Discipline before desire.

I wish that my everyday desire for the Lord scintillated with passion.  I would be lying if I told you my emotional desire for the Lord were constant.  But, I am continually learning that there is a difference between my emotional journey and my spiritual journey.

While my spiritual desires remain disciplined and steady, my emotional desires can be fleeting and ever-changing.  While I always desire Christ with my heart, I do not always desire Christ with my emotions.  And I think this is true for many.  And perhaps this is true for you.

Then, it becomes about what we do despite our emotions.

Our Lord prompts us to do things differently than this world: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world. . .”  (Romans 12:2 NIV).  Many may believe that desire follows emotion.  That certainly makes sense.  Yet, the Lord has led me to also believe that desire follows discipline.   We are truly free to make ourselves do something only if we want to do that something.  But, if my walk with the Lord follows that mentality, my walk is unsteady; my walk is inconsistent; my walk is purely based on emotion.

In my mind, I may not feel the emotion of desire—the desire to seek after God when I am feeling discouraged, when I am feeling uninspired, when I am feeling disconnected, when I am feeling empty, when I am feeling negative, and when I am feeling useless.  In my mind, I may also not feel the emotion of desire to seek after God when I am feeling complete without relying on God, or confident that things are going well without calling upon God, or when I feel unaware of my need for God.  But, we are transformed because the Lord has renewed our mind.  And when the Lord renews our minds, our journey in Christ is no longer predicated on emotion.

When one stops consuming food, one eventually stops hungering for food.  Likewise, when one stops consuming time with our Lord, one stops hungering for time with our Lord.  As hunger follows the consumption of food, spiritual hunger follows the consumption of our Lord.  Thus, desire follows discipline.  I pursue God regardless of my emotions.  And God fills me with the joy of pursuing Him.  And my emotions eventually align with the Lord’s Spirit in me.  The more of God I experience, the more of God I want.  And I want you to experience this.

Praise God for revolutionizing our minds.  I pray we seek God when we do not feel like seeking God, so that God fulfills us despite our lack of emotional desire.  I believe that when we are fulfilled by our Lord, our Lord gives us an emotional desire for more of our Lord.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  (Romans 12:2 NIV).

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”  (1 Peter 2:2,3 NIV).

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  (Psalm 37:4 NIV).

Many times, the coffee cup I choose each morning reflects how I am feeling.  Today, I am feeling fancy.

Much love to you,

Paige

 

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