Desire. Hmm one of those words that may sound scandalous depending on context…like it should be used with a certain amount of caution. I can desire a cookie. Innocent. But there are other things that I can desire that one might have to be careful of when or in what company they admit such a passion or longing. Is it okay for a Christian to have strong passions? Sometimes I think my desires are too much; that I am too much. And that being a Christian means in some way I must tame them and fit them into this box of good Christian holiness…whatever that means.
In Ephesians 4:22 it says: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
Deceitful desires? So it would seem that not everything that we truly want is good. Sounds logical. I can sincerely want to spend money on everything I see regardless of accruing debt and date anyone and everyone whether they are single or not. I think we can place these in the obvious “wrong/bad” desires category. What about things like a new career or boyfriend? Is it okay to strongly want something I don’t yet have? How do I know which of these is in the clearly marked “good” category?
Ephesians 4:23-24 goes on to say: to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
I take this to mean that somewhere along the way our desires have to line up with Gods. Hmm taking a quick inspection of my heart right now and I can honestly say not all of these yearnings are the holiest in nature. And yet they are mine; they exist. I consider myself to be a Christian. I have my struggles sure, but I feel a change in me. So how come I don’t always want what is best for me?
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
What does this mean? Delight definition according to the handy dictionary.com: a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy. Okay so if I get my joy from God then he will give me the desires of my heart. Sounds simple enough…or at least it was simple enough to type. Can you imagine that though? Finding all of one’s joy in God? I’m not even completely sure I know what that looks like if every step and thought I made were devoted to pleasing and being pleased in God. What I do know is that it would mean taking the focus off myself and that is a step. It might also mean asking God how to find joy in him rather than the distractions around me. I don't know what God has in store for me truthfully. Instead of being too much though maybe my desires aren't enough.
1 Corinthians 2:9
However as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"