What Do You Truly Desire?

It's something that we all struggle with on the day-to-day, and since it's an intimate, quiet feeling, we don't often talk about it with others. We feel ashamed of this sin, we feel petty. And it is the last commandment that God gave Moses to His people: thou shall not covet.

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet 
your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." Exodus 20:17

I recently did a post on "coveting" but I've since learned that there is so much more to it. Since writing that post I have been on a deeper study on "covetousness" and have found plenty of scriptures on the topic.

Why do we covet? What do we truly seek? What do we really need? Do we seek provision? Stability? Love? These are good things to desire, but sometimes we covet because we are lacking something truly good and needed.

Desires, dreams, and longings are a beautiful part of our makeup as human beings. There are pure desires, but "sin corrupts our God-given yearnings." Coveting leads to more sin. It leads to murder, adultery, and other evil actions.

I read this amazing article by Madison Hetzler recently and it really broke it down for me. I have highlights here but I highly recommend you read it for yourself and meditate on these words: "What Does it Mean to Covet and Is It Dangerous?
"God’s call to forsake covetousness hems us in, dissuading us from running after things that, on their own, disappoint, distract, or even destroy. He instead calls us to what is truly good, worthy, and satisfying: himself."
Hetzler writes that coveting is more than a struggle with materialism. The reason why coveting is so dangerous is because it plants seeds of distrust. It causes us to:
"question truths fundamental to our salvation: In Christ we are made complete, lacking nothing (Colossians 2:10). He is our Provider and will never leave us in need (Matthew 6:32-33). In his presence is the “fullness of joy” and at his right hand are “pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). Our Father wants us to know these truths and rely upon them."
Coveting is when we chase after the wrong thing(s) for satisfaction. Only Christ can truly satisfy the deepest desire in our hearts: wholeness.

When we covet and cannot contain what we're after we then, naturally, take it out on others by blaming them for not giving us what we want:

"What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions." James 4:1-3

Learning that coveting starts in the heart has inspired me to look past the things that I covet, but to really search what it is that I desire. For me, it's stability. I covet things that I believe will sustain my life with stability and steadfastness, but the things I seek will not last forever. If I were to depend on those things I will be left disappointed, I will be left with depending on my own strength, my own efforts, and my own understanding. If I depend on the things that I covet, it will never be enough.

So I repent, I see how ugly my heart has been becoming, and I ask the Lord to heal me from these selfish desires. To create in me a pure heart that desires His fullness, His steadfastness, purely just Him.

Take some time today to pause and reflect on what your heart's desires are and ask Holy Spirit to help you discern them; to see if they are pure or if they're covetous. Then ask the Lord for help, ask Him to move your heart away from desires that are keeping you away from Him. God doesn't just forgive us from our sins, He helps us overcome them.


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