Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Resolution for Desire

It's time for resolution! A Resolution for Desire..

September has been a month of researching and discovering more about the word desire. What the word means to us, how to understand it, the pressure of it and its place in relationships. In so many parts of our lives, we can attach the word desire.

But I want to maintain a true desire in all parts of my life. I want to make a resolution to keep my desire in line with God’s plan. So what is a resolution or what does the word mean?

Resolution or Resolve:
- to find an answer to
- to make clear or understandable
- to reach a firm decision about

Psalm 37:4 gives a clear definition on how to find your true desire. How? We must “Delight ourselves in the Lord”. In going back to the definitions, I would say that this is a good answer on how to find desire. The last part of the verse makes things clearer or more understandable by saying “And He (God) will give you the desires of your heart”. So this one verse has helped me find the resolution to desire. And finally, I am able to make a firm decision about my resolution of desire, because God has clearly shown me.

We need to do better than just understanding the word desire; we need to make a resolution to live it out in our lives according to God’s word and design. It’s easy to talk about desire, once you have a better understanding, but we are called to live it out. What an opportunity! The false desires of this world can be so loud sometimes. The enemy knows our hearts and tempts us with things that are passing away. But God has revealed to us our true desires. It’s time to take a step of faith, a leap of courage, and get our desires in line!

Resolve to be a man of true and Godly desire.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Desire in Marriage

As a man, I want to love her, but do I really know how to love her? Especially when times are difficult?

Before we get married, we are one separate being. We do things our own way and we desire the things in life that are pleasing and helping to ourselves. Before I said, 'I do', all I was use to saying was 'I want'. What I mean by this is that I did what I wanted. I didn't have to "do" too many things against my nature. When my wife and I were dating, the times together were free and very forgiving. We were able to look past the little quirks, the little things that actually annoyed us a lot. The only thing we wanted was to be together, but does anyone ever really know what their asking for when they take this step? Truth be told, God does and its all part of His plan. All these differences we find in our partner are actually things that will help us, as individuals, become a stronger and better person.

When we tied the knot, we said 'I do'. I DO promise to love you, I DO promise to take care of you, I DO promise to stay with you through the good and bad. I DO promise to desire you. The way we desired that person before is not going to be enough to make the marriage work and last. God has put the desire in us to find this special someone, but we ultimately don't know why. As we find out the different things about each other, we start to take a step back. What is that anger about? I never did things like that growing up! Who are you? The simple desires that brought us together have started to fade into the fog. We get caught up in the storms of life and we start to lose hope. In other words we lose our desire for that person.

The bottom line is we have to think about the desires that brought us together. We have to focus on the desires that keep us together now. And finally the desire to move forward together and get past the little issues. As John and Stasi Eldredge  write in their book 'Love & War'. "Because marriage is hard, the first great battle it to not lose heart. We must recover and maintain desire. Let desire return and remind you of all that you wanted, all that you were created for. "

How have you maintained desire in your marriage?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Understanding Desire

In previous posts, we discussed some of the false desires of the world. We talked about how we can discover desire and the pressure the world puts on our desires. Believe it or not, things like movies, shows, commercials, cars and more are all made to capture our desire. Advertisers understand the word and quietly build it into their branding.

If you have started to truly understand desire from God’s point of view. You will start to feel a shift in what you desire in the world. In a sense, the “desires” of this world will start to lose their luster. What you once thought was so amazing, has now been downgraded. For example; theme parks, certain hobbies, habits. Why is this? Because God is starting to reveal to you your true desires. (Psalm 37:4) You are now in a position with God that He is able to reveal your desires to you. You are trustworthy enough. As you make this shift, the desires of this world will no longer have a stronghold on you. I like to refer to bible verse for this which says ‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh’, Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV). Because you have delighted yourself in the Lord, he has given you a new perspective. A new outlook on the way you see and do life. And it’s good!

As I started to understand desire and realize the true desires of my heart. The meaningless things of this world started to really become meaningless (Ecclesiastes 12:8). I still enjoy going to theme parks, racing and building things for people (I do carpentry for fun). But the thing that matters most now is the people I am there with; whether its building relationships with family, making friends that enjoy similar hobbies, or seeing someone smile from a finished product. Another desire that becomes stronger is your marriage. Culture says it’s fine to look at other women and it’s alright to “search the internet”. But the truth is we are to desire our wife more than any other woman. She deserves our attention and our love. My marriage has been fundamentally transformed by God. When we allowed Him in, He revealed our desire for each other. Since then our marriage hasn't been the same and we never want to go back to the old ways. It's just that good.  Finally, your desire is focused on what God would have you desire. You are no longer attached to what the enemy tries to make you desire, although he will still tempt you. Pray for God to reveal to you the desires He has for you. Pray that your desire would never stray again!

Have you experienced true desire? Have you been given a new heart and Spirit?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Pressure of Desire

So often I am tempted by my old desires or my false lovers. They come each day in the form of a poke, a nudge or a push. Some attempts by the enemy are stronger than others and some are just a quick memory. The memories of the old desires are still alive and the enemy loves to insert them whenever possible. He comes with comforting lies and soft tones, trying to speak to us in our language. This is the language you use to speak and the enemy knows it very well. He knows what made you fall before and he knows the temptations are still a chance to get us to go back to the old ways, or our old desires.

Take a can of soda for example. If you were to take this can of soda and shake it up, assuming it is caffeinated, the pressure would build inside of the can. If you were to open the can, the contents would come gushing out suddenly and there would be a mess to have to clean up or cover up. Now let’s say you shake that can of soda, but you do not open it. Sure the pressure is still there, but the contents are left inside to settle down.The same is with the temptation of our old desires. The enemy is still around and we are still human. When we are tempted, the pressure will rise and we will have to make a choice. If we make the choice to indulge in the old desire, the contents of our actions will come bursting out! We will be left with some sort of mess to clean up, or even worse we will have the guilt of trying to cover it up. If we can have the courage to stand up and avoid the temptation, the pressure will go away and the contents will calm down.

If we are recognizing our old desires and changing our habits to get our desires more in line with Gods, than we must be strong. We must be able to stand up to the pressure of the enemy, other people and so on. The false desires will tempt us; there is no question about that. But by knowing this type of thing is at work in us, we can be ready. We can have faith that God will provide a way out for us. Proof is in the His words below.

1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Discover Desire

Continuing in the theme of Desire, from the book by John Elderidge. In the first discussion of our desires, we talked about 'False Desires'. This discussion is about taking desire to a new height, and discovering it on a deeper level.

Desire, at first, seems like a complicated idea. It is not a word commonly used anymore, and not really understood. But, we can only hope for what we desire. I know we all use the word hope. So how do we find out the deeper meaning of desire? How can we discover desire?

 I like to refer to one of my favorite verses, which is 'Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart' (Psalm 37:4). The first part of this verse can help us understand how we can discover desire. We must delight ourselves in the Lord or find pleasure in our time with the Lord. How do we find pleasure in the Lord? Well, I'll ask another question: How do we find pleasure in hiking, reading, sports or just things we enjoy? We try it; we open ourselves up and give one of these things a try. Once we try it, and like it, we can say we took pleasure in it. Because we have taken pleasure in it, we hope or desire to do it again. When we take a vacation, we are typically longing for that time to get away. We desire to be on vacation.

So now that we have discovered the meaning of desire in our everyday life, how do we translate that into our walk with God? Let's start first with Church. As men, we need to be the spiritual leader of our household. The decision to go to Church should start with you. If you have the desire to seek God, your family will follow in your direction. They will be led, just as you are being led by God. Be open to listening to the message at Church. Hear what the Pastor is saying, and really listen closely. Try to desire, long, and  know more about our Father. Become friends with the people of the Church. These people should also have a desire to delight in the Lord, which will help you maintain your desire. The more people you can wrap around you with a desire for God, the better chance you have at maintaining your desire.

How have you discovered desire in your life?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Call to be Courageous

Have you heard of the new movie coming out called 'Courageous'? The movie will be coming out on September 30th to a theater near you.

This is not your typical Hollywood movie though. The movie is about four Police officers who are focused and confident when it comes to facing danger on the job. But when it comes to leading their families at home in a God-honoring way, they must find their true stength and true courage.

As I was walking around the bookstore yesterday, I also noticed there are some books to go along with the movie. The first book I found was titled 'The Resolution for Men'. I took this book, read the introduction and the first chapter. I had to hold myself back from trying to read it all in a day. The information just in the first few pages was intense and straight to the point. We need men to stand up and Be Courageous.
There is also a book for women titled 'The Resolution for Women'. My wife started reading the book last night and had the same reaction. Intense and to the point.

I would highly recommend planning to watch this movie at the end of this month. Also, check out the books if you can (my wife and I bought both books at 'LifeWay' last night ). Click the links, and SPREAD THE WORD!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

False Desires

I recently read an awesome book titled ‘Desire’, by author John Elderidge. The book is about the journey we must take to find our true desire. The next few blog posts are a small view inside the journey of desire from my perspective.

What would the average man say if you asked him what he desired? A few ideas might be sports, like football or golf. Maybe he would say ‘women’ and give you a full download of what he means and why. Maybe he would say success.  Maybe he would give you a blank look and wonder what in the world you were asking.

But, I wonder what the same man would say if you asked him ‘Are you happy?’ I imagine you would get a strange look, a rude comment or an obvious fake answer. If the word desire is in question, then the word happy has even less meaning.

The two of these questions go hand in hand with each other. The reason men are not happy, is because they are looking for desire in all the wrong places. Men spend their days at work hoping to rise in the food chain. Maybe working two jobs to try to get that “dream” house and affirmation. Men wrap themselves up in sports for weekends on end. Men go from woman to woman looking for that perfect one. They tell stories of their exterior beauty, and then say they got rid of her because she was crazy. These false desires or bad attempts at intimacy go round and round and round. The ‘desires’ are chased until they have lost their luster. Like young love, the initial tingle is gone and you move on to the next thing. The next “big” thing has the same results and you start to wonder about life and if there is even a purpose. Happiness becomes a lost word you hear once in a while from a stranger. The word itself is a stranger.

These false desire are merely addictions, and the Bible referes to them as 'adulterous'. They keep us from knowing our true desires. They keep us from knowing God.

So what are we to desire? How do we find it and make an attempt to understand it?
In the coming posts, we will discuss how to take Desire to the next level.

Please feel free to comment below and add your thoughts.