Is Desire a Reliable Guide on the Path of Life?

Is Desire a Reliable Guide on the Path of Life?

Sunday Scripture

Deer hunting season has arrived here in Maine, and this mum of four sons has heard a lot more about the habits and methods of dispatching whitetail deer than I really want to know. However, truth be told, I’ve been sharing wooded trails with the deer, bearing witness to deer-ish desire, since we moved to this country hill.

Unfortunately, deer trails and our paved roads often intersect in disaster, for the deer see all this tree-covered land as their territory. A few years ago, at the very edge of “their territory,” we were kind enough to plant a rhododendron salad bar, and they were kind enough to help themselves to all the tender flower buds during the long winter of 2019.

When settlers first paddled up the St. George River and started chopping down trees and swatting mosquitoes, they were the first to meddle with the deer’s trampled trails, but I would hazard a guess that those paths have not changed much in over two hundred years, because deer-thinking and deer-priorities have not changed a whit. Grazing, drinking, and bedding down, the deer follow the predicted path because desire leads the way.

Oddly, even with my upright stance and opposable thumbs, desire often dictates my own daily direction. If my longings take me on paths that lead me away from truth, it’s time for a course correction, a gift I receive from this psalm:

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so I long for you, God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I come and appear before God?”

Psalm 42:1-2

When I sense in myself a coldness toward God, an insensitivity to sin, or a disregard for God’s Word, I ask him for new desires. Sometimes, all it takes is making the effort, showing up in the presence of God, receiving his unwavering attention to effect a course correction. Of course, there have also been seasons when I have waited long in what felt like the silence of God for the lesson or the growth that was needed.

My lack of desire for God’s Word is no reliable assessment of its value, but, instead, a sign that my heart needs recalibrating so that it measures rightly and values most what is most valuable.

My lack of desire for God’s Word is no reliable assessment of its value, but, instead, a sign that my heart needs recalibrating so that it measures rightly and values most what is most valuable.

A Guide Toward Desire for God

When a deer wanders into the path of my headlights, I brake immediately and wait for its companions to follow it heedlessly onto asphalt danger. Just as deer travel sometimes in twos and threes, we human types have a way of leading one another into apathy or cynicism. I want to be a guide toward desire for God, and I cannot share what I do not possess.

May you find that the greatest longing of your own heart is satisfied on the path toward the flowing streams of God’s presence, his righteousness in you, his love in you, and his love for you!

Holding you in the Light,

Michele Morin

When I sense in myself a coldness toward God, an insensitivity to sin, or a disregard for God’s Word, I ask him for new desires. “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God…”

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41 thoughts on “Is Desire a Reliable Guide on the Path of Life?”

  1. Reflecting on how my love for God’s Word developed, I’d say the more time time we spend reading, learning, and meditating on its truths, the more appreciation we gain for its wisdom, encouragement, comfort, and more. In addition, it’s through the Bible that we come to know God and His ways. Praise God we never come to the end of learning about or the impact of God’s Word. Even in our Bible study, His mercies are new every morning!

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  2. I love that you share the four-son journey with me! Thanks for the thoughts here…and for planting a rhododendron bar for the deer! 😉

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  3. I love that last quote…ask Him for new desires. I think that is something I will need to remember. It makes me think of the song Come Thou Font of Every Blessing…Prone to Wander Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the Lord I love, here’s my heart oh take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

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    1. What a relevant hymn to this topic! Actually, I find myself returning to those words a fair amount, so you can see that this is a matter of regular attention for me. Our regular, mundane spiritual practices do enlarge our capacity to say”yes” to the love of God.

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  4. Michele, what a remarkable analogy and valuable caution! Yes yes yes… May God increase our Appetite for His word and soul satisfaction in it lest we be caught like deer in the headlights on a path of destruction. This was good reading.
    And I wish your sons’ success in behalf of your rhodos’ spring bloom.😊

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  5. Oh my yes, this, Michele –>’My lack of desire for God’s Word is no reliable assessment of its value, but, instead, a sign that my heart needs recalibrating so that it measures rightly and values most what is most valuable.’

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    1. So I guess our entire Christian life is THAT process of allowing our desires to be shaped by the one who knows what is best for us. That really changes the way we think about spiritual formation.

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  6. Dearest One,
    when I think of you, I always remind of these words by David Maria Turold (1916-1992); let me write them in this comment of mine:

    “Love
    greet the people
    donate
    forgive
    greet and love again.
    Give your hand
    help
    understand
    forget
    and remember only the good.
    And for the good of others
    enjoy and enjoy …
    And go, light behind the wind
    and the sun
    and sing …
    sing the dream of the world:
    that all Countries
    may contend themselves
    to have generated you”.

    Thank you Michele, be always yourself and never change!
    Daniela

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  7. We have the same thing here: “we were kind enough to plant a rhododendron salad bar, and they were kind enough to help themselves to all the tender flower buds during the long winter of 2019.” I kindly plant them flowers, and they kindly eat the blooms for dessert. An once they have come into my yard, they keep returning using the same path. Great thought. We don’t want our desires to lead us astray. And when they do, we need to direct them back to God.

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  8. What times I do lack desire, I’ve found it helps to just keep showing up with God’s Word. Eventually, whatever the problem was comes to the surface or fades out. And desire is sweet again. Kind of like when we’re sick, and we don’t feel like eating. But we do, because we know we need it. And the food itself helps restore the desire.

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  9. Michele, it was the word “recalibrating” that made me pause and think. Having used my car’s GPS just yesterday in which it had to recalibrate, your analogy meant so much more. May we pay attention when we realize our hearts need to recalibrate and realign with the Lord’s direction.

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  10. We do need to ask God to instill the desires in our hearts that he wants us to have. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 37:4 – Take delight in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. – because I believe when we do it in that order, delight in him first, the desires of our hearts will start to line up with his will!

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  11. That line about not being able to share what you don’t possess is one that really resonated for me – it’s a little like one of my favourite sayings “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. We have to focus on God and reigniting that desire in our own hearts before we can share it with others. #MischiefandMemories

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  12. Congratulations, you will be featured on the upcoming Senior Salon Pit Stop post, Monday Nov 22nd as one of the top three bloggers.
    Thank you for your support and participation. Please invite your fellow bloggers to also come and participate, thanks in advance.

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