Reflections on Desire

Chris Skaggs —  November 6, 2015 — Leave a comment

(The following was written by one of our friends and allies, Denis Stilwell, after attending our Oct 2015 camp on Desire.)

Desire is a hunger that God has placed in the hearts of every person born on this earth. Desire motivates us to alter our circumstances. It is like the unseen force of gravity, ever tugging, ever nudging, every drawing us toward that which we imagine will satisfy us.

We all enter the phenomena we call our life with a hunger for both light and darkness. The Holy Spirit influences all living beings by drawing the hearts of mankind toward the light. But we are a race of fallen beings, so our hunger for darkness draws us into experiences that diminish our hunger for light.

God has also ordained that mankind possess the attributes of free will and choice. It is the surrender to our desires that give birth to nearly every choice we make, good or bad.

God has a vested interest in our ultimate destination, so He has gifted to every person a measure of faith. That faith is what begins our journey from darkness toward the light. However, if we ignore or discount this gift, most of our desires draw us away from the light and down paths of darkness and destruction.

It appears to me that there are two basic kinds of desire: sensual and spiritual. The sensual desires stem from our body’s ability to sense five areas of life; touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. These desires can be as mundane as wanting an ice cream cone, or as debilitating as an adulterous sordid sexual encounter, or worse. The spiritual desires are much deeper and in a way they draw us either toward the light or toward darkness. I get the impression from the Gospels that Jesus was far more concerned with the spiritual desires than the physical.

We begin our journey of life as children and we are drawn to elementary sensual solutions to the hunger within. As we mature, our solutions become much more sophisticated and spiritual. Many of our desires encourage us toward that which is healthy and will bring meaning, fulfillment and purpose to our lives. For those who hunger for light more than darkness the day will most likely come to all who live a long life, when the greatest desire within us is to become like Jesus. And in doing so, we bring the greatest possible glory to God, and the greatest possible blessing to all whose lives we touch.

Yet, those who hunger more for darkness than for light, they find themselves in a downward spiral, desperately searching for that which satisfies their perverted desire and never finding it. This is the path that leads to addictions and destruction.

Our lives are surrounded by things that affect our desires and can significantly confuse our priorities. Unless we have developed a personal, intimate and meaningful relationship with God, we will easily lose sight of our ultimate destination…. Christlikeness.

As a child of God, it becomes incumbent upon us to seek His will in our attempt to satisfy our desires. How we respond to the consequences of our choices, reveals whether or not we are teachable. Only by being teachable can the Holy Spirit teach us how to walk in the light.

Jesus expects us to repent if we chase after darkness, but I get the impression that He is more concerned whether or not we learned anything from the event.

Desire is not only a good thing, it is an absolutely necessary part of our life, if our life it to have any meaning or purpose. It is our response to desire that reveals our true allegiance. It is almost as if we each have our own trees of the knowledge of good and evil right inside of us. For the child of God our desires will at times be thwarted in order to nudge the child away from the darkness and toward the light.

As I age, it seems to me that I can see more clearly what God had in mind all along. Hindsight is very helpful here, but enlightened spiritual insight that comes from a deep, intimate relationship with God is most likely the only way a person can come to understand that this journey we call our life has been made available to mankind so that one day each of us will finally be fully restored into the image and likeness of our God.

The entire experience is meant to return us to Eden. All the lessor hungers we feed or attempt to satisfy are but smaller facets of the completed picture.

God is looking for souls that have tasted both good and evil and have chosen good. He is looking for souls that will be safe to take out into His never ending, ever expanding universe where they will mingle with the innocent, pure sinless children of eternity.

Chris Skaggs