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Desire Immense

Desire is what drew me to Jesus, moved me to ask the woman who would become my wife on our first date, resounded through me when I first held my oldest daughter in my arms.

Desire is also what enticed me to indulge in porn, haunts me when I yell at my kids (when all they’re really doing is being kids), and drives me to perfectionism and people-pleasing.

Desire sets me on the path and entices me from it.

But it’s a mistake to view desire as the enemy, or to seek to move away from desire in order to stay on the path God has for us.
It’s far better to seek God by pressing into and through desire, choosing to believe He intends to fill us.

Christopher West has said that just as a man and woman’s bodies don’t make sense without the other, so it is with the incredible depth of our desire: It doesn’t make sense apart from God. And Pascal wrote long ago of an “infinite abyss” within every man that can only be filled by God.

And there’s the pinch. Facing an infinite abyss is frightening.

Why would He want us to face the depths of our cavernous desire?

Here’s what I’m learning:

First, allowing myself to experience the depth of my desire brings me face to face with my doubts that Christ really is enough for me. And that’s scary. What if my desires remain unmet in a visible way-can He satisfy me? Will He? I want to face my doubts with Him instead of running from them.

Second, plunging the depths of our desire connects us with every human being on the planet. The older brother could not relate with his younger brother, could not fathom how he could travel to a distant country and squander all he had on loose living. As we face the depths of our own desire, we find common ground with even those whose lives we disagree with most. This allows us to see human beings Christ died for, rather than monsters or aliens we can’t understand.

And most importantly, facing the depths of my desire leads me out to a place where I become acutely aware I cannot satisfy my longings myself, where I realize my utter dependence on God’s mercy and love rather than my ability to control. Again, this can be frightening, but this is ground where we learn to open our hearts even wider to Christ Himself, choosing in faith to let Him fill us.

In this light, it is not an overabundance of desire that leads us astray, but our lack of it.

Leave a comment below.

Desiring more (and more),
Josh

5 thoughts on “Desire Immense”

  1. I truly identify with the plunging into the depths of my desires alone, only to find them not being satisfying. The need and hope of having Christ in these desires with are now an uncompromising alternative.

  2. Good article……so how does a desire to please and love God strengthen? We love what is worth loving so I need to appreciate God’s worth more some how. Living to please the Spirit is the goal but sometimes the desire to do that is not noticed.

  3. Melanee Lisa Davidson

    — “Desire sets me on the path and entices me from it.”

    Yep.

    Reminds me of Dan Allender’s and John Eldredge’s writings – – both men have been greatly used by PAPA in my life.

    I also want to ask you about the picture that’s in your post – – did you take it, or do you know where it was taken if you didn’t? I want to share it with McKrae Game at Hope for Wholeness — his article talks about the path and journey.

    And although I don’t think we’ve ever met personally, PAPA has also used many of your writings to minister deeply to my heart.

    Thank you, Bro-Josh!!
    Shalom!

    1. Thanks, Melanee. No, I didn’t take the picture. Got it from a great company called Lightstock.

      Dan Allender and John Eldredge are two of my favorites as well. Christopher West’s writings have also influenced me and Regeneration’s team tremendously. I highly recommend him!

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