Desire (v): want, feel or have a desire for; want strongly [synonyms: long for, hope for, yearn, hanker]
Many of us desire things, and yet lack them. Like my dream: a Ford F 350, 4 X 4, diesel, and with a standard transmission. Unfortunately, I don’t have it. Others desire to travel, to be popular, or to become wealthy. For many of us, these desires will never come to fruition (I’m sure that mine will though! [kidding]).
Some desires are harmful. For instance, if I desired to see what it felt like to be run over by a truck, the fulfillment of that desire would be detrimental to my well-being. On the other hand, some desires are beneficial and God wants to fulfill them. James instructs the Jews of the Diaspora that “you do not have, because you do not ask” (Jas. 4:2).
One thing that we do understand about desires, however, is that they point to our identity. My desire for a big truck points to the fact that I like the feeling of power and freedom which 4 X 4 and a strong engine gives me. A person’s hunger for food points to the design of his body to function well with proper amounts of digestible food. C.S. Lewis states, “Now, if we are made for heaven, the desire for our proper place will be already in us, but not yet attached to the true object, and will even appear as the rival of that object.”
Lewis is saying here that many of our desires which appear to be rooted in the temporal are in fact only pointing to our common desire for heaven. He states it differently here:
“If transtemporal, transfinite good is our real destiny, then any other good on which our desire fixes must be in some degree fallacious, must bear at best only a symbolical relation to what will truly satisfy.”
My desire for [a truck, or insert your own desire] is only a fallacious shadow of my strongest desire: to know God and experience heaven. We were made to desire God and find our satisfaction in Him.
“God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.” This statement from John Piper informs my thinking often as I go through a day. The question comes to mind: how can I bring God glory through my life? The easy answer is found in the above statement: be satisfied in God.
The Christian’s desires are not rooted in evil, but in good. A Christian desires good things, yet sometimes the good desires are warped and we attempt to reach them through incorrect means. Rather than desiring to be satisfied and setting my satisfaction in my relationship with God, I instead seek to be satisfied with food, people, or even music. The problem is not with the desire, but with the means for fulfilling that desire.
What do you desire? How have you been trying to fulfill that desire?
[More on this later]