Human beings are filled with desires. Every decision we make is directed by an undercurrent of some explicit or hidden desire. We go to work out of a desire for stability, comfort, security, or fulfillment. We spend time with family or friends out of a desire to know and to be known, to love and to be loved. As James K.A. Smith rightly observes, it is our desires that orient and direct us towards some end.
When a person is given faith in Christ, there is a radical reformation of what she desires. Although she once cherished sin, she will find herself cherishing Christ. She once loved sin but now has an increasing love for God. The follower of Christ embarks on a journey where the desire to glorify God supersedes all other desires, and becomes the motivation for all of life (1 Cor. 10:31). Make no mistake, this will be a lifelong journey. But more and more we will find ourselves agreeing with the prophet who proclaimed “Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” (Isaiah 26:8).
As we learn to follow Christ more closely, we ought to think not only about our beliefs and actions, but our deepest desires. What do we love? What do we long for most? What do we treasure? What is it that guides our decisions? What explicit or hidden desires do we hope to satisfy? Or to use Augustine’s words, “What love is carrying us?”
Take a moment to think about that. Ask the Lord to help you search your heart. Ask him to reorient your desires to Him, to give you a heart that desires him and his renown above all (Ezekiel 36:26-27). This is his gift to give. We merely ask in dependence and trust. Also, pray that this would be the increasing desire of our community. Our plans and strategies have and will shift, but our desire remains the same – we want to see the knowledge of God’s glory fill NYC as the water covers the seas. It is encouraging to know that the Lord loves to answer such prayers. I look forward to beholding his answer with you.
Community of Grace