The title to this says it all. Many times our focus gets off of Jesus onto other "good things", but we really need to refocus on Him.
Here are some passages from:
[b]Christ: The Object of Our Desire[/b]
[i]"...thy desire shall be to thy Husband, and He shall rule over thee (Genesis 3:16b)."
"Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee (Psalms 73:25)." [/i]
...And we also learn that our "righteousness" is often misguided.
"And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of (Luke 9:54, 55)."
We may find ourselves in competition with our brothers and sisters, attempting to be the most spiritual, or the most mature, or the most knowledgeable about the things of God. We privately, and sometimes publicly, compare ourselves with one another and estimate ourselves to be most advanced, when the truth of the matter is we are most fleshly.
"And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest (Luke 22:24)."
Thank God for the cross of Jesus Christ! For it is there that my sins are forgiven; it is there that the "old man" died. Yet is is also true that there is something as wicked, if not more wicked, than sin, and that is Self. It is true that every sin is rooted in Self. As we must initially accept His death for sin, so we must daily accept our death to Self. As we are once crucified with Him for the remission of sins, so we must daily take up the cross, deny our Self, and follow Him. We walk in the narrow Way just as we entered the narrow Gate - by way of the cross. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him (Colossians 2:6)."
MANY SPIRITUAL DESIRES ARE SELFISH
The disciples of the Lord desire many things. Some desire power over the enemy, or power to work miracles in the Name of Jesus. Others desire freedom from sickness or oppression. Many desire blessing upon the work of their hands, their ministry, or their finances. Some desire wisdom and understanding in spiritual matters.
How surprising it is then for the child of God to learn that the Lord does not necessarily approve of these many desires, even though they seem undeniably good and proper at first. Why? Because Self remains enthroned and enshrined in the sanctuary of our heart. Why do we desire power? That we may glory and others may take notice. Why do we desire freedom from sickness and oppression? Because we are ready to reign with Christ, but are not prepared to suffer with Him. Why do we desire the blessing upon our labor? That we may appear successful before men. Why do we desire wisdom in spiritual affairs? That others may count us wise and seek us out for our opinion and counsel. When we do not know what spirit we are of, Self is most definitely the root of all our asking and praying.
...Jesus never pleased Himself.
"Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42)."
"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me (John 5:30)".
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me (John 6:38)."
[b]How much of our prayers, intercessions, asking, knocking, seeking, searching, and hoping is done with a view towards getting God to do what WE want Him to do?[/b] I am afraid that we take this approach with God: we careful analyze the situation, determine what we want to see come to pass, look up the appropriate Bible verses, go to God and tell Him exactly what we want to happen and by when, and then become anxious if He fails to answer us according to our own thought.
Brothers and sisters, this is not the way we approach the Lord. Many are the instances in which mere humans tried to instruct the Lord Jesus, rebuked Him, found fault with His way of doing and saying things, questioned His methods, and argued with Him. Let us not fall into the same trap. For the Lord knows His business, and does not need to be instructed by us. Instead, we must follow His instruction and allow Him to become our only Desire. Then our praying and asking amiss will cease.
How do we deny Self and have the appropriate desire? The solution is quite simple, but it is not simplistic. It is profound, but not complicated. God has ordained that our "desire shall be to [our] Husband, and He shall rule over Thee." God in Christ fills all in all (Ephesians 4:6). Jesus is the only legitimate desire a Christian can have (Psalms 73:25). If He is the center and focus then all other things will take their proper place (Matthew 6:33). If we are satisfied in God, we cannot be dissatisfied. If our need is fully met in Christ, we cannot experience lack.
"Because the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need! (Psalms 23:1, Living Bible)."
What says the Spirit? Simply this: [b]many are they who will sit at meat with Jesus, commune and dine with Him, discuss spiritual things with Him. But they cannot and will not lower themselves to wash His feet. They will not humble themselves to the ground and listen[/b], they would rather be "much serving". They will not give up their "ministry to the poor" in order to "waste" themselves on "just ministering" to Jesus. They long to be seen fellowshipping with the Lord, but they are loath to pour out too much of themselves for Christ.
FORSAKE THE WRONG AND CRUCIFY THE "RIGHT"
We know we must leave sin because we can appreciate how horrible it is. [b]We do not so quickly leave "our righteousness" because we think somehow it has been "purified".[/b] Mark well however that God does not fix the old man, but destroys it. He does not tell us to clean up our life, but to lay down our life. [b]It is not enough to forsake the wrong: we must allow Him to crucify the right.[/b] That is, we must learn to hate our thoughts that we may have His mind. We must give up our "spiritual" desires in order to have Christ as All.
We must allow our Husband to rule, and our desire must only be for Him. Some people want a "Prenuptial Agreement" with their Husband. That is, they are willing to come to Jesus, but they are not willing to bring all they have to Him, to have everything put in His Name, to forsake all others until death do they part. They are foolish virgins. They want the benefits of the bed chamber without the responsibilities of the bride. They say, "I will follow You wherever You go," but at the last minute they want to "go back and say goodbye" to those in their house.
May Christ be the object of our desire. Amen.