The Importance of Desire
When we learn to read the story of Jesus and see it as the story of the love of God, doing for us, what we could not do for ourselves—that insight produces a sense of astonished gratitude, which is very near the heart of authentic Christian experience. God is taking the world somewhere. He’s got plans. He’s promised to do for all of us what he did for Jesus after he died. And for the whole world too…. This God really does love the whole world and wants to make it all alive in a new way. (N.T. Wright) When we realize all God has done for us in astonished gratitude, we will begin living the kind of lives we were always meant to live.
We are to celebrate to party to rejoice for Jesus has come and shown us what it looks like when God is in Charge.
Desire is important in life in human relationships and our relationship with God. Desire is crucial. We must desire to do something in order to do it. To desire to get up and face life, to go to church, to be in relationship with others, to treat them well, to follow Jesus and worship God we must desire it. It should be pointed out that desire only appears three times in the Bible. It appears twice in Genesis. Genesis 4:7 is about a negative desire. Sin desires to dominate Cain. Genesis 3:16 is about the curse on the woman how her desire will be for her husband. Scholars argue whether this second occurrence is positive or negative. I don’t have the space or the inclination to go into this debate. It is without a doubt that in the Song of Songs it is positive. The beloved desires to be with her lover. They desire each other. It is a picture of how we should desire to be with God and how God desires to be reconciled with us. Desire can be good, but it can and has been twisted into something corrupt and ugly. It is what we do with desire that makes is good or evil.
We were created for adventure and romance, but through life disappointments, we’ve numbed our desires. Although, we’ve settled for less, nobody really wants a relationship that just goes through the motions. We want to be desired, to be needed.
So does God!
There are many ways we can hide from or numb ourselves from the love of God. We can use food, drugs, sex, internet, reading, regrets, and anger to place barriers between God and ourselves. We can use many things to prevent us from seeing who God is and how He sees us. We fear that God is angry with us for what we have done or failed to do. We believe wrongly that God is after us that God will punish us. This is wrong. God may not always be happy with what we do. He may have us do things differently than we do, but He will never stop loving and wooing us. God means to have a relationship with us. He will not force himself on us, but He will woo us.
As shocking as it might be God is crazy about you, totally and utterly by you! Joe Cocker sings, “You are so beautiful to me. Can’t you see? You’re everything I hope for, you’re every, everything I need.” Almost more than I dare believe that God could be amazed by me that he could delight in me. What do I have to offer God? What do any of us have to offer to God? Yet, God loves us; He loved us first, while we were still sinners God incarnated in Jesus to win us back.
If we allow God to woo us and awaken our desire, we can await with hope for the future. Even now, we can reduce distortions and discover a deeper relationship with God. We can begin to live to the full now trusting that as we step out in the adventure and romance we were created to experience that God will be with us. C. S. Lewis said, “We can only hope for what we desire.” Desire is not bad. It is more about how we can best respond to the desire we feel and going about it in healthy life enhancing ways than succumbing to our base nature. Bringing our heart on our journey in life can be the hardest and most important mission of our lives. We need to choose the best and healthiest way to live out our faith. We are to live our live with heart, shaping and forming ourselves by the enduring and endless love of God.