Dreams that Shape the City / Day 6

BIBLE READING

“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.  We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess 1: 11-12)

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Eph 2: 10 NLT)

REFLECTION

Every great human endeavour or achievement has begun with a desire or a dream.  For example, Wilbur Wright, who along with his brother Orville, were the fathers of modern aviation, once said this: “The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who... looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space... on the infinite highway of the air.”  Their desire literally took wings and flew.

Often the church has attached negative connotations to the idea of human desires.  Desires have been seen as inherently sinful and potentially destructive.  Therefore they should be suppressed and even denied. 

However, the Bible sees human desire in a different light.  Yes, when wrongly focused, our desires can lead to unrighteous living.  Paul elsewhere, in Romans for example, talks about “sinful desires”, “evil desires” and the “desires of the flesh.”  So, it is clear – not everything we desire is good or Godly.

However, it is equally important to notice, there are the many places in which the Bible speaks positively about our desires.  Look at these verses from the Psalms:

“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” (Ps 20: 4)

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 37: 4)

“Praise the Lord, my soul…who satisfies your desires with good things…” (Ps 103: 2, 5)

“He fulfils the desires of those who fear him…” (Ps 145: 19)

From these verses alone we can see that God’s will clearly is not repression or suppression of all human desires.  When our desires are good, God longs to make them succeed, He works to satisfy them and He commits to fulfilling them. 

So how can we know if what we desire is good or bad?  As a general principle, unless it is clearly harmful, obviously sinful or contrary to the Word of God, why not assume that it is a good desire.  In fact, why not assume that it could be from God?

You see, when we come alive in Christ, inherently we have new desires.  God fills us with His life and His Spirit deposits His dreams and desires in our hearts so that we can live a life filled with passion, purpose and influence.  In fact, the root of our word “desire” means “of the sire” or “of the father.” In other words, that strong impulse to pursue a dream or initiate a project is often something the Father has placed within you seeking to come out.  His Spirit inside us inspires us with ideas, thoughts, creativity, possibilities and potential which can shape and transform the world around us.

Our Bible reading today records an incredible prayer the Apostle Paul prays for the church in Thessalonica.  He longs that God’s power would bring to fruition or fulfilment their “every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.”  Why not pray the same prayer over your own life today?  May your every God-inspired dream, desire and passion be empowered to succeed and resourced to be fulfilled, that He may receive glory in you and through you.