The Desires of Our Hearts

Desire.  It lives within us.  It drives us and can consume us.  In and of itself, it is not wrong, although it can be. Scripture tells us that “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15).  This kind of desire, which leads to death, is desire gone awry, desire that is outside of God’s good and proper order.  It pays no heed to the laws of God and in my experience, usually springs from a warped and short-sighted understanding of reality, demanding instant gratification.  It is desire that will not wait, but rebels or ignores God in order to obtain its object.

Because of this, we can give the word “desire” a negative connotation.  We feel we need to repent of it, as if it was wrong to want.  As sinful beings, our desires can’t be trusted, but must be stamped out.  And so, we go about trying to deny that we long for anything.  We can live in fear of wanting.  The truly righteous must be those who have successfully beat down their desires, locking them away so they can serve God fully.

I would like to suggest, though, that it is easier to attempt to kill our desires than to face them.  To live openly with the depth of our longings, makes us incredibly vulnerable.  It takes far greater faith and strength to allow ourselves to desire fully and deeply, all the while waiting upon God to supply fully and deeply, than it does to smother and deny the the reality of our desires.

Indeed, Scripture tells us that the righteous are not emotionless robots who want nothing and think only of duty, but that they do have desires, desires which God promises to fulfill.  He tells us that “what the righteous desire will be granted” (Proverbs 10:24) and that “the desire of the righteous ends only in good” (Proverbs 11:23).  

So we see that desires are not wrong.  On the contrary, God created us to have them and He wants to use them for our good.  So what to do we make of desires that are not granted?  Do we conclude that it must have been sinful to want them?  Did we want them too much?

We can often feel that way, that God is somehow unhappy with the strength of our wanting.  We can see God as a stingy miser in the sky, who delights in withholding from us the things we want most.  The truth is that God is just the opposite.  It is He “who satisfies our desires with good things” (Psalm 103:5).  The picture that Scripture paints of God is that He is rich in love and mercy and that He delights, not to withhold His riches, but to pour them out to do good for those whose hope is in Him.  He lovingly says no to some of our good desires because He eagerly desires to give us something far greater.

So I wonder if it is not that we want too much, but that we do not want enough.  Maybe God frowns not upon the fact that we want, but that we want so little when He wants to give us so much more. C.S. Lewis understood this saying, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too week. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea.  We are far too easily pleased.”

Perhaps then, God refuses some of our desires not to kill them, but to refine them, awakening them and directing them to higher and more worthy objects and pursuits. He says no to things we want, not so that He can deprive us, but so that He can give us more of Himself, the infinitely merciful and loving, the supremely majestic and worthy, the altogether good and righteous God.  Thus in answer to the deepest desires of our hearts, we receive a far greater treasure than we sought: “Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

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A New Venture

I suppose it is long past time I got myself a blog.  I’m not really sure why I haven’t before nor why I have now suddenly decided to do so now.  Nevertheless, here it is, my new blog.  Hopefully, I will actually write on it.  Better yet, hopefully, I will actually write things that are worth reading.  If not, I will at least have the pleasure of taking advantage of today’s technology to freely and easily send my thoughts out into the world.

As many who know me can testify, I dearly love to write.  I think my passion for it springs from my love of learning.  When I learn or discover truth, it excites me and makes me want to tell other people.  That is essentially why I write.  I want to share the Truth of God because, in the world we live in, it is our most precious commodity.  Like a beautiful tapestry, it is more intricate than I can begin to fathom.  I don’t see every thread or quite understand how they are all woven together, but I do see that they do hold together to form a complete, cohesive, and beautiful picture.   It is a picture I never grow tired of gazing at nor of beckoning others to come and gaze with me.

I thought the name of the blog, “Thirsting for Glory,” was fitting because it is my hope that that would be the defining characteristic of my life.  Thirst implies a deep need and longing that drives us to seek that which will satisfy.  I want to increasingly thirst for glory, not my own, but the glory of God.  It is strange to say that in a way.  Normally, we think of thirst being satisfied and then decreasing, not increasing.  A thirst that only increases after tasting its object would seem torturous and anything but satisfying.

However, when it comes to the glory of God, it is quite different.  When God is glorified through our lives, our souls are totally satisified, for that is the purpose for which we were made.  At the same time, it makes us desire to know Him more, treasure Him more, and therefore, glorify Him more.  You see, we can never have enough bcause the glory of God is infinite.  It is at once, infinitely satisfying and infinitely desirable.

So it my hope that this blog, in some small way, will reveal the infinite worth, beauty, and glory of God in such a way as to make myself and others thirst for more.

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and wearly land where there is no water.  So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.  Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” -Psalm 63:1-3