IITRH – Chapter 5

Just finished Chapter 5 in the “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands” book by Paul David Tripp.  And I wanted to quickly share with you something that I think will be very important for you (and me) to continually think about when it comes to DESIRES.

Here is a five-stage ship-sinking progress that can quickly destroy all kinds of relationships that you are in based on desires.

“The objects of most of our desires are not evil.  The problem is the way they tend to grow, and the control they come to exercise over our hearts.  Desires are a part of human existence, but they must be held with an open hand.  All human desire must be held in submission to a greater purpose, the desires of God for His kingdom.  This is what Christ expressed in the Garden of Gethsemane when he cried, ‘Not my will, but Yours be done’ (Luke 22:42).” – Paul David Tripp

The problem with desire is it quickly morphs into…
1. Demand (“I must”)  Demand is closing my fists on desire. “I am no longer comforted by God’s desire for me; I am threatened by it, because God’s will potentially stands in the way of my demand.”  But it doesn’t stop there…it continues to morph…
2. Need (“I will”)  I now view this thing as essential to life. This is a devastating step in the eventual slavery of desire.  When my heart is ruled by the desire for a certain thing, it cannot help but affect my relationship to you.  Need inevitably produces…
3. Expectation (“You should”)  If I am convinced I need something and you have said that you love me, it seems right to expect that you will help me get it.  The dynamic of (improper) need-driven expectation is the source of untold conflict in relationships.  But it doesn’t stop there…
4. Disappointment (“You didn’t!”) There is a direct relationship between expectation and disappointment, and much of our disappointment in relationships is not because people have actually wronged us, but because they have failed to meet our expectations.
5. Punishment (“Because you didn’t, I will…”)  We are hurt and angry because people who say they love us seem insensitive to our needs.  So we strike back in a variety of ways to punish them for their wrongs against us.

So instead of seeking God’s kingdom…”I am angry because you have broken the laws of my kingdom.   God’s kingdom has been supplanted.  I am no longer motivated by a love for God and people so that I use the things in my life to express that love.  Instead I love things, and use people–and even the Lord–to get them.  My heart has been captured.  I am in active service of the creation, and the result can only be chaos and conflict in my relationships.”

These are very important things to think about in every relationship we have.  Are you having struggles in your relationships?  Well, has desire for your own kingdom supplanted God’s kingdom in your life?

Not my will, but Yours be done, LORD!

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