The Object of My Desire

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

It's a little embarrassing to admit to other believers, but I think now, after over 20 years of being a follower of Christ, I'm finally getting the point of this whole thing. (I suppose that makes me a slow learner, which means the title of valedictorian is pretty much meaningless, but I think I already knew that.) I'm finally seeing that all of His commands are to lead me away from the empty idols of this life and toward knowing and glorifying the only One who is worth my time, energy, and desire.

I have lived most of my Christian life with the mentality that God takes away what I want to give me what He wants me to have, which is really just boring or scary stuff. I've heard and said phrases such as, "God is more interested in your holiness than your happiness" many times over. And I get what that means. I really do. But what I think many of us miss (or maybe it's just me), is that in holiness lies true happiness, otherwise known as joy. How has the world, even the Christian world, gotten into the misconception that to look like God, our life must be devoid of any pleasure? Okay, okay. I'll admit that I'm actually getting something out of this stinkin' Desiring God book. But really, it has just solidified what God has been teaching me slowly but surely the past several years.

I love the following quote from C.S. Lewis: "We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

We think that by following Christ, we will be giving up all the things of the world that bring us pleasure. And for me, those things aren't "bad things" like partying or sleeping around. They are things I think, "God should WANT me to have this," like physical health and material comfort, living close to my family and my friends. Of course, he doesn't always ask us to give those things up, but He very well might decide to. And that is what I feared. The things I would have to sacrifice. But, finally the light bulb has gone off for me. God asks us to give up those things so that we can grow closer to Him, which is the only thing that really satisfies.

Okay, so I kind of had that concept a while back. (Deep, I know. :) ) But here's the thing I just didn't believe. I did not truly believe that knowing Christ is worth forfeiting anything and everything in this world. I did not truly believe that I would find more joy and fulfillment in an intimate relationship with my Creator and living in obedience to Him than in the pleasures of this world. But, thanks be to God, the more I "taste and see that He is good," the more of Him I want. And the more I'm willing to do away with to get more of Him. I'm no longer content with mud pies, with things that are only a shadow of the pleasure I get from Jesus.

So many times, all we can see is, "This is hard. Surely God wouldn't want me to be miserable." And then someone says, "He's more interested in your holiness than your happiness," and you go away feeling defeated because you serve a God who doesn't truly care about your pain. Oh, if only the statement went like this: "He's more interested in your holiness, which leads to true and eternal joy and satisfaction, than your fleeting, earthly, carnal pleasure, which only leads to brokeness, emptiness and pain." (Okay, that may be a little long to be a catchy phrase, but you know what I mean.) Holiness comes by knowing God and allowing Him to transform you. And when we know Him and He transforms us, we find a joy that cannot be touched by earthly circumstances, whether that be the death of someone we love, the seeming hopelessness of being stuck in a miserable relationship, a devastating diagnosis, or the waywardness of our children.

If we could only see that we have the most valuable treasure we could possibly hope for and stop living for trash masquerading as something valuable. My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." Jeremiah 2:13

And so, as my husband works on filling out an application that could mean giving up everything I've held onto for so long (other than my immediate family), I must say that "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." After all, who wouldn't pick a holiday at the sea over a mud pie feast any day?


  1. Filling out the application...WOW, what a great step for you guys.


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