What does your heart long for? What is your desire? What keeps you up at night?
Many of your successes will come from your desires, your passion, the things that you feast your mind on. It is through desire that a man begins his walk towards the acquisition and maintenance of wisdom (Proverbs 18:1). It is through desire that a newly converted Christian press on to grow in spiritual knowledge (1 Peter 2:2). The first step in the reception of spiritual gifts is desire (1 Corinthians 14:1).
But many of your downfalls will also come from your desires, your lusts and the things that feed your thoughts. Amnon desired to have her sister Tamar and that cost his head and brought war into the house of David (2 Sam 13). It was Satan’s desire to ascend the highest of clouds and be like the Most High that brought him down to the lowest part of the pit of hell (Isaiah 14:14). The tree that was so good that it could trigger your desire to become wise was what brought Adam and Eve down. (Genesis 3:6)
Most of what will propel you to achieve great heights would come from your innermost desires (Psalms 37:4). Also, most of the things that would depress you would come from your deepest desires. It was David’s desire to exalt the name of the God of Israel that made him challenge the mighty Goliath and win (1 Samuel 17). But it was also David’s desire for the riches and apparent troubleless life of the wicked that brought him envy, near-backsliding, regret, sorrow and depression (Psalms 73)
Isn’t it an irony that our desires are what brings us close to God, but could also become the door to our destruction? David exclaimed in Psalm 42:1-2,
“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?”
That showed a man that had such an insatiable desire for God and for God’s company. A man who understood that all God desires is a relationship just like the one He had with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. David couldn’t have enough of God and desired to simply be a gatekeeper in the courts of God than sit in the house of the wicked (Psalm 84:10).
But it was that same man that allowed his desire for young and fresh women to lure him into taking another man’s wife (Bethsheba) and killing the husband (Uriah) in an ungodly manner (2 Samuel 11).
When what you are tempted with is what you don’t lack nor need nor what you even have a desire for, the temptation is bound to fail. But when you are tempted with what you lack or need or desire to have, then that is where the temptation can get quite tricky. If I’m hungry and desire to have a plate of lasagne, there is a high probability that if you invited me to a plate of lasagne I’d gladly oblige to have a fork or two. But if I’m full and have no desire for any meal whatsoever your plot to get me to eat your lasagne would fail woefully. I’ll politely decline, adducing my full protruding belly as a reason.
The Book of James 1:14-16 (AMP) says, “But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death. Do not be misled, my beloved brothers and sisters.”
Satan knew that Jesus was hungry and desired something to eat like a man, so he tempted him with food first (Matthew 4:2-4).
Satan knew that Adam and Eve were curious to know and explore, so he promised them knowledge as a reward for eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:4-5)
Satan knew that Job loved his children and valued his animals, so his first temptation came through them. And when those failed, he went for his health. (Job 1)
Satan will always target that thing that occupies the utmost place on your priority list. Whether that thing is good or not is immaterial to him, the important thing is to offer you the original or counterfeit in exchange for your soul.
So, if you want to become famous, satan will offer you fame in exchange for your soul. You want to become the greatest preacher, he will offer you power in exchange for your soul. You desire to make an impact, he will still offer to help you achieve that at the expense of your precious soul.
The battle between light and darkness is and has always been the battle for the control of the soul of man because in the soul sits your very essence – your will, mind and emotions – basically, all that you are which was given to you by God.
“These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.” 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 (MSG)
No man is drawn away except through his desires (James 1:14; Ephesians 2:3). Your desires are wonderful, but they could become slits for the evil water to creep in and erode the rock of your life. Your ambitions are fantastic, but they could be your greatest traps on this pilgrimage if left unchecked. Is that desire healthy? Is it godly? Is it part of God’s purpose for your life?
Finally, dear reader, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
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