Thursday, June 21, 2012

Misplaced Desire . . .

I have been considering the fact that God created us with souls that hunger and thus experience desire. I believe that that singularly deep and unfulfilled desire we experience as humans is designed to cause us to need and thus experience the reality of love, (to know the joy of fulfillment & completion), and so to be able give love.

As God is love, we can then be in a place to somehow realize that deeper need for the love of God Himself in our lives. When He extends His infinitely forgiving, redeeming, unconditional, and life-giving love in a personal way to us, we may at last finally see our desire is indeed for Him and cry out for all that everlasting love He can bring alive in us. Without our longing, without our desire, without our emotional hunger we are like automatons. God has made us in His image. He is a God  that desires and wants a destiny for His Creation. He desires that we know Him and His love. He wants us for Himself more than any of us can realize. Read the Song of Solomon. Read of how Isaac ran to meet Rebekkah as she approached him. These are but a few of the biblical pictures of how the Lord God desires each one of us as a Bride, as His love completed. He is calling a great throng of people to know His heart and to love Him. He will teach us a new way of desire, a selfless love that will fill us with His Spirit.

The danger we face as humans is to attempt to fill a natural God-given desire with things that cannot satisfy and sometimes can deeply hurt us. We can hurt others as well. In our search for what we deeply hunger -- we can develop misplaced desire that can gradually consume our lives in painful ways. In our individual search for happiness, fulfillment, joy, peace, love and yes, unknowingly, even God Himself -- we substitute other things that will never bring us to that lasting joy of contentment and peace. Sometimes what we choose to bring a sense of closure to our search is but an endless maze of sorrow, shame, pain, addiction, and sometimes death. We must carefully consider what may be driving our misplaced desire. We must seek the truth and get help if we need such to avoid years of wasted life pursuing an object of misplaced desire.

Below, I offer more ideas by others on this issue of "misplaced desire" . . .

"Our misplaced desires lead to emotional sickness. The Bible says, “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” To find emotional healing, you must recover hope. Place your desire in the only thing that will never be deferred. Above all else, desire God." ~ Angie Wyatt

"The application of misplaced desires eventually becomes a cycle of addiction where stimulating encounters, relief, and the mad search for new experiences become ingrained in the recesses of the mind. The insatiable appetite to acquire, to own, to indulge, to take pleasure, to consume, is relentless. Rationality and moral self-control are dominated by the rising lust for power, an insidious power that becomes a sacred goal, a wholly consuming interest." ~ Michael G. Moriarty

"Augustine’s Confessions is in large measure a record of misplaced desire. Our hearts well up with idolatrous desire for created things. We turn to the world of beautiful things instead of turning to the one who is Beauty itself. “In my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you had made.” But even in our corruption and confusion, God remains the hidden object of our desire. God uses our misplaced desires to draw us, in spite of ourselves, to God. “You were with me, and I was not with you.” In our desire for beautiful things, we are suddenly ambushed by God’s beauty, deep and secret and seductive . . ." ~ Ben Myers

"Every day our desires affect our wants which affects how we act, what choices we make, and who we decide to be. The friends we choose to be close with, the job we take, the way we spend our free time — all of these reflect our desires; yet it’s common to feel unattached to our desires and have almost no idea what it is we really want. Our struggles with sin and addictions are rooted in desire. . . . I believe a lot of sins are from misplaced desire.

Does that mean that desire is bad? I think the church in the West would jump to the conclusion yes! Desire gets me into trouble, I need to avoid it at all costs. Yet I would argue that unowned desire is what gets us in trouble. When we don’t understand what our desires our and when we don’t ‘own them’ we are controlled by them.

Take time to look into your sins as well as your wants to find your desires. We cannot repent of our desires, they are God-given and legitimate, but we can repent of seeking to fulfill them in the wrong way. Let God show you what desires He’s placed in you and own them. Don’t be controlled by them. Live your life fueled by desire under control and guided by God’s Word." ~ Evan Olsen

I would add to the above thoughts that we believers mainly need to be guided by the Spirit's voice of love for us. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” ~ Psalm 37:4

The Way Crooked … made straight . . .

The Way Crooked … made straight . . .

Given #1: The wicked heart/soul, with human nature being twisted, has a law of sin that operates in all hearts. The flesh of our Adamic father passed down a penchant for rebellion and evil. No amount of self-disciplined or self will can overcome this force, this “law” that operates within what we are. We are doomed to sin, to rebel, to defy what stands in the way of the self-seeking satisfaction. We sink into deep oblivion of rebellion and twistedness as we let sin rule and ultimately the end result is death -- life being swallowed by the curse of death. Our spirits are dead, dormant, unmoving, and held captive to our heart/soul/will/mind of a fallen nature. We walk in a darkness we cannot see, we exist in a prison of our own self that we cannot escape on our own. We need help.

Given #2: Our only hope is in the life, death, and resurrected life of Jesus Christ, He alone has overcome this curse. By faith in the gospel of His delivering power, in His salvation, through His life-giving spirit -- we can escape the condemnation of being a slave, a condemned slave to sin within us. Only the Spirit of God can reveal this to us. Only His voice can speak to us. And only by His loving grace, mercy, and power can we be delivered. If we reach out to Him, believing in Him, in even the weakest faith --He answers us and puts His life, His revelation of Himself within us. Then the battle of overcoming by faith, overcoming self begins. But even that battle must be worked out in us by His power and His Spirit. Never can our own strength be depended upon to overcome. Somehow we must gain revelation of His overcoming life, Christ in us, to walk as overcomers of the world, the flesh (self), and the devil. “Oh Lord… have mercy on me -- a wretched sinner,” is our honest cry before Him.