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Christian Desire: Is it Wrong to "Want"?

There are many people that limit their performance because they believe that there is something wrong with 'wanting.'

Think about this: Eskimos have 28 different words for snow. They can describe it in almost infinite variety. Their words describe its characteristics, its structure, it's viscosity, their ability to mold or form it, it's reaction to a person's weight to describe just a few. Why do they have so many different words to describe snow? Because, it is incredibly important in their lives. They are surrounded by snow. Their very survival depends upon their ability to deal with it.

Skiers usually have about ten words to describe snow, and the words may vary somewhat depending upon the part of the country they ski in. In Colorado they have powder, deep powder, champagne powder, packed powder, packed, hard pack, wind pack, crust, breakable crust, corn, slush, crud and mashed potatoes. Back east they also have hard pack, ice, blue ice, slush and crud. Why do skiers have so many words for snow? Because, it's very important to them and will determine their technique, the equipment they use, and whether they even want to go out that day.

All of you non-skiers are sitting there thinking, "Who cares? - I really don't give a rip!" Why? Because all you care about is that it's that nasty stuff you have to drive around in occasionally and move off of your sidewalk. It's just not that important in the world you live in.

What about a well-educated college graduate on the island of Fiji that has never left the island - how many words for snow do they have? Just one - snow. "Yeah, I heard about that. Rain freezes and turns white. How weird is that?!" It just doesn't matter to them, so they only need one word for snow.

What's the point of all this talk about snow? Simple. Does it make sense that the more important a concept is to you, the more words you will have to describe it? In fact, that is exactly the case. Try this on for size: There are 25 words in the Old Testament and 15 words in the New Testament that we translate into English with just one word - DESIRE. It occurs to me that the Hebrews and the Greeks understood desire much better than we do, and understood its importance much more than we do. 

When it comes to the concept of DESIRE, we rank right up there with the Fiji islander and the concept of snow. We use only one word to describe something that the Hebrews and Greeks thought was pretty important and complex. I think most of us just don't get it. Out of curiosity, perhaps we ought to see what the Hebrews and Greeks had to say about 'wanting' - about DESIRE. See if there any patterns that you pick up on as you read the following ancient verses. Dwell on each of them a few moments.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire cometh it is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:2

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

"The desire of the righteous ends only in good;" Proverbs 11:13

"The desire of the righteous will be granted." Proverbs 10:24

"A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul," Proverbs 13:19

"The sluggard's desires will be the death of him because his hands refuse to work." Proverbs 21:25

"Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth." Proverbs 10:4

"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man." Proverbs 24:34

It sounds like DESIRE is a pretty desirable thing doesn't it? So, is DESIRE good or bad? Desire is neither good nor bad - it is neutral. It is not about whether DESIRE is good or bad. However, there are some qualifications that precede DESIRE for it to be OK. Reread the above verses. It comes down to whether or not you are walking in God's will and whether or not you are willing to work.

It should be pretty obvious that if you are walking in God's will, He will give you the desires of your heart (knowing that your heart is right with God.). But He also requires that you work. Yes, God is perfectly capable of just dumping it in your lap, and yes, He will do that on occasion. But there are too many people that spend an inordinate amount of time believing for God to bless them, but aren't willing to do anything themselves to improve their lives. Read more about that in God's Gace and Mercy Toward Moocher Christians.

When Walking in God's will and willingness to work – if you have those two things going for you, DESIRE is OK. Can you see that if you have a belief that it's not OK to 'want', it's not OK to DESIRE, you will behave in such a way to ensure that you don't get anything? Our performance will never exceed our self-image by very much or for very long.

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