Self-Destructive Desires

Romans 7:18

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

Galatians 5:16-17, 5:24

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do…And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Ephesians 4:22

…put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,

Jesus spoke much about your heart – that you worship what you treasure. The apostle Paul likewise reiterated the same train of thought through the above Scriptures. The battles we face are best managed by how well you and I channel our desires.

Without allowing God’s Spirit access into our deepest desires, the carnal wants will have their way with you and I. When we focus on the Spirit and God’s character, we are aiming towards the eternal, long-term benefits which we all know is good and beneficial for all, but delayed gratification is not one of humanities greatest strengths.  

The other day, I had a strong desire for chocolate. Our neighbor, who loves to cook, stopped by with a plate of peanut butter cookies along with a plastic bag of chocolate bars. Good, expensive, dark chocolate. The type that is good for you. However, if you have an addiction towards sweet foods, not the best thing to have around. In less then a day, I had devoured the entire bag and could have eaten more. Thankfully there was nothing more available.

I slipped and satisfied my bodily desires. If I had immediately gotten rid of them the moment they entered into our house, I wouldn’t have indulged in my lust. But, I didn’t. Instead, I gave into my fleshly desire and consumed ½ pound of chocolate within minutes.

Though this is a small, carnal desire in comparison with other more harmful, destructive acts, it’s a lesson that I remind myself of the importance of walking with God’s Spirit in full surrender at all times. That the battle we face each day is with how we respond to the desires that continually are filtered through our inner world.

Over the years there are many times that I simply pushed the chocolate away from me without any temptation. Other times when I least expect, the temptation comes and I give in. The solution is knowing yourself and how best to fight against your weaknesses and perceived strengths.

When we are prayed-up, focused outward based on a Christ-centered base, the temptation is simply batted away. However, when we are empty, swaying far from the center of reality and truth, our self-centered, carnal desires easily flow with no godly boundaries in place. We are like a castle whose walls have been penetrated by the enemy. The battle is soon lost.

But thankfully we have a God who gracefully understands our human weaknesses and loves us even more than we can fathom. He restores us like the child who falls for the umpteen time, but her loving dad picks her up and encourages her to keep on trucking. Eventually the falls occur less and less, and maybe, the child even grows up and wins a goal medal in the Olympics.

Who knows what the future brings? But until then, the battle lies with the desires that explode us. I for one am grateful for our King who has gone before us, won the battle with the enemy, and now mentors us on how best to fight the carnal desires that evade us.

How? Holy Spirit have your way with us!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Desires

Psalm 73:25

And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

2 Timothy 3:12

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

James 1:14-15

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

James 4:2

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

1 John 2:16

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

Genesis 4:7

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

Your desires propel you toward your destiny.

The Bible describes desires as either carnal or divine. The carnal desires are enforced by the activity of the world around you. But the divine are God’s heart and character imprinted in us through HIS Spirit.

The carnal desires are naturally thrust upon us from the day we are born. The world and culture around us bombard us with images, sounds, and smells to entice us. In a sense, our family, friends, neighbors, teachers, along with social media, movies, and books have program you and me on what we want most from life.  One day we wake up and realize our natural inclination is to act and think like the world around us even though at times we don’t want too. Why?

Because at the same time God’s Spirit is alive and active. He is likewise revealing HIS way of life and the fruit which comes from living with HIM. And as we slowly learn more and more who HE IS, we want to become more like HIM and experience life the way HE does.

Then we will either spend the majority of our lives deprogramming our minds from worldly influences and cultivating eternal values which lead to a more abundant life, or succumb to the world’s carnal pressure of living life like animals seeking to breakout of our cages.

The Bible calls it repentance; to change one’s mind or worldview; to set aside carnal values and pursue divine attributes. When we do, we begin the process of allowing God’s Spirit to program our heart and mind and soul with HIS truth and character. We then also realize we are walking against the world’s culture and will be persecuted for it. But we are willing to accept the abuse. Why, because we know this is the best way for you, me, and others to live which leads to real freedom, flourishment, and fulfillment for the world. This is the reason Jesus Christ came, lived, died, and was resurrected. So, you and I can live life with our Creator the way HE designed everything from the beginning of time.

Your passion is fueled with the desires you choose to pursue and act upon. And the repercussions are either life-giving or hell-bent. Choose wisely.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Your Desires

1 John 2:16

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

1 John 2:17

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Ephesians 4:22

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,

Galatians 5:17

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Galatians 5:24

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Ecclesiastes 6:2

a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil.

Do you know the difference between God’s desires and worldly desires? Many times, we have a deep desire for something which by itself is probably an OK thing, but when that desire places God’s desires secondly, then we have placed ourselves in a position of compromise which most often isn’t very good.

As we are born again with a new spirit (God’s) and our soul is now surrendered to King Jesus who purchased our salvation from Satan, our desires begin to change. Instead of pursuing to satisfy our carnal, fleshy desires, or what seems appealing to our eyes, or doing what makes us feel important, we lean on accepting God’s heart on the manner.

His desires for us slowly becomes our passion. And as we pursue God’s intentional design for our life, His character traits are slowly being formed within the inner person. Yes, God will give us the desires of our heart. Even at times if those desires may temporarily hurt us for discipline sake. As we slowly learn to differential God’s desires from our carnal heart, we begin to choose more of Christ, and less of ourselves.

What eventually happens is our heart’s desire begins to mirror God’s holiness. When that occurs, our Triune God will surely grant us our heart’s desires. Why? Because it will glorify Him and He knows we will have the internal fortitude to properly manage whatever He gives us.

When Jesus made the comment that food and drink isn’t the problem, but what comes out of the heart. He was discussing how mankind’s heart is separated from God which is the storehouse of evil and harmful desires. When these desires are expressed, the outcome is painful for oneself and others.

Yet God has given us a clean heart through Jesus Christ. As we yield and allow His Spirit to morph us, we stand in awe of the marvelous work He is producing in and through His children.

Therefore, seek God’s desires in all things and let’s leave our carnal desires locked up with the old man.