Understanding our desires
Our capacity to desire certain things is a gift from God; it’s a powerful motivator. It helps us keep going when we feel like giving up. It makes us persistent pray-ers. In Genesis we read about a man named Jacob whose desire was to marry a woman named Rachel. The Bible says: ‘Jacob served seven years to get Rachel’ (Genesis 29:20 NIV). But after those seven years, he was tricked and given Rachel’s older sister Leah as his wife. But even this didn’t stop Jacob pursuing his desire. In return for another seven years of work, Jacob was given Rachel as his wife too. When Jacob was working the first seven years, the Bible tells us that ‘they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her’ (v.20 NIV). Jacob knew what he wanted, and worked to achieve it. Jesus told the story of a man with a ‘got-to-have-it’ desire. When he discovered treasure buried in a field, he ‘went and sold all he had and bought that field’ (Matthew 13:44 NIV). Similarly, many of the people who listened to Jesus were so drawn to His peace, courage, and wisdom that they wanted what He had. But we can often desire things that wouldn’t be good for us. There are two things we need to do: 1) Desire a relationship with God above all else. ‘Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.’ 2) Make sure our desires line up with His will. ‘I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart’ (Psalm 40:8 NKJV). When we centre our lives on God and His Word, we can trust our heart’s desires.
Have a think about what the desires of your heart are right now. Then ask yourself whether you’re desiring God above them, and ask God if they line up with His will.
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