Yesterday the question was simple: what do you want? It wasn’t about life goals or a five-year plan. It was about what actually drives you each day. This weekend’s message was straightforward. We need to order those desires.
Christians can suck at dealing with desire. I think we’re scared of it. We’ve seen how far a person’s desires can take them away from God, so we’re afraid to admit how badly we want the things we want – companionship, security, success, happiness, significance, and even sex. (I hope it doesn’t freak you out that your pastor – who’s single – is talking about having a sex drive. But c’mon… they don’t castrate you when you get ordained.)
When we’re scared of desire altogether, we’re headed in the wrong direction. We don’t become holy and healthy. We take on our own type of dysfunction that’s every bit as broken as living wildly and going wherever our hormones take us. Consider what Paul wrote in the book of Colossians:
You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.
Colossians 2:20-23 (NLT)
We’re not in this to RUN AWAY from our desires, stuffing them inside, buried under layers of trying hard to be good. It just won't work. Rather, we’re aiming for total honesty before God so He can TRANSFORM our desires, restoring us to our very best.
If you’re up for it today, try this:
- Reflect on yesterday’s question (what do you want?). Have you noticed the desires that drive you? Write them down. Don’t worry about whether they’re ugly or intense or boring. The goal here is to be real.
- What have you done with those desires? Tried to satisfy them? Tried to ignore them? Tried to will them away?
- Offer a prayer. God probably won’t magically take away your desires. Instead, ask Him to help you put them in order. It’s not a quick fix. Rather, it’s a step in the right direction. Continue to walk that way, and you’ll be amazed at what God will do as you trust Him to help you grow.
God, we’re done trying to face our desires on our own. Instead, we’re asking You to help us. Teach us how to live with Your strength. Help us order our desires so that we honor You and live our lives to the fullest, becoming the people we’re meant to be.
In Jesus’ name,