If you are human, then you know her. She calls out to us every day and we check in with her before every decision we make.
She causes destruction, pain, regret and provides no long-term satisfaction. Yet, without her we have no motivation, no inspiration, no purpose. We can have her completely figured out one moment, but find her utterly confusing the next. Her name is Desire, and she is absolutely essential to human nature. Desire appears to play a part in every situation of life. Every decision we make is based on what it is that we presently desire. Sometimes we make choices based on what we will desire in the future, others are focused on what we desire in the present moment. Sometimes we make an altruistic decision and do something based on what someone else desires, where the desire to help someone else still exists. Either way you look at it, there is no running from desire.
The Buddhist approach to desire is to eliminate it. The Buddhist monk dedicates his life to consistent zen meditation with the hopes of eradicating desire. However, this desire to eliminate desire, is of course, a desire.
Rather than attempt to live a life free from desire, we must embrace her. She is a good thing. She is a natural part of the human psyche for a reason. To live the full human experience we must not ignore desire, but learn to tame her. Desire is only a problem if wisdom isn’t present to guide her. There is an intriguing promise in the Bible that speaks to desire. It’s found in Psalm 37:4,
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (NIV)
The first time I read this verse, my initial response was “Wait, what?! God will give me whatever I want?!?” Obviously this would be an immature interpretation of the text. The key to understanding this verse is by recognizing the first command – Take delight in the Lord. I believe this means more than merely allowing Jesus to make you happy – although this of course is a good thing. Rather, I think it’s more telling us to surrender our hearts to Jesus. We are called to make him our delight. When we can get to the spiritual maturity where Jesus is our delight, where it delights us to please the King, where the decisions we make are based upon what honors him and is beneficial to His Kingdom, then He will give us the desires of our heart.
It’s all about the process of aligning our hearts with God’s heart. We are very aware of when our desires are in opposition to His desires. We can play dumb all we want, but when push comes to shove we know what he wants from us. It coincides very well with Romans 8… (Read it)
It’s all about perspective change. It’s much more powerful than positive thinking. It’s the beautiful paradigm shift followed by a biblical worldview. I’m not saying it’s always easy to live this Spirit-filled lifestyle, but it is attainable and it only takes a little extra discipline and effort. My prayer is that we all would find motivation and excitement in Jesus. I will never understand why Christianity can be perceived as “corny”. Logically, I don’t get it. I will never be ashamed of being a royal son of the Everlasting King who is the Fiery Author of Life with the Mind to Create everything that exists. I will never be ashamed to boldly offer my life to the One who gave up everything to make sure we could attain anything. Never should we be ashamed to live a passionate life full of purpose and love because we are so aware of the authentic Love that the Creator of the Universe has for us. I will never allow a place for shame in my life and I hope Christians never allow themselves to feel it because we are the strongest people on this planet. We have already won, so why be afraid of loss? Why be afraid of death when we are already dead to our old life and alive in the new?
I digress, but all this is to say…
Be in tune with your desires, and keep your delight fixed on Jesus. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.