There seems to be confusion nested around our desires and God’s will for us. Some would have us believe that anything we desire good and God wills us to have it.
Today we want to understand God’s transformative desire for us.
Don’t go looking in your Bible Concordance for this term, you won’t find it, but I assure you it is there. Let’s take a look.
I can be a bit dismissive of the ‘name it and claim it’, crowd. It seems that they lay total abandon to God’s will for His people and the transformation that God seeks to take place in every life.
I will probably reference the ‘Name it & Claim it’ mentality a few times so rather than take up page space spelling it out let’s abbreviate it to just Ni-Ci, so everyone understands what we are referencing.
I started out this morning with this simple passage of scripture.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Psalms 37:4 (CSB)
I find it utterly amazing how God packs so much wisdom into so few words. Ni-Ci thinking would latch onto the words “He will give you your heart’s desires.”, never taking into consideration just what “Taking delight in the Lord” might entail.
How do we get to this point of ‘delight in the Lord?”
It is the delight in the Lord that impacts the desire of the heart and what God is going to give you. So often folks are more concerned about just what it is that they will get, than what takes place in our hearts.
God’s gifts to us are about Transformative Desire and not simply the desires of our flesh.
Transformative Desire is the result of us surrendering to God, then Him taking these broken down vessels that are our lives, and transforming them into the instruments of His Love. So you see, when we run across references to giving us stuff, those references are not things from the lust of the flesh but from the outpouring of the heart. The new heart he puts in us.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (CSB)
A transformation we see taking place here. The ultimate surgeon removing our heart of stone and giving us a heart of flesh which is filled with a new spirit. He doesn’t stop there, “I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances.”
Ni-Ci folks want to focus on the ‘get’ and forget about the transformation that precedes it. If you pay attention to the way this passage in Ezekiel is structured, you see that the transformation takes place prior to God putting His Spirit in us. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you“, is step one of that transformation then He completes it with, “I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Transformative Desire; the creator removes those dysfunctional broken down components and replaces them with a new heart that feels what God feels and is sensitive to those around us and responsive to Him.
Yes, we ‘get’ much up front, a heart that can become reactive to God’s voice and interactive with the ones God seeks to redeem. Indeed a transformation.
The Psalmist put it so beautifully.
God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalms 51:10 (CSB)
Paul expressed this clearly as well. In Roman’s, he spells out the transformation process and what it requires so very clearly.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1-2 (CSB)
You see here exactly what was described taking place in the passage in Ezekial. The transformation takes place following the surrender of our old selves so Jesus can resurrect us with a new heart that is for Him and the cold lifeless stone that lay within us as before.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (CSB)
A transformation that results in a different desire within us. As Paul went on to say in Roman’s, “so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” A powerful transformation to be certain.
A transformation that begins with our surrender to Him and comes to fruition when we are secure ‘in Him’.
Fruition is an interesting word. I picked it because it shares the same basis as the word ‘fruit’. The origin of the word ‘fruition’ is fascinating. It contains the essence of taking pleasure in fruit. You may see where I’m going with this.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The law is not against such things.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-25 (CSB)
See the transformative results here? His Spirit in us with our transformed hearts and spirits begins to produce fruit and our transformation has come to ‘fruition’!
The Effect of Transformation on Desire
Reflecting back to Psalms and the ‘Desires of our hearts’, we can see that God’s willingness to give us our ‘heart’s desire’ is predicated on transforming that heart.
A transformation that results in us possessing a heart that is much more in keeping with His own. A heart that seeks the things of God and has been renewed and repurposed through surrender to Him.
As a result of the transformation that takes place our desire is no longer something that should be equated with the flesh. It is abundantly obvious that we live in these fleshly bodies while we remain here in this thing we tend to refer to as ‘life’.
But we have died to that life and been given ‘new life’ in Christ Jesus. The post-transformative effect of this new life is not one of the flesh but of the spirit. Our new spirit which is to be directed by God’s Spirit living in us.
This results in a different desire than what we possessed with those hearts of stone. Those hearts we occupied with a sinful nature and exalted the flesh and the flesh’s desires.
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.
2 Peter 1:3-4 (CSB)
God replaces our old hearts and desires with this new heart that desires the things of God. Our old fleshly nature is discarded and with this new heart, God implants His Devine Nature.
In today’s terms, we would say God’s Devine Nature is our ‘new normal’. This becomes to us, Transformative Desire.
We no longer desire what the flesh we live in desires, our ‘hearts’ desire has been transformed to align with God’s and yes, then we can name what is the desire of God and claim victory in the knowledge that He is ultimately in control of all things. And beyond that, we know that He loves us for He has transformed us.
Being that ‘Good Good Father’ we know that His desire for us is that we grow in Him and that we become more and more fruitful in the pursuit of the desires of His Devine Nature living in us.
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (CSB)
When we reflect on Romans 8:28 with this understanding of our Transformative Desire we realize that what the flesh may think is good isn’t necessarily what the Devine Nature considers good. If we are truly abiding in Him and He in us, then our old ‘good’ is redefined as being “what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God“, as referenced in Romans chapter twelve. That is ‘good’, that is what we find we desire post-transformation.
Transformative Desire; The good, pleasing, and perfect will of God!
Be Blessed by God and may you be a blessing to Him!