Monday, January 3, 2011

God isn't anti-desire

God isn't anti-desire.  There are plenty of folks who think so.  You may or may not be one of them, but I can promise you He's not.  When you pick up the Scriptures and give them a fair reading in this area, you see it all over.  In fact, He actually prompts desire and solicits it.

This morning I was reading in Philippians 3.  The "anti-desire" crew focuses on v.19's "their god is their belly."  We should all be ascetics of the Christian sort.  But all this will do is make us mean Pharisees who remind people of who they shouldn't be.

In their defense, there are desires that we should put to death and take a stand against on a regular basis.  If your god is your stomach, your status, or something else, you should work to kill your desire for it.  No doubt it will be for your good.

But what's the best way to kill a desire?  Paul answers it in the earlier part of Philippians 3.  You dislodge one desire with a greater one.  He describes the "surpassing worth" of knowing Christ (v.8) and how everything else stacks up as rubbish (quite literally the dung pile) in comparison to Him.

One more biblical example:  "If you want to follow Me, you must deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow."  Where's the "anti-desire" camp going to focus?  Deny yourself.  But they miss this part:  "if you want to follow Me..."  Of course they wanted to follow Him.  They had seen Him do amazing things, say amazing things, and they were becoming different.  He appeals to their desire in order to clarify what it means to walk with Him.

So stoke the fires of your desire for Christ this year (and every year).  Think about what drains you and what stokes you, then dislodge those draining desires with stoking ones.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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