Desire is not a bad thing. Moses longed for freedom. Wanting something more or different in the right context can be a catalyst. But the longing must stem from a motive to be all God made you to be, not from jealousy or a lack of confidence. Discontentment is something of a double-edged sword. One side wounds us while the “holy” side propels us to slice through mediocrity and pushes us to excel. Discontent with personal appearance or a desire for better health, drives a lot of folks to the gym. A discontentment with losing can fan a team’s desire for next year’s season.
Displeasure with the status quo is also a phenomenal motivator for those seeking Christ. If you know there’s more to life than what you are experiencing, then that lack of satisfaction can birth motivation. Maybe that’s why you are reading this; you are looking for a way of life richer than what you have tasted so far. If that’s the case, I jubilantly say, “Live discontent!” But longing must be balanced with a deep satisfaction as well—a longing for more of God’s will while also being satisfied with where you are at this very moment in your journey with Him. Paul says it this way in his letter to his Philippian friends:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
That’s using holy desire as a catalyst to the life God desires!
We know that God has a plan for us that is better than any we could coopt or copy, but we have trouble translating that into our day-to-day steps. The jealous lust after another’s life or journey is rooted in two things: the challenge of waiting on God and the struggle to hear His voice.