After preaching a sermon on a Sunday morning, a woman asked me a question about our nature in Christ. She wanted to know why we have desires that go against Christ’s nature; If Christ’s life is now my life and He is my very nature, then why the struggle?
We often believe that temptations and desires are the same thing. As a result we buy a lie and live in struggle and defeat, wondering what is wrong with us. If temptation is the same as desire, then Jesus Christ must have been the most wicked man who ever walked the face of the earth; He was tempted in ALL ways! Yet we know He was not the most wicked man because He is the Son of God and He knew NO sin.
Temptation is simply something attempting to lure me into unbelief and self-effort. No matter what it looks like, the result of choosing this route is sin – either un-righteousness or self-righteousness. As believers, a desire is what flows from the very heart of God. Christ is my deepest heart’s desire, and anything that would be His desire is also the desire of a believer’s heart. A believer may not act according to his or her desire, or even be aware of his or her true desires, but that does not change the reality. Jesus is in the process of moving us toward greater and greater belief, teaching us that His desires are our desires and our desires are His desires. In fact, when we act contrary to our God-given desires, it is because of our unbelief on this very issue.
I sensed chains breaking as the Lord ministered to this sister in Christ. Tears welled up in her eyes and there was an overwhelming sense of wonder and joy evident on her face.
Verses for Reflection
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
“Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.” Hebrews 13:18
“Here is a statement you can trust, one that fully deserves to be accepted (indeed, it is for this that we toil and strive): we have our hope set on a living God who is the deliverer of all humanity, especially of those who trust. 1 Timothy 4:10
“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and save them.” Psalm 145:18, 19