Understanding desires

Every human has desires. They motivate, they inspire dreams, they build ambitions, and they can build or destroy relationships. Desires are an important part of our decision-making process affecting all of life. Desires are rarely neutral by nature, and sometimes they even lack any distinguishing qualities.  Sometimes they are of little consequence, while other times they have catastrophic repercussions. 

Understanding desiresMore often than not our desires fall into one of two categories. Be they passive desires or raging passions, they are either good or bad. They will either benefit or damage. They frequently alter the course of life with far reaching consequences for better or for worse. 

Obviously, desires are a God given ability as a result of being made in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Unlike God, who only has pure and wise desires, we struggle and even battle with our desires (Jas 4:1). To counter the believer’s struggle with desires, God has given His Word and His Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes the Word of God and constructs a right mind and heart attitude based on knowledge. 

Although often-misunderstood, David explained this in Psalm 37:4; “delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” This is not a universal promise of God providing everything you want. Instead, for those who delight in Him, the Lord will place His desires within their believing hearts. 

As Solomon rightly explained; “desire without knowledge is not good…” (Proverbs 19:2). Therefore, God builds the internal necessities for growing in the “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). “Now the Lord is the Spirit… And we all… are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). 

As Jesus was explaining the parable of the sower and the seed to his disciples, He described the seed that fell among thorns. “They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19). Notice the enemy’s strategy; introduce significant cares. Apply layers of appetising and inviting success and wealth. Then, to top it all off; strangle the input of God’s Word. Before long, you have another isolated would-be believer who calms himself with thoughts of “well, I gave Jesus a go, and he just didn’t work out.” 

This battle strategy is possibly the easiest one for the enemy to implement in your life. At the time, it’s almost undetectable through the natural course of events, desires, and consequences. You think you’re doing the best thing at the time. Your goal is to remove the pain, to eliminate the inner struggle of waring desires and conflicting beliefs. So, you stop ready God’s Word. You stop praying. Then, you gradually reduce the number of Church gatherings you attend and Christian friends you hang out with. Before long, the enemy called isolation has won. 

All the apostles were realistic, and down to earth men. They acknowledged their struggle against sin and their need for divine resources in order to experience victory. Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:16-17). Natural desires which lead you away from God are impossible to beat without the Holy Spirit’s enablement. Focus your mind and heart on Jesus Christ. Fill yourself with God’s Word and surrender to the desires of the Holy Spirit.

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