Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Christ in the Proverbs: Proverbs 19:2

Proverbs 19:2
Desire without knowledge is not good,
    and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.

In a culture that teaches us to "obey your thirst," it seems like blasphemy to think that not every desire we have is good!  The consumer mentality of America teaches that we are autonomous individuals who have the right to be happy, and the way to happiness is to indulge our desires by accumulating goods.

The Lord teaches us a better way---a way that is good.  First, not every desire we have is good.  Here is a sampling of the truth that not every desire fallen sinners have is good:

  • ·         Mark 4: 19: but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
  • ·         John 8:44a: You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. 
  • ·         Romans 13:14: But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
  • ·         1 Corinthians 10:6: Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
  • ·         Galatians 5:16-17: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
  • ·         1 Timothy 6:9: But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
  • ·         2 Peter 1:4: by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Second, desire that is good must be in accord with truth, wisdom and knowledge.  Ignorance is darkness, and Jesus came as the uncreated light of the world to overcome darkness (John 1:4-5, 9).  Our heavenly Father delights in truth in our inward being, and teaches his children truth in the heart (Psalm 51:6).

Third, our default position as sinners is toward sinful desires.  The world catechizes us toward sinful desires.  The flesh is characterized by sinful desires (1 John 2:15-17).  And, the devil is at work in the hearts of the unregenerate to cause them to follow "the course of this world," "carrying out the desires of the body and mind" (Ephesians 2:2-3).

Finally, haste will not be our friend in overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil.  Daily dying and rising with Christ to the old nature and its desires requires time spent with the Lord, time considering His ways, and time considering our own ways, so that we might repent and live by faith each day.  This world, the flesh, and the devil want us to act without much thought and take the quick and easy path of following our desires.  But this is a way that leads to death. 

Jesus is the way and his way is good.  Jesus is the truth that gives light to our inward being and this truth is good.  Jesus is the life that begins to change our desires, so that they are good.

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