“Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You.”
I was thinking again today how important it is to have desires. In fact, we need strong, passionate desires! It is desire that fuels us and leads us from complacency to doing something productive and meaningful with our lives. It is only when our desires are rooted from the wrong source, our passion may lead us to destruction.
The truth is, our desires are linked to thoughts we have meditated on, chewed on, and allowed to make a home in our heads. As we play the same thoughts over and over again in our minds, considering them in every way, the release of either a good or destructive power results. What type of power is dependent on whether the thought, now a passionate desire, was a godly or ungodly one? I realized a number of years ago that it was crucial to monitor my own thinking and ask myself before holding on to any thought for any amount of time, “Where did you come from?” Answering this question is key in determining whether our thoughts are good or not-so-good for us.
So, now that we know how our thoughts originated, we need to determine their source. Are they the fruit of thoughts flowing from God or from our unsanctified self. Are they thoughts resulting from the influence of others or the world in which we live? Or, perhaps they are thoughts planted by evil spirits. Scripture tells us that the heart of man is evil and that we cannot even know our own heart. But God, on the other hand, always knows what is in our heart. What should we do then? We can pray, as we see King David did in the Old Testament, and ask God to search our hearts and see if there is anything unclean dwelling there. He will do it. He will show it to us. We can then ask Him to give us His heart and make His desires our own.
We should also judge our own thoughts by considering what it is they focus on. We ask ourselves if our thoughts are inwardly or outwardly focused. The truth is, we naturally have an inclination to want for ourselves and ourselves above all else. In other words, our natural thoughts and desires are selfish and self-glorifying. These fleshly-born desires and those born from ideas planted by evil spirits who currently possess the airways, always lead to destruction. They lead us away from God.
So, how do we cultivate godly desires that motivate us and move us forward into successful and satisfied living? We do this by taking our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We accept that He has made us righteous through His obedience at the cross and we turn towards Him with thanksgiving and praise. We begin to think the thoughts we know He thinks. We meditate upon Scripture and allow God’s Word to take root in our minds. His heart then becomes our heart’s desires. Power results and our lives are transformed from the inside out. We become more and more like Christ and our healthy and passionate desires motivate us to do the works God has planned for us. Thus, we are at our happiest and God is glorified.