In an effort to help us root out the idols of our hearts, I am doing a series entitled X-Ray Questions. Last time I introduced the series and gave one question to ask ourselves. You can read that post here.
This week we will continue to explore our hearts. This time our question focuses on exposing the desires that rule us.
(2) What do you want, desire, crave, lust, and wish for? What desires do you serve and obey?
This summarizes the internal operations of the desire-driven flesh in the New Testament epistles. “My will be done” and “I want ___” are often quite accessible. Various desires rule people, and sometimes another person’s will has control over you in peer pressure, people-pleasing, slave-like, or chameleon behavior. In such cases, your heart’s craving is to get whatever good they promise and avoid whatever bad they threaten: “I crave to be included, appreciated, accepted, and admired by you.”
Understand that if we seek satisfaction in man, we will be controlled by a desire to please man and will become a slave to their approval. This means that our desire to please man will be elevated over our desire to please God. We will choose those things that please man every time because we are enslaved by the desire for their approval. As a slave, we are not truly free and will find ourselves in a more miserable state.
Repent by finding your satisfaction in God and desiring nothing but Him and His salvation (Pss 17:14-15; 73:23-28). Only through God’s salvation are we freed from the desires of the flesh. We no longer need to find our approval in man, and no longer remain a slave to sin (Rom. 6). So then, when we find ourselves desiring man’s approval and acceptance, preach the Gospel to yourself. It is through the Gospel that we are freed from our enslavement to sin and reconciled to God.
Reflect on these Scriptures as you seek to root out this idol in your life: Pss. 17:14-15; 73:23-28; Prov. 10:3; 10:28; 11:6-7; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 2:3; 4:22; 2 Tim. 2:22; Titus 3:3; 1 Peter 1:14; 2:11; 4:2; 2 Peter 1:4; 2:10; James 1:14; 4:1-4.
All X- Ray questions taken from David Powlison’s book Seeing with New Eyes.