Desire and the Enemy

I desired desperately to keep my family together. I wanted the fifty-year anniversary, to be the sweet old couple holding hands, to celebrate holidays, graduations, and weddings together, and fill our home with kids, their spouses, and our grandchildren. I wanted us to the be favorite grandparents that the grandchildren always wanted to go see. I desired a life spent with the same person growing and deepening with age into something incredible that most the world never gets. 

We live in a society that focuses on desire. We are constantly bombarded with ideals that tell us we should have the life we want; we should do what want; and we should say what we want. We are all told that we should go after the things we desire, even if it’s wrong, even if it’s sin, and even if it hurts others. We are being told daily to put ourselves and our wants first. 

So, let’s talk about why that is wrong. Desire is nothing more than a lust for something. You can desire sex, wealth, success, power, status, and love. You can desire not to be alone, not to be sad, and not to hurt. Desire can completely control your life, compelling you to constantly chase that next thing you think you need to finally be happy. Desire can give you a false sense of joy. Rather than feeling the joy God gives when you are following and desiring Him, chasing your own desire brings fleeting moments of pleasure that leave you searching again for the next thing to bring that feeling back. Desire can move you further and further away from the people you love and from God. It can take you down a road you never wanted to be on.

The enemy often places things we desire in our path to distract us from what God wants us to see. Satan’s desire is to keep us from seeing the truth. He longs to keep us on that road where we search and search for happiness and never find it. How often have you found love only to discover it was lies? How many times have you found wealth only to lose it? How frequently do you find yourself in someone else’s bed only to realize the excitement of last night is nothing but hurt this morning? How much and whom have you lost on your way down the road of chasing your own desires? The enemy loves for us to lose. His goal is to continue to distract us with chasing our own desires so we can never see God’s desire for our life.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

What should we desire? Honestly, that’s the easiest answer. Desire God first and all else will fall into place. I failed to do that. I didn’t put God first while trying to save my marriage. I followed my own plan. I was so focused on keeping us together that I wasn’t listening to God. I’m not saying that my marriage failing was my fault, but I am saying that not putting God first and not listening to Him caused me pain He never meant for me to have. I carried burdens that were never mine to carry. 

What is God telling you to do? Is your desire hindering you from doing it; is it distracting you from your purpose? Are you holding on to your desire rather than letting go and following God? Is your desire keeping you from doing God’s will? If so, then your desire is keeping you from receiving God’s promise for your life. Your desire is stealing your joy. 

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. Psalms 37:4-5

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