Study: Desires?

For the past month there has been something that, time and time again, as been resurfacing in my walk with the Lord. Those things in my life that I desire are starting to play a more active and large part in my faith. As I?m faced with larger and more important decisions understanding my desires is going to be very important. I must preface this with the following statement. I am basing this fairly heavily off scripture regarding prayer and faith. If your walk of faith is not in line completely with Christ (as mine isn?t) this can?t be taken word for word, but it should be a good point to start at and even strive for. That through the power of prayer we can ask for our will to be that which God wills for us. Not only gives you strength in your prayer life but it also has other effects (as I noticed).

In the New Testament there are 14 different words (4 nouns and 10 verbs) used in Greek that are translated. The one that I first think with the word desire turns out to be epthumia, or ?a desire, craving, longing, mostly of evil desires? that is mostly equated with things of sin (ie; lust, jealousy, greed). Causing me at once to seek to have my desires taken from me. While I will sin for the rest of my life, if there is something I could do to sin less I feel a strong will to see that. It?s hard enough to know the sins I?m committing, then to be overwhelmed with the notion that every desire I have is inherently sinful is overwhelming.

Maybe it was hope, but I felt like some of the things I desired really were good, God loving and God fearing things. I desired for my friends to be happy, I desired to have a heart to pray, I desired to labor for the lord. Those aren?t lustful or greedy. Looking for a reason for these to make sense you come across eudokia or for good pleasure/with a gracious purpose. I desire the best for my friends is a good example (rom 10:1).

Why that?s all good talking about the thing of desire, desiring something is an action, a verb (where those have all been nouns so far). Barely having a negative connotations; to deem worthy, to desire earnestly, desired, to have a strong affection for/a yearning after, to reach or stretch out, to will and to wish, to wish and to will deliberately, to have a zeal for and to be zealous towards (this can be negative), to ask, or earnestly desiring. Each one of those depicts a different approach to desiring something. Leading me to believe that the act of desiring is not sinful (it never says do not desire) only that by desiring the wrong things we can fall into sin. That our desires can cause is to stumble and fall from the grace of God.

This left me stumped and confused. I obviously desire things. After all I am human . Thinking through what the bible says about putting to death the desires of the sinful nature by being filled with the Spirit (Romans 8:13) it leads me to look at how one seeks that. Our power as Christians comes from the ability we have in prayer and to ask for things that will be given to us, boldly and specifically. That we should pray for his will to become ours and then there will be such greater power in prayer. So where is that line?

In Galatians 5 it talks about how the spirit desires that contrary to the desires of sinful nature. It lists out those desires of the sinful nature as; sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (5:19-12a) This only re-enforces what Paul said in Romans 8:5b when he says that ?those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.? That when we truly live our lives for Christ and are filled with the spirit out desires are that which God desires for us.

Practically:
We must have faith that our desires our pure and of the Lord if we are living for Him. Checking them against Galatians 5 and seeking out guidance from Christ through prayer, petition, and fasting. Lifting larger decisions up to Him. What is a larger decision? Anything that you are worrying over. The bible calls us to cast our worries unto Him for a reason. If we have done that then we must have faith that our desires are in line with God?s and are what he desires for us.