Desire is for the pure of heart.
I’ve found that when a lot of people think about desire, especially sexual desire, they think it belongs in the realm of those who are impure. And they think those who are “spiritual” or “pursuing purity” are relatively unfazed by desire, or at least trying to be.
Not so. Christianity is a religion of desire.
Purity is not just the absence of impurity. Purity is the unpolluted, undiluted whole presence of something. To have a pure heart means your heart is fully healthy, fully alive, functioning fully as God intended it to.
This means that in reality the pure of heart desire not less, but more than the impure do. Why? The pure of heart are not satisfied with small, fleshy enticements that last only briefly. They’re not satisfied with pixels on a screen or a marriage that doesn’t last or shallow relationships that are all about sex.
The pure of heart want ecstasy that lasts forever, they want to know and be known fully, they want love that is absolute and rich and deep.
Isn’t that the message of Christianity? That in Christ we will have joy that lasts forever, peace that goes on and on and on, love that never ends?
Why would God hold out promise of eternal life, eternal love, eternal bliss, and so much more if He didn’t create us to desire these?
We’re meant to be more in touch with our desire, not less. To be satisfied with what one earthly frame can contain or to believe one lifetime is enough for human thriving is to be cut off from your heart’s deepest cry.
All that God forbids shuts down our deepest desires, numbs us to the longing for eternity he’s placed in our hearts. Think of your own journey. Isn’t this true?
- Gluttony says eat what you can because there is no banquet to hope for.
- Lust says indulge in pleasure now because your body will come to an end.
- Greed says what you can accumulate is all you’ll ever have.
- Pride says who you can puff yourself up to be is the best you’ll ever become.
Come on! Is that all you want?
Dare to desire more. Dare to pursue purity of heart.
And let your desire propel you toward ever-increasing purity and devotion to the One who awaits you—the One who put desire in you that you’d find your way Home.
One word of caution: Desire can be like rocket fuel (as Christopher West points out, it’s meant to propel us toward the stars after all). Don’t go it alone. Find others to journey the journey of true desire and purity of heart with you. You’ll face incredible obstacles and plenty of temptations. But it will be worth it.
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Headed further up,