.” Psalms 73:25. When our desire shifts from desiring God we could be getting into trouble. The Bible encourages us to seek God first and then everything else will be added to us according to His will.

4. Surrendering our desires

We must be prepared to surrender our desires to God. If we desire Him first, then everything should be available to be given up before God. This goes against everything about what desire is, as something we long for or hope for. The inability to surrender is when our desires go too far and become something we covet.

Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You. Psalms 38:9

5. The fulfilment of our desires

This is great news, as the Bible brings hope that our desires are something that will be fulfilled. What you desire if lined up with what God desires for you will be fulfilled. The Psalms praise the Lord for all He does for us when we surrender before Him:

You have given him his heart’s desire, And have not withheld the request of his lips. Psalms 21:2

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose. Psalms 20:4

He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. Psalms 145:19

6. What God desires

God also has desires which we need to know about. If God desires it, so should we. Paul highlights a desire God has by saying it is Him “who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:4

But what God desires from us who believe and follow Him, is what the Psalmist described “… You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” Psalms 51:6 We can have the appearance that we are doing the right thing, but God sees what’s really going on inside you.

Let’s live in such a way that whatever we do, it’s pleasing God. His desire for you is seeing your life reflecting His Glory having the wonderful fragrance of Christ. The decision you have made is not just to know Jesus, it’s a lifetime commitment of following Him in total obedience.

Activate the desires you have and commit to the assignment given to all of us to be part of a Christian community who honours God by growing to be more like Jesus.

In Christ Jesus
Ps Dave