Christ's Glory, Not Mine

by science fiction author Andrea J. Graham

Heart’s desires

Depending on whom you listen to, your bible teaches either one of two things:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

Or it says:

The desires of your heart are given to you by God and you should follow them.

So which does the bible actually teach?

You may or not be surprised that the first theological position is a direct quotation of 1 John 2:15-16 (ESV) while the second is an interpretation of Psalm 37:4, which is badly in need of some qualification and context:

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

So God will give us our heart’s desire–if we are walking in the spirit, not the flesh, and committed to following the Lord’s way, not the world’s way.

The ESV also, interestingly, cross references verse 4 to Mathew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

All these things, of course, referenced the basic necessities of life–food, shelter, clothing, that were then and still are sometimes sources of great anxiety. When considering our hearts’ desires, are we seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness? Are we delighting in Him, trusting in Him, and committed to following his way? Is this desire from the Spirit or is it of the world and from the flesh? Is this desire from him, or is it a sinful desire we need to crucify? Unless someone can cite you chapter and verse, only the Holy Spirit can reveal that to you definitively.