Often times it is hard to know what our longings mean. They can be sinful and good. They can reveal things about us, past hurts, pain, things we hope and dream for the future. They can be hard to trust, and they can also reveal who we really are, who we wish to become, and sometimes the people we wish to leave behind.
Our longings, though, also reveal deep within us what God has in store for us.
Our longings are a reminder that God has something more, something different; that our bodies and our world are broken and not how God intended them to be.
G.K. Chesterton, who lived in the early 1900’s, is believed to have said, “A man knocking on the door of a brothel is knocking for God.”
Our lives reveal a longing.
This week let me give you a challenge as you think about your longings and what they reveal about you. Here are some questions to ask:
1. What do you most want out of life? Out of this week and month? Many of us do not spend enough time thinking about what we want out of life. These desires, as we’ll see in a minute, not only reveal a lot about us, but they can also be from God. He created desires in us, desires for relationships, for joy, for hobbies and for the place we live.
2. What would truly make you happy in life? This begins to get to the heart of our desires. Does it have to do with relationships, housing, a trip, hobbies, a career, your body? Again, right now don’t judge if it is sinful or not. Simply list out the desire you have.
3. Is that a sinful desire? This is the moment we begin to evaluate our desires and what they show us. Is that desire selfish, for my glory, about my wants? Is it destructive to others? Does it serve me or God? Is this desire all encompassing in my life right now? Does it drive me like an addiction?
4. What do I do if it is a sin? Many of our desires are sins that we need to handle, confess and bring before God. Our desires also reveal our need for God and His grace in our lives. The desires you are convicted of, confess those to God. Confess those sins where you need to, and ask God to change your desires if need be. But don’t hold on to them; bring them to the cross.
5. What do I do if it isn’t a sin? Not all desires are bad. In fact, many of the greatest things people have done for God have been borne out of desire. Those are things that bring passion to our lives and joy that are from God. They are also God’s good gifts. It is good to enjoy a good meal with friends. It is destructive to make that an idol our lives revolve around.