Desires or Wants Fit Into 3 Categories
Our desires or wants tend to fit into the wrong category. Actually, Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden parallels what happens with our desires or wants far too often.
As you know, you are the problem, not Satan. Now, that is not trying to say that Satan isn’t a problem for us, he is. The bigger problem though, is not that “the devil made me do it” – as Flip Wilson would say in his comedy routines of the past – it is that YOU choose to do it! Just like Eve and Adam!
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. – 1 John 2:16
3 Categories of Desires or Wants
If Satan was the problem, he would have been the only one to suffer any consequences from God. But, we are all suffering from the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin. Specifically, your sin nature, encourages you to sin and, therefore, suffer the consequences of your sin.
…visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations… - Exodus 20:5
Additionally, our sin nature aids or even creates the improper desires and wants that we have.
Robert Fritz provides some excellent insight by separating desires into three categories. He did this to help us understand how to create. But, we can apply his wisdom to how to make better choices as we look at our desires and wants.
Desires can be seen through the analogy of using a camera. You can…
- - zoom in for a close shot
- - zoom out for a long shot or very broad picture, or
- - use a medium shot to capture essential items and perspective.
Where Are Your Desires?
So, when you use the camera analogy, you can see your desires as if they were the pictures below. If you look at each picture, you will see that the medium shot is the only one that gives you the best idea of what is happening.
If you want to apply this to your life right now, think of one of your current desires. Now, compare it to the table below to see which characteristics fit that desire the best.
Appetites, Impulses, and Pleasures (Close Shot)
Very short time frame, instant gratification required
Generally self-absorbed, self-serving
If resolution is not quick, most likely will be abandoned
True Values & Aspirations (Medium Shot)
A sense of what is and isn’t important
Essential organizing principles in life
Values that help create priorities for your life
Clear purposes, goals, and objectives
Vague Hopes and Longings (Long Shot)
Someday it will happen,
Wishful thinking, “If I could win the lottery”
Time frame is long and indeterminate
Thoughts and ideas are far away, fuzzy, and out of focus
If your desires or wants do not fit the MEDIUM SHOT, “Values and Aspirations”, then you will likely experience some problems. Especially if it is in the Appetites, Impulses, and Pleasures column.
Be Careful of Your Appetites, Impulses, and Pleasures
When you think about it, the CLOSE SHOT is an excellent description of many temptations and even sin. It is true that in Genesis 3:6 and I John 2:16 sin seems to have closer ties with the physical, temporal part of man. But, don't forget, our thinking is what ends up driving our actions and feelings. We can sin in our thinking also, but there is an interesting tie to the physical part of mankind also.
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. – I John 2:16
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. – Genesis 3:6
Of course, not all appetites, impulses, and pleasures are wrong! God created things for our pleasure, created us with the ability to experience appetites, impulses and pleasures. Generally, you can consider them as neutral. But, the sin nature gets you to focus on them and that turns us into slaves of the pleasures.
This area is where you’re most likely to stumble. It tends to open you up to temptation and sin.
“It is the non-physical and eternal part of man, the soul and spirit, to which Scripture is addressed. By contrast, most of man’s efforts and attention are concerned with his temporary physical needs and pleasures. The physical so consumes human thought that spiritual truth is obscured by the sensual. And to this fact all of the world’s religions bear eloquent testimony. Paganism is dominated by fetishes, idols, ornate altars, robes, candles, elaborate ceremonies, and repetitiously chanted secreted formulas. All of these are part of a superstitious attempt to influence the nonphysical spirit world by physical means. It is clearly a continuance of the lie with which the Serpent deceived Eve: that through eating the physical fruit she could gain spiritual blessings, including immortality and godhood.” – Dave Hunt, The Berean Call, July 2005
Finally, be careful that your desires follow the desires of God. Delight in what God desires and it will protect us from letting our appetites, impulses, and pleasures control us.