Victims of Desire
There’s a hidden kind of victim mentality that gets in the way of effective living. It also seems to be an undiagnosed hang-up limiting the spiritual lives of a good many people. It shows up in folks you wouldn’t think of as victims at all. It’s a common belief in our culture today that shapes how we act and react. What is it?
We believe that our desires just happen to us.
Whether we’re talking about love or a preference for dark coffee, we think that our hearts are at the whim of our desires. We just love what we love. You want to get what you want and these is just no explaining it.
This mentality creates all kinds of difficulty. Unmet desires cause us anxiety, even deep unhappiness.1 Deeply rooted desires for comfort, or control, or approval can undermine our relationships, leading us into great brokenness. Many people have written that our desires are one clue into our God-given purpose, but even this positive view is a struggle if we are just at the mercy of desire.
I’ve been thinking about these things for some time. Then last week I came across a blog post by Michele Perry. She’s a writer, a faith-adventurer, who is deeply invested in serving the people of Sudan. I’ve come to enjoy her blog posts since I came across her on Twitter some time ago. (You should follow her on her blogs & Facebook as well.) She made this claim:
One of the most important elements in embracing the supernatural walk God has created us for involves the intentional setting of our desire.2
This resonated with me and led me to a week of my own study and reflection. It ultimately led to a message I preached at my church. here’s the line of thought.