Some Christians find themselves in a strange position. They feel like they lack desire and enthusiasm for God, but they truly want to desire Him more. You could say, they “want to want God more,” if that makes sense.
They want to be enthusiastic about learning Jesus. They want to desire Him, but they just don’t feel compelled the way they think they should be.
Before we even get into the meat of this article, I want to tell you that God does not want you to manufacture a desire for Him. You don’t need to worry about how enthusiastic you are about the Lord. That will come naturally if you get an accurate taste of who He is. Very likely, you have been taught incorrectly about who Jesus is, and that will sap your desire away quickly. It’s either that, or you have simply forgotten how good He has been. Let’s get into this.
The Samaritan Woman
Jesus spoke with a Samaritan woman who did not desire Him. This Samaritan woman did not want a relationship with Him and did not desire what He had to give her. Jesus wasn’t mad at the woman, and He did not ask her to manufacture a desire for Him. Instead, this is what He told her:
John 4:10 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him…
This woman was not asking Jesus for the gift that He had to give her (namely, the Holy Spirit). And when Jesus saw her lack of desire for what He had to give, He told her that her problem was “she didn’t know the gift of God and the one that was speaking to her.“ The only reason for lack of desire for Jesus is that you do not know Him correctly.
Jesus told the woman that if she had an idea of who He was and what He was giving her, she would indeed desire it from Him and ask Him for it! You see, if you really knew what Jesus was offering, if you really knew who He was, you would automatically start seeking Him for it. No one would have to compel you or force you to do it. It’s that good! Lack of desire is simply lack of correct knowledge.
The church has been taught so incorrectly about Jesus, that our desire for Him has been sapped. We think we know Jesus, but we are trying to force ourselves to seek Him. We’re trying to force ourselves to know Him more. This shows a distinct lack of understanding of what He has offered you.
If I told you that there was $100 million buried ten feet deep in your backyard, no one would have to force you or compel you to start digging. And that would be hard work. Yet, you wouldn’t think twice about grabbing a shovel and running outside. For that matter, if you had to dig with a spoon, you would start digging, if you really knew what was being offered to you!
How much more, when the Lord offers you rest from your work, perfect peace and joy, full power and authority over everything in this universe, the ability to raise others from the dead, and to live forever in safety — full redemption from all forms of hurt and destruction in this world, and the ability to beautify everything around you with the life of God as well. And having the ability to manifest all of this, not by digging ten feet underground (which would be hard work), but by simply listening to the Lord and giving Him your attention. If we understood what was available, we would never have to manufacture a fake desire to get to know Jesus.
The problem is not lack of desire for God. The problem is incorrect knowledge about God. The problem is with all the incorrect things you’ve been taught about God. It’s all the assumptions we’ve made about His nature over the years. It’s all the suffering that God has been accused of in this world. If God really was as people describe Him, no one would desire Him, and the Lord wouldn’t blame them. The truth is, He is nothing like what people say about Him.
In fact, God does not ask anyone to desire Him until they have tasted and seen that He is good and gracious!
1 Peter 2:2-3 (NKJV) …desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
God says here that He doesn’t want anyone to desire His word, He doesn’t want anyone to desire to know Him, unless you have tasted first of how gracious He is! He says “only desire my word, if indeed you have tasted that I’m gracious.“
Desire is not a problem. The Lord knows that if you just get a taste (not even a full bite) of how gracious He has been to you, you will automatically desire what He has to say to you!
If you don’t desire God the way you want to, you simply have not tasted of how truly gracious He has already been, or you have forgotten it. Either way, ask God to show you who He really is, instead of what you’ve heard before, and press on to get to know Him. The more you understand Him accurately, the more desire will automatically come (and Reform Church is a pretty good place to get jumpstarted).
The Lord says “I don’t want you to force a desire for me.“ I just want you to taste and see that I’m good first.
Psalms 34:8 (NKJV) Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
It’s completely natural to not desire the Lord, seeing the way that He’s being portrayed in many churches today. You can’t teach people that God is in control of everything in this world (including all of the suffering in it), you can’t teach people that Jesus wants you to change your life for Him, you can’t teach people that their fellowship with God is “on-again, off-again” whenever they sin, or that His wrath is upon people, and expect them to desire that false version of God. It’s just natural not to desire that. This is why the Lord just wants you to taste and see His true goodness, before you ever try to desire Him.
You shouldn’t make things up about God to sound good to people, or to cater to them, or to be politically correct. In that case, then you’re still teaching a wrong version of God! It’s about teaching the truth about God to people. And it just so happens, that He has been better to you than anyone else in the whole world!
Simply knowing that God exists doesn’t produce a desire for Him. And just knowing what some preacher said about God isn’t going to do it either. It is the true goodness of God that causes people to turn their hearts to Him.
Romans 2:4 (NKJV) …the goodness of God leads you to repentance…
Repentance doesn’t mean to stop sinning. Repentance just means to change your mind about something (the Old Testament even uses the word repent for when God changed His mind about something, (Joel 2:13 KJV), so clearly it doesn’t refer to not sinning anymore).
What causes people to turn their hearts to the Lord? The goodness of God. If you really saw how good the Lord was, if you really tasted of how gracious He was, desiring Him more would be the furthest concern from your mind.
Reform Church exists so that people can understand the TRUTH about Jesus, not just the version you’ve heard before. Let’s get to know the real Jesus together, and our desire for Him will automatically flourish as we see how gracious he has been!
…If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone else! More people need to understand this awesome truth!