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Seeds of the Kingdom

Desire Re-focussed

by Denise Cross

So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.
Genesis 3:6, NKJV

My question is, “Was having the desire wrong, or was Eve’s desire just focussed on the wrong thing”?

Desire is a great motivator, and God intended that it would be. It is a powerful God-given emotion that drives us to satisfy a need. Eve was not sinful to desire what looked good to eat, to satisfy her physical hunger, and to sustain her health and strength. God had provided for her need and gave her desire to take and eat the fruits of almost every tree in the garden of Eden. ‘And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food’ (Genesis 2:9). Desire to satisfy her hunger by eating good fruits was God-given, crucial, and lifegiving.

But Eve’s desire became focussed on something that God had forbidden her to eat. And once she allowed her desire to focus on this fruit, which looked so inviting, to satisfy what she thought she needed, a destructive downward spiral set in. The driving force of desire that God intended to motivate her toward what was good had become a destructive passion leading her toward evil, and as they say, “The rest is history!”

So, what does the Bible say about desires? Obviously, if God gave us the ability to feel desire, then it is intended for our good. However, when this God-given, driving, motivational force is focussed wrongly it will lead us away from God and into sinful decisions, thoughts, or actions. Desires that we try to meet by a wrong focus flow out of our carnal nature. For example, it might be the need for security, happiness, or significance. If we try to satisfy these using our own understanding and not God’s, they can become overwhelming passions; passions which will undoubtedly do us harm.

Think about desire which is focussed on earthly riches (1 Timothy 6:5-10), desire for pleasure or sexual lust (James 4:1-3), and desire to own what rightly belongs to someone else (Exodus 20:17). These desires will be destructive to us. However much we feel they will satisfy a need, they will not. They are carnal desires. The inner need may be very real, but the focus is wrong, and these desires need to be put to death (Colossians 3:5).

But God-given desire, which is focussed as God intended, is life giving. Godly desires draw us toward God, and give us a passion for Him and His ways. Think about a desire for spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1), a desire to live in righteousness (Matthew 5:6), a desire to draw closer in intimacy with God (Psalm 42:1-2), or a desire to be faithful and truthful in all our relationships. These desires are wonderfully good for us.

We have a choice before us. Will we go on in our carnality, allowing our earthly lusts and desires to become our focus? Or will we work, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to re-focus our desires back to God? If we earnestly desire to follow God’s ways, let Him meet our needs, and trust Him for our future, that will bring us the blessings of health, spiritual growth, and peace.

Denise Cross is married to David Cross and they have three grown up children and eight grandchildren. Denise was previously a Maths teacher and now delights to teach the Lord’s wonderfully logical truth. Her passion is to stir the hearts of passive believers to appropriate all the benefits of abundant life that our Heavenly Father freely offers to each of His children. Her book Rescue from Rejection has been appreciated by many people, in bringing clear answers to this challenging and widespread issue.

 

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