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Desire doesn’t seem to be much of an issue in an age of endless stimuli and instant gratification. But these are often cheap thrills that don’t satisfy the deep cravings of our soul. And most of us are still left disconnected from our true heart and the desires deep within. To guard our heart we must regularly conduct an inventory of desire. 

To be sure, the prodigal son thought he knew what he wanted. But it was not until he wasted everything that he finally realized just how empty his pursuits were. And at the other extreme was the dutiful older brother who did everything expected of him, but still divorced from a life of desire. As such, the younger and the older brother are essentially flip sides of the same coin – both missing out on the rich goodness and joy the father was more than willing to offer. And we often fall into a similar trap.

For instance, after years of doing the right thing, we might now feel justified to indulge in the sinful pleasures of this life. Or perhaps after years of ungodly living, we now feel we must kill the desires of our heart – not wanting to risk going back to our former lifestyle.

In either case, we’re left empty, and in danger of simply swinging from one extreme to the next. Our lifeline on either side is the recovery of our heart, and discovering the fullness of life God created us to live.

An inventory of desire is taking the time to consider what makes us come alive. We’re not merely looking for shallow pleasures, nor are we settling for just “doing the right thing.” Like eagles are made to soar, horses are made to run, and dolphins are made to swim, we must also find that unique expression God has written on our hearts. What is that thing we do just because it makes us smile?

In the end, don’t waste your desire in empty pursuits or kill it by assuming this is nobler. Take a true inventory of your heart’s desires and discover the abundant life Christ offers.

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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