Recently I went through a struggle. This struggle was the same I’ve wrestled over the years. An innate Desire that rises and demands satisfaction came to call again. This time, I chose the better way. I took the reins of the Desire and pointed it toward the Lord.
You all know what Desire is; that voice inside that tells you “You want ______”. Whether hunger, thirst, need for rest, sexual drive, perceived needs that really aren’t, dissatisfactions, spiritual hunger; it’s the voice inside which drives us toward this, that, or some other. In a sense, this is what defines us, because who are we if not what we pursue driven by desire?
As a group we entered a ‘fast' a few weeks ago. I don’t know if the fast-cum-diet brought me to a place where some things that once challenged aren’t so much anymore, or what? In essence I saw that the spiritual side of me overcame the physical in this particular battle. Whatever the actual cause, this outcome, this post-challenge state is where I want to go every time. The results are magnificently better.
This whole thing was quite the match. That thing conspired and coupled with other discomforts and general issues to say “find relief immediately”. Yet, I didn’t go that way and eventually in a long, long few minutes all the challenges and discomfort went away. I realized that moment passed without succumbing and even more important, that I was left with a sense of spiritual satisfaction and vigor. This is a total departure from the norm. The normal pattern looks thus; fall in, enjoy the immediate relief, then feel the failure rush in and set-up camp. There is simply no comparison in the results. This is life and light and strength and connection and good. The other is heavy, life-less, and dark.
The whole thing brought to mind a simple thought about Desire. Desire is energy that can be refocused. If allowed to take the lead, it runs me into the pits, the failed state, the disconnection from life. If I take the lead and direct that same Desire toward the Lord, it penetrates normal barriers into new places in the spiritual life. That energy can be used to propel forward instead of beat me down. It becomes a tool of positive motion instead of a destructive force working to keep me in the ditch. My face looks up and not down, into the sun instead of the shadow, looks out with fascination instead of inward with disappointment.
Desire is single-minded. It grabs the whole of your attention and wills you go that direction, toward a short-term satisfaction. It is like a horse with its rider. The horse is strong; strong enough to carry the rider wherever it wishes. If the rider does not take charge that is what will happen; you go where the horse wishes via a quick romp through the brush, against the fence, bucking and snorting. If the rider does take charge, then the best can be achieved; a fine pace along a good path leading to a new vista. That is the way with Desire. Left to its own drive, Desire can take you places you don’t truly want to go, even though you may think so at the time. However, if you take charge and direct it, Desire will take you to the best possible destination, take you beyond the normal limits and into new realms. The horse is a mystical and wonderful creature; Desire also.
It has been days since this challenge last arose. The positive energy, the sense of success, the light and life continues still. It is like the afterglow from a successful journey. The realization of the goal leaves a warmth and heartiness that radiates from your depths. Now, I know the next time that desire arises or any other desire for that matter, I can take it, direct it toward what I want—in my case to pursue the Lord—and realize gain from it. I am not at its mercy. It is my own to direct. Bring it on. Let’s go, off to the new frontier—excelsior!
18 ??The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
??To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 ??He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
??He also will hear their cry and save them.
20 ??The LORD preserves all who love Him . . . Ps. 145:18-20 nkjv