Desires

<<wants, longing, wishes>>

Normal desires of life are given to man by God; how we respond and fulfill them determines if they are either good or bad, acceptable or sinful. Even though David was not able to accomplish the aspirations of his heart he was commended by God, “It was good that this desire was in your heart” (1 Kgs 8:18).

As you “Delight yourself in God He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps 37:4, 145:19). "Whatever you desire, ask with faith in prayer” (Mk 11:24). “If we ask according to His will He hears us and we know that we have what we ask of Him” (1 Jn 5:14,15). As our desires line up with His, and we put in the effort we will see Him bring into reality what is His will for us. In so many areas of life, we determine what the outcome will be because of our input (2 Chr 16:9; Ps 34:12-14). Dreams will never materialise unless there is sufficient motivation to actually bring the desires into being. We are to eagerly desire spiritual gifts and crave pure spiritual nourishment, like babies (1 Cor 14:1; 1 Pet 2:2).

The ungodly are trapped by evil desire, making their lives unfruitful and end in ruin (Prov 11:5,6; Mk 4:19; Rom 1:24; Eph 2:3; 1 Tim 6:9). The Bible is clear, those controlled by sinful desires that are outworked in their sinful lifestyle cannot please God and the result is death, while those who have their minds focused on what the Spirit wants, live accordingly with the result of peace and life (Rom 8:5-8; Gal 6:7,8; 1 Jn 2:17).  Self-control or self-discipline (a fruit of the spirit) is required to say ‘no’ to wrong desires, which even as Christians still entice us to sin (Rom 7:21-25). It is not wrong to be tempted but giving in to temptation is. “Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature which is contrary to the Spirit...Those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:16,17,24).  Our desires should be to please God not ourselves.

We are to put to death the sinful cravings of our old nature, so “Do not [even] think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature” by “abstaining from sinful desires, which war against the
soul” and make God the object of our soul’s desire with the body becoming an instrument of righteousness (Rom 6:12,13, 13:14; Col 3:5; 2 Tim 2:22; 1 Pet 1:14, 2:11). What the mind conceives

Desires provide motivation                  (for good and bad) 

the body makes plans to receive, as graphically shown when David looked at Bathsheba; a process was set in motion to obtain her even though he knew this was wrong (2 Sam 11:2-4). Desires are ‘thought fuel’ for temptation which often translates into action (Ps 101:3; Mk 7:20-22; Phil 4:8). The wise approach is to control the input into our minds, by guarding, taking captive and making our hearts desires obedient to Christ for they affect the direction and destiny of our life (Prov 4:23; Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 10:5). "A person is a slave to whatever has mastered them" (2 Pet 2:19).

Satan employs the desires of the un-crucified flesh, as bait to lure people into his snares and when trapped rigorous effort is required to be set free. Our sinful human desires will bring us into bondage – “The wicked crave evil”, which “brings corruption” and so we are “enslaved by all kinds of passions” (Prov 21:10; 2 Pet 1:4).  Fleshly desires lead to destruction, they are sin and self-centered, easily aroused and hard to stifle. Outside the kingdom of God people gratify the cravings of their sinful nature following its desires and thoughts, often with disastrous results (Eph 2:3).

Instead of repentance after sinning, God would rather genuine loving obedience and submission to Him so we keep ourselves from sin (1 Sam 15:22; Ps 40:6, 51:6,16,17). Is this your hearts expression – “I desire to do your will, O God...I long for you...I only want to be with you” (Ps 40:8, 42:1, 73:25).

Wrong desires of the flesh are lust – wanting short-term satisfaction regardless of the long-term consequences.  This warped perspective is not concerned about another’s wants or rights, only that their own selfish desires are met now. Unholy desires are wrong thoughts waiting and wanting to be expressed. Deal with these temptations so they won’t spring up causing you to sin. Jesus declared that if the act is wrong, so is the desire to bring it about (Mt 5:27,28).  Even legitimate God-given desires are to be fulfilled by the right means and at the right time in the way God would approve through submission to Him.

See also: entry points, lusts, motive, passion, temptation, thinking/thoughts.

 

 


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