Open Journals
Title |   Desire of the Heart
2016-12-22 08:00
  • · Looking upon JESUS : 80%
  • · Obeying the Word: 80%
  • · Word(devotion) :
  • · Prayer :
  • · Amen ( 0 )
  • · Those who said Amen :
  • No Amen, yet
Blessed are those who habitually "fix their eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2)". For those blessed folks, walking with Jesus does not require special efforts, and it comes to them almost naturally and easily, because it has become a second nature to them. Their lives are fully "IN CHRIST," not only in terms of being deemed righteous but also being experientially righteous in their motives and deeds. Their lives produce much fruits and permeate an aura of joy and peace.

However, there are many of us, including myself, who need to actually make some efforts to "fix our eyes on Jesus" continually, because "fixing our eyes on Jesus" or "walking with Jesus 24 hours" has NOT become a second nature to us. Regarding this particular problem, I recently meditated many hours to determine why it is hard for us to fix our eyes on Jesus 24 hours. The meditation included analyzing my own failures to walk with the Lord. Whenever I realized that I had spent several hours in my daily life without thinking of Jesus, I purposely went back in time and tried to figure out what prompted me to lose the sight of Jesus. Usually, there was a definite point when my mind wondered off from Jesus.

In some cases, I lost the sight of Jesus when something very distracting happened in my life regardless of whether the distracting event was unpleasant or pleasant. More distracting the event was, more likely that my mind would focus on the event instead of focusing on Jesus. By grace of God, I would come to my sense after a while (not the natural, physical sense, but rather the spiritual sense) with the help of the Holy Spirit, and I try to view and perceive the distracting event with God and in light of God's sovereignty, goodness and love. Perceiving everything that happens in my life with God, which I call the "Triangle Relationship," in which the triangle is formed by God, the event, and me, has helped me tremendously in walking with the Lord. If the distracting event is a pleasant surprise, I thank God and praise Him. If the distracting event is an unpleasant event, then I search my life for hidden sins or the areas that I need to repent. If neither, I seek His guidance on what I ought to do, believing that His plan for His children is not to harm them but to give them hope and a future (Jer 29:11).

In other cases when I lost the sight of Jesus, the reason was that I didn't have the desire to fix my eyes on Jesus. This problem of lack of desire or "want" is perhaps the biggest reason why many of us do not fix our eyes on Jesus. Although the reasons why some of us lose (or perhaps don't have) the desire to fix our eyes on Jesus are numerous and various, we can all test our hearts by asking this question to ourselves: "Do I really want to fix my eyes on Jesus 24 hours?" or "Do I really want to walk with Jesus 24 hours?" or "Do I really want to follow Jesus 24 hours?" Is your answer an emphatic "yes?" Or is your answer somewhat lukewarm? Without the desire to fix our eyes on Jesus 24 hours, it would be very difficult to actually do so. Some of us with a strong will may be able to overcome our lack of desire and try to follow Jesus when we don't want. This is possible because for these folks, their "will" is oriented towards God, so they at least know what they ought to do. They may be able to do the right thing for a while but it may be short-lived. Generally, when we don't have the desire, we would get a burnout and quit after a while. The resolve alone, without the desire fueled by the right motive such as the motive to know Jesus better, would not work for a prolonged period. Besides, if we don't have to desire to fix our eyes on Jesus in the first place, we would not have the desire to obey Jesus, even if we fixed your eyes on him.

At this point, it may be important to note that if we have at least the resolve to fix our eyes on Jesus, that means that our "will" is oriented towards or pointed towards God. In other words, we know that it is "good" to fix our eyes on Jesus. Compared to some folks who cannot fight their desire with their "will," these folks at least have a fighting chance to immerse themselves in the life of the kingdom of God. It is just that their "will" and their "desire" are not in tune with each other. If "will" overpowers the "desire," then we would do the right thing, provided of course that "will" is governed by the values of the kingdom of God. However, if the "desire" overpowers the "will," then we would succumb to the desire. If our desire is governed by the pleasure, possession or power, then it would be very hard to "will" oneself to focus on the Lord. The best possible scenario of course is that our desire and "will" (intention or resolve) are more or less oriented toward the same thing, namely fixing our eyes on Jesus. This is the optimal situation, and the person should be thankful. The second scenario is that a person has the desire to fix eyes on the Lord but does not have the "will" to do it 24 hours. This is not a huge problem, since if a person has the desire, he would eventually find the way to fulfill the desire, especially since the Holy Spirit would help that person. The third scenario, which is really the problem addressed in this journal entry (though somewhat verbosely presented herein), is when the person does not have the desire but has some sort of an inkling that it is "good" to fix the eyes on Jesus. He (or she) would want to do it but does not have the desire. The inkling that he gets is from the Holy Spirit; it is from Jesus who lives in and with us. Sometimes we call this a "small, still voice" from Jesus. This is an opportunity to ask Jesus to increase our desire to the point where the desire and "will" unite and produce the sustainable faith strong enough for us to keep our eyes on Jesus. The last scenario, which is really a topic for another journal entry, is when a person has neither the desire nor the "will" to fix his eyes on Jesus 24 hours. This is much more of a serious problem for the Christians, and I will address this problem perhaps in another journal entry.

So when we have a difficult time fixing our eyes on Jesus 24 hours even though we know we should, the problem most likely is the imbalance between our desire and our "will." The problem is either of the following: First, we might have some kind of inkling or prompt from the Holy Spirit who tells us that we need to fix our eyes on Jesus. In this journal entry, I call this an orientation of the “will.” At this point, it may be just a thought of what we ought to do, but is not accompanied by the feelings and conviction. Most likely, we suffer this problem because we desire something or somebody other than Jesus. In other words, Jesus is not the number one priority. Second, some of us might have the desire to fix our eyes on Jesus but we do not have the "will" to do it. Again we desire something more than we desire Jesus. So for both of these case, we would need to change our desire, if the desire is not primarily seeking Jesus and his kingdom. So if our primary desire is, for example, money or anything other than Jesus and his kingdom, then we would need to desire to stop desiring what we desire now. Dallas Willard often said, “You would have to want NOT want what you want now.” This change, of course, would absolutely require God’s help. So for these folks, I highly recommend that they should first pray that God would change their desire so that they desire Jesus more than now so that Jesus would ultimately become their first and primary priority in their lives. In James 3:4, the Bible teaches us that a small rudder steers a large ship. The small rudder in us is the desire of our hearts.