Desire: The natural longing that is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of any good, and impels to action or effort its continuance or possession; an eager wish to obtain or enjoy. (Source)
Our affections, or desires, are perhaps the greatest evidence of whether or not our life is found in Christ. Our pious words can lie. Our noble actions can deceive. But our desires are truth sayers. Though often hidden behind a facade of righteousness, our desires reveal and sometimes betray our heart.
Want to expose idols in your life? Take a long, thoughtful look at what you really, really, really want. Our desires act like pointers to God or to a myriad of false gods, from accolades to security, comfort to wealth, popularity to power.
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. [Psalm 37:4 HCSB]
There are a host of false teachers who will try to lead you to believe that God is not much more than a genie in a bottle whose greatest desire is to give you your every wish. Perhaps you know these lies are the stuff of fairy tales and this is not what David meant when he wrote that line of the psalm. You realize that it means God will give you new desires.
And you’re scared.
Scared because you like the desires you have now. You want Him to fulfill these desires, not give you new ones.
But notice, God is not merely saying no to the desires you have; He is giving you new desires. He is not coercing and forcing you to accept new desires. God works inside you to change what you desire so that your desires align with His desires. But they are still YOUR desires. And they are your DESIRES. You WANT to do them. And the desires you now have will not be taken from you; they will simply no longer be, well, desirable.
For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. [Philippians 2:13 HCSB]
So don’t be afraid of the desires God will give. Recognize that changed desires are evidence of your salvation. Trust God with your desires, knowing He always acts for your benefit and His glory. And enjoy the blessing of God’s working out their fulfillment.
Have you discovered that old desires have lost their appeal? Has God given you a new desire that astounds you? I would love to hear about it!