15 March 2017

Designed for Desire

A 60 Minutes film crew visited church a few weeks ago to film a story about one of our members. The story aired on Sunday and while I thought it was great, my kids were a bit miffed that we only got 10 seconds of air time. Driving to school the next day my eldest daughter said, ‘Dad, were you disappointed you weren’t on TV?’ ‘No darling,’ I said. ‘I didn’t want to be on TV anyway. I’m not interested in being famous.’ Then, driving out the school gate, a little voice inside said ‘So why did you get your hair cut and wear new clothes that day?’ Busted! True, it was haircut week and staff photo day but ok I confess, something in me liked the idea of at least being glimpsed on TV. That’s a little embarrassing to share but I think it’s worth the confession.

We are designed to desire. It’s woven into our image-bearing nature. Desire is the fuel for so many good things. For example, the desire to be known, to be loved, to protect and provide, to explore, to create and to worship. But desire has a dark side. Desire that derives from our pain, our insecurities or brokenness promise life but ultimately steals it.

Even my best desires can be skewed, and thankfully I’m in good company with Jesus’ first disciples. Like that awkward conversation with James and John about who will sit on Jesus’ right and left. James and John even enlisted their mother in as a lobbyist.

I love that Jesus works with people who are still working out their desires. There is hope for me yet. How about you? Can you identify some significant desires in your life, good or not so good? Are there any mixed motives in there?

When we take time to honestly reflect on the things we do and why, we can become conscious to any unconscious desires. We then have a clearer opportunity  to submit those thoughts to the Spirit and pursue change.

I’m kicking off Lifewords 2017 with this topic because I know I need to keep checking my desires about this venture, and everything else for that matter. So here are 4 good questions worth asking about anything you are doing, especially if you are ‘doing it for God.’

Why am I really doing this?
Is there something I’m trying to prove?
Who am I actually doing this for?
What do I get out of this?

We are all designed to passionately desire. ‘Hunger and thirst,’ Jesus said. For righteousness, for his kingdom and mostly, for Him. Paul would echo this in Romans 13.14 when he wrote ‘clothe yourselves (your thoughts and desires) with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.’ I suspect that the more we keep Jesus and his Kingdom at the centre of our desires, our other desires will increasingly find their right place and healthy expression.

Do you have one or more desires in particular that you might need help with? I wonder if you’ll have much more success if you can be courageous enough to share it with a trusted friend? Freedom awaits.