Mike Miller




Prayer List

The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: …Prov. 13:19

The desire of the slothful killeth him; … Prov. 21:25

Desire is the driving force in our life. It is the ingredient in life that scientists can’t duplicate or contain. If they COULD figure out all the physical mechanism of a living being and duplicate it they still could not put desire in him. Desire is a characteristic of the soul. The body hungers and thirsts, but it is the soul that desires. It is the soul that delights in fulfilling the desire. Desire fulfilled delights the soul, not the body. The body is simply the physical vehicle that we use to experience this world in which we live. Just as the engine temperature or oil warning lights on the dashboard of a car warn the driver that there is a problem and attention is needed, hunger, thirst, pain, and other mechanisms let us know the body has needs. If the driver of the car pays no attention there will be serious problems and the car might be ruined or seriously damaged. But because the soul delights in desires being fulfilled the body is very seldom neglected in these areas and others. The body doesn’t really need nearly as much attention as we give it. It is a fact that most of the time when we eat when we aren’t really hungry – we do it merely for the pleasure of eating. We do most of what we do simply for the pleasure of it. Taking pleasure in these things is not wrong because God made us that way. He could have made eating a miserable experience and drudgery, but He didn’t. He could have made the other things that we take such pleasure in the same way, but He made life pleasant and wonderful for us. The sin of man is that he takes this great blessing of God and abuses it. He seeks after pleasure instead of God. He seeks to consume it all upon his lusts and becomes a selfish being, to the point that he hates God and anyone else who tries to impose limits on his indulgence. Man has taken the greatest pleasures in life and made them the greatest occasion of sin against God.

Desire is the strongest force we have to deal with in this life. It is stronger than common sense. It is stronger than your knowledge of the Word of God, and of right and wrong. It is stronger than your commitment. You would do well to understand and appreciate that fact deep down in your soul. The devil and all those who aid him manipulate our desires in order to take us captive. Desire is like a fire and everything in this world system is designed to fan the flames. Whether it is the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, or the pride of life, everything in this world accommodates their easy fulfillment. The only power available to us that is stronger than our own desire is the Spirit of God. Romans chapter 7 describes a person without the Spirit of God. The word “spirit” is not mentioned in Romans chapter 7 except in reference to his condition AFTER he is saved (v. 6), and to the law of God, as being “spiritual” (v. 14). This is a person who is enslaved to their desires and is without the help of the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore, he has no hope until the first verse of Romans 8, where he realizes that the Spirit of God is the answer to his dilemma. He can walk after the Spirit and not be enslaved to his own desires anymore.

Here is where many seem to get confused. They assume that if you are saved, and the Holy Spirit of God dwells within you, that you no longer desire things you shouldn’t. There are those who teach that the “sinful nature” is eradicated. You do not sin anymore because the desire is gone. That is so obviously false that it is hard to understand how anyone could continue to believe that doctrine for very long. Then you have those who teach that even though you are saved, you still have that “sinful nature” and so you should expect to sin every day in “thought, word, and deed.” Both ideas are very wrong and do not recognize or deal with desire, with its origin, or with its essence at all. In fact, these teachings totally misrepresent what desire is and how to deal with it.

Think about it – the strongest force in our life was given to us by God. Therefore, it cannot be sinful in and of itself. Without desire we could not be tempted, and if we could not be tempted we would not have a choice. We would simply serve God like a robot and that was not God’s plan when He created man. We must choose whom we will serve, and we must keep choosing, as long as we are breathing and living on this earth. Temptation doesn’t cease for you the moment you are saved. So many stumble right here because of all the false teaching on this matter. They get saved and find that sometimes they still have to deal with a desire for things that are wrong and against God. But there is a great difference between desire and indulgence, and there is a great difference between temptation and sin. Granted, when you are being tempted you are in great danger of sinning, but we are instructed in the Word of God about what to do when we find ourselves in that situation – FLEE! Turn your eyes away! Have you ever noticed how desire increases while you have your eyes fastened on the object of that desire? Have you ever noticed how that desire diminishes when you take your eyes and your mind off of that object? If Eve had turned away her eyes from looking on that tree she might have escaped the temptation and sin, but she gazed upon it and it overcame her.

This is why the world does its very best to keep things before your eyes that stir passions and inflame desires. All those who advertise their products understand that they must stir the desires in order to grab the attention of their audience. Their goal is to make you WANT their product. They do it by getting you to LOOK and LISTEN to their words and their images, and they use words, music, and images that stir passions, whether it has anything to do with their product or not.

The devil is the “god” of this world system and he works exactly the same way. He has control of Hollywood, TV, and practically all the music, entertainment, and sports of this world. He uses the same tactics to get you to desire the things of the world instead of heavenly things. He is good at what he does. This is the reason that God commands his people to “come out from among them and be ye separate.” (2 Cor 6:17) If we have any hope of escaping the pollution of this world and not being overcome by desires that are inflamed or created by their songs, their movies, and their worldly philosophies, we must quit looking and listening.

The grace of God is the “influence of God” upon the heart. If we are partakers of the grace of God we will have a force in our life that counters the strong force of desire. If you are truly saved your desire is governed by the Spirit of God who lives within you. You will be tempted, but there will be an inner strength and help that you did not have before you were saved. It is more than your conscience bothering you – it is the Spirit of God that lives within you. He is not passive and just along for the ride. He will not let you live after the flesh if He lives within you. God chastens his children and He does a good job of it. He will intervene with warnings and chastening to keep us from committing sin. When a Christian sins he is completely without excuse because God has promised that we do not HAVE to sin – He has made a way for us to escape.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Cor. 10:13

You do not have to be ruled by your desires and there is power to overcome them. The Spirit of God living in you takes the Word of God and strengthens your heart. He turns your desires toward God and away from the things of this world. God himself should be our greatest desire – that was God’s plan when He created man. If you look to Him and meditate on his Word you will find that your desire IS toward Him. Then there is peace with God and freedom from sin.

One more thing: this is not a one-time act, it is a daily exercise. We must daily look to God and his Word. We must daily, even moment by moment, seek his face and favor. We live in a world that competes frantically for our attention and so we must put forth a great effort to seek after God and keep our desire centered on Him.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of this world will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace.

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