Desire is a word that has featured a lot in the book I’m reading – The Good God, Mike Reeves’ offering about the Trinity, which is short and dense and well worth the effort.
Psalm 37:4 says “Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”
This is not exhortation to the property gospel. It is not a promise to health, wealth or happiness. I am most probably not going to own a Ferrari. I had always interpreted this verse thus: as we delight in the Lord, with our focus on him, our own desires will slowly transform to match his desires. We will want what He wants, and we will want to be used in the way that he wants to use us. And in that, we will most likely find fulfilment, peace and joy, although perhaps these will come alongside suffering.
Desire is wherever our minds and hearts are focussed.
Reeves goes back to creation and looks again at the fall. A story that is often interpreted as the breaking of a rule, or the breaking of a relationship has it’s origins in the shifting of desire. They sinned because they loved something else more than god, and that something else was the desire to be like God. Since then, the fundamental make-up of humans has become flawed, so that misplaced desire is at our heart. Our desires clearly matter.
Ok, so I know I’m flawed. Now I want to change. I desire to change. But then I get distracted. My desire is not something I can consciously control. It is like lust, attraction. (Of course, I can choose not to act on it, but that is another post).
Thomas Chalmers wrote, “We will always love what seems desirable to us. Thus we will only change what we love when something proves itself to be more desirable to us than what we already love.” What, then, could be more desirable to us? Only someone who shows us something better….
“I will, then, always love sin and the world until I truly sense that Christ is better.”
God in his overflowing love provides himself to draw us to himself. It is only the Spirit who can effect this heart-change. The Spirit is not bringing us into conformity – right-living, but bringing us into affection for God. Our desire will be the Lord and his reward will be himself. To echo my conclusion to a previous post – God says “i am all you need and want”
How do you maintain your desire on the Lord? How do you stay in tune with the Spirit?