What are three things you want? Ready, set, go!
Maybe it’s little things: a walk in the sunshine, a phone call with an old friend, an iced coffee.
Or maybe we’re talking about the bigger things: dreams and hopes and desires that nobody even knows about!
Believe it or not, paying attention to what you want (and why you want it) is important. Those three things that just came to your mind were there for a reason. Ad companies know it. The Internet knows it. But sometimes, we are surprisingly unaware of this simple fact.
When we think about it like that, it’s easy to become suspicious of our desires. Do we just want what we want because we’ve been trained to want those things? To an extent, yes. I mean, c’mon. Are any of us strong enough to walk by a churro stand, smell that sweet, spicy smell and just keep on walking? Suggestion is powerful.
But suggestion isn’t the only factor.
You see our desires aren’t the problem on their own. The problem is with this world, our human nature, and evil. These things twist those desires. Unchecked, our desires will lead us down some damaging roads and some lonely places.
For example, most humans desire to be known and loved. This desire isn’t just neutral. God created it! We were meant to be in relationship with one another, in community, and growing to know each other better. This is called “intimacy,” and I don’t mean physical intimacy. I mean the very real experience of knowing and being known by someone.
However, if you’re walking around on planet earth, you’ve seen how quickly that desire can be twisted. You see how many places we could go, trying to fulfill those desires. And you know that they leave humans empty.
While the desire to be known by others is God-given it also points us to something even deeper. When we can get to the root of our desires, we will find that they are a compass, leading us back to God’s original design. It’s true that we desire community with one another, but we were created for unity with God.
Being in relationship with him is the ultimate fulfillment of what we long for. Everything else falls short. No thing, career, bonus, vacation, or person is ever going to be the answer. All of those desires are there to lead us back to our Creator and the Lover of Our Souls.
So what is it you want? Sit with that. Don’t run from it. Be honest with yourself, but know that our surface desires aren’t usually going to be what satisfy us. If the desire is for something wrong, take it to the Lord. Tell him you’re sorry for wanting less than his best. The Bible calls that “repentance.” It means to turn from our own way and follow the Lord’s way.
Then ask him what’s beneath that desire? In other words, what do you really want? Even if the surface desire is shallow or sinful, it might represent an area of your soul that needs some care. Maybe you need to call that friend, take that alone time, or take some time of genuine rest.
Finally, search the Scriptures for your deepest desires. These are the desires that point us to the Lord. Whatever it is we want is a small glimpse of the fact that we want joy, we want Heaven, and we want God himself.
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.