February 18, 2016


Sometime I’ll run into someone I haven’t seen for a long time and I’m taken aback by how their kids have grown. It’s hard to believe the children have gotten so big…and so fast. I suspect many of us have a similar reaction when we come face to face with the sin in our lives. We’re shocked by how quickly it is becoming full-grown. James tells us, “…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full–grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I have friends who are deeply embedded in the Eastern religious mindset. Achieving some sort of intellect-emptied, heart-numbed, inner nothingness is supposed to be the spiritual person’s peaceful objective. It’s kind of an absorption into the overall meaning of all things thru the individual’s becoming in all ways that elusive meaning. This can only happen by giving up desire, they proclaim. They don’t mean giving up things desired, they mean stop desiring, for peace is broken by unfulfilled expectations. And that evidences their critical lack of faith in God‘s Word.
-----James’ statement, which you quoted, indicates how crucial desire is. At first thought, one might think my friends are right: desire is bad, so dump it all! After all, Paul entreats us to shun youthful passions. But the Bible does not agree. Psalms 19:7-10 bids us to desire more than gold the testimony, precepts, ordinances, and commandments of God’s law and to desire fearing Him. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight,” (Ps 19:14) is a desire, right? In fact, delighting in the Lord is a pretty good assurance that your desires will be fulfilled, “Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 37:4)
-----That’s because we desire what we delight in. This is what makes evil so dangerous when it gets ahold of our desires. Delight is the other side of the desired event. Desire is had before fulfillment; delight is had after fulfillment. The fulfilling thing is the objective of both, so delight spawns desire for more.
-----But when the Bible says to delight in the Lord, it is speaking of emoting the present condition of having the Lord. In Christ Jesus we know we belong to God. We know we can boldly approach Him. We know we have Him. Christ is the rational link by which we can take delight in our Father and feel it deeply, because He is the total truth of that link. So delight in the Father can not be reasoned away.
-----You can not delight in an apple by eating a cherry. You can not delight in the 600hp of your Boss 429 Mustang when it actually has a straight six. Sure it’s a Mustang, but the ponies are wrong. So taking delight in the Lord can not be had by delighting in what we think we know about the Lord. “For who has known the mind of the Lord,” (Rom 11:34) and, “If any one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.” (I Cor 8:2) God commanded the Israelites not to make any images of Him because He was beyond what they could know. Therefore any image would be wrong, mental images included. Delighting in the Lord can be a hazardous ordeal for the mentally careless. Observe the Islamic radicals’ bloody swords. Observe the deep divisions within the Lord’s body.
-----”But if one loves God, one is known by Him.” (I Cor 8:3) This is why God identifies Himself as I AM THAT I AM. First, it states that He is. Now we can hook our desire to something that loves us: the being of God. Second, it implies that His being has definite, discoverable attributes, but not precisely imaginable. And how are they discoverable? 1) By revelation of His Word, 2) by practicing the righteousness it says He is. Now, to have delight in the Lord, our heart’s desires become focused on righteousness practiced in His commandments. It is no wonder that He gives the desires of the heart to those who delight in Him, for delight defines the heart’s desires.
-----I must respectfully decline my friends’ proposition. I will keep my desires, thank you very much. And while shunning the passion of my youth I am running to the passion of my adulthood: discovering Him through discovering His righteousness. My delight in that which I’m finding pumps my desire to discover more.

Love you all,
Steve Corey