Resisting Desire’s Pull
Have you ever wanted something you didn’t have? Wanted someone? Chances are if you are human you answered yes.
What is desire? Dictionary.com defines desire, in part, as “a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment.” We desire many things: food, love, companionship, sleep, solitude, sexual fulfillment, status, comfort, purpose, hope. Desire isn’t always a bad thing, but its pull is as powerful as a tsunami.
Our commercial market system is well aware of the depth to which desire plumbs into our souls. The job of a marketing professional is to instill such strong desires that a consumer cannot help but buy, regardless of whether he or she has the resources. From the mother who wants a reliable diaper to the up-and-coming professional who thinks driving a luxury car is the epitome of human achievement, we are all subject to the pull of marketing and desire.
Other desires yank at our hearts, too. What mom with a pack of kids screaming at her feet hasn’t dreamed of freedom? The actual freedom she craves is nebulous, but its pull is strong, so strong, in fact, that some fall under its spell and leave their families in tattered shreds.
When you think of it, the enemy of our eternal souls is an expert at marketing. Our flesh is, too. If only I had … then I would be happy. If only I was with him, I would be happy. Those little thoughts can act like tiny marketing devices, pulling us away from what is right. The wrong kind of desire is like a miner ever in search of a better vein of gold. It will go deeper and deeper into our hearts and souls, never satisfied, never quite getting the big payoff. And freedom? Sometimes freedom ends up being lonely enslavement.
But, despite knowing this, desire pulls and grows inside us. What is it that we really want?
We want a soul-deep relationship that can only be satisfied by one thing.
Let’s take a look in the Psalms…
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Sometimes I wonder if we all have it backwards. Perhaps we have been so saturated by skilled marketing and fulfillment that we think of desire as something me-centric, something to satisfy what I want. At first glance, this verse seems to suggest God will give me whatever I want. Doesn’t it?
But what if we look at it a different way? Make the Lord your source of delight, the one to satisfy the desires within you, and then God will place upon your heart the good things you should desire. Instead of the things which pull us further from God, He will place upon our hearts what is good, and true, and noble, and right, excellent or praiseworthy.
Put Jesus first and He will satisfy the deep craving inside us for a soul-deep relationship. And there we will find freedom.