Your Desires Fit Into 3 Categories

Your desires or wants fit into 3 categories, and too often, they are in the wrong category. In fact, Adam and Eve's desires were in the wrong category when they sinned in the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, their sin parallels what happens too often with anyone's desires or wants. 

As you know, if you have read other blogs we have, you are the problem not Satan. Now, that is not saying 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!

Your Desires Fit Into 3 Categories

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 were the problem, only he would suffer the consequences God pronounced. But we all suffer from the effects 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 our improper desires and wants.

Robert Fritz provides 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 make better choices as we look at our desires and wants.

So, think about desires using the analogy of a camera. That means you can…

  • zoom in for a close shot
  • zoom out for a long shot, or
  • capture essential items and perspective.

Where Are Your Desires?

So, when you use the camera analogy, you see your desires as if they were the pictures below. As you look at each picture, you see that the medium shot is the only one that gives you the best idea of what is happening.

3 Categories of Desires

Why not apply this to your life right now? Think of one of your current desires. Now, compare that desire 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 a resolution is not quick, it 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”

The 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, you can more easily see that you are the problem when you have a 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 and temporal parts 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

Obviously, All Appetites, Impulses, and Pleasures Are Not Bad

God created things for our pleasure and created us with the ability to experience appetites, impulses, and pleasures. Generally, you can consider them 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, the most effective way to combat the fact that you are the problem is to align your desires with God's desires. Delighting in what God desires (Psalms 37:4-5) protects you from letting your appetites, impulses, and pleasures control you.

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