Pardon me for making this assumption about you, but I’m fairly certain you have something you regularly daydream about or look forward to. I’m talking about that one thing that you delight in. Depending upon your personality and preferences, it could be anything –college football, naps, shopping, spending time with friends, reading, chocolate, hiking, early morning coffee, exercise, or listening to music. You get the picture.
I feel safe making this assumption about you because we are created for affection. God wired us this way for several purposes. For one thing, it shows the creative diversity of His creation through the display of our differing personalities. Further, it provides relationship-building material for us to craft friendships. Of course, the chief purpose of creating us with affection is to worship and glorify God!
But what if my affections are not set upon God? Or, even deeper, what if I want to take joy in the Lord, but it doesn’t seem to be happening? Is my “want to” broken?
In Psalm 1:2, the psalmist describes a “blessed man” by stating that “his delight is in the law of the LORD.” Perhaps that’s discouraging to you because it’s not your delight. How can you fix your “want to?”
To be perfectly honest, you can’t fix your “want to” –only God can. However, that doesn’t mean you sit by idly. Instead, you are called to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). But how? The next verse explains, “For it is God who works in you” (Philippians 2:13).
If it sounds a little bit like cyclical thinking, it is! The more you desire God, the more God cultivates your desires. The more God cultivates your desires, the more you desire God. It reminds me of the man who told Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
When you step back and look at the psalmist’s “delight” in the “law of the LORD,” it becomes apparent that he benefitted from the same cycle. His delight was fueled by the fact that “on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). The same law that He delights in is also directing his delight.
So how can someone enter into such a cycle? The answer is to be proactive. Pour yourself into God’s Word. Spend time begging in prayer. Focus your eyes on the Lord.
“But wait,” you might say. “Isn’t that self-powered, rather than God powered?” Only if you are foolish enough to think you came up with the desire for a greater delight in God. You see, the desire to fix your “want to” is a direct result of God beginning to fix your “want to.”
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