You Can Change 13: What desires do you need to turn from?

These are my notes and some reflections on Tim Chester’s book: You Can Change

We sin because we worship or desire idols instead of worshipping God:

John Calvin famously called our hearts a “perpetual factory of idols” (p109).  Reflecting on Jeremiah 2:13 – our double sin is that we first reject the truth about God and second we place our affections elsewhere.  “An idol is anything we look to instead of God for living water.” (p109).

Idolatry is not necessarily an overt rejection of God’s existence or character, more subtly it is an over-attachment to lesser things.   Whatever you desire most is the thing that has captured your heart and controls your life.

“Our idols are those things which we count on to give our lives meaning.  They are the things of which we say. ‘I need this to make me happy,’ or ‘If I don’t have this my life is worthless and meaningless.’ ” (Tim Keller)

We often confuse free-will with self-willed: “The truth about our choices is that we always choose what we believe to be our best.  We always choose what we believe will bring us the most delight.” (Elyse Fitzpatrick)

When desires go bad:

Desire itself is not wrong – our problem is “over desire” or inordinate desires. It is not normally not the thing we want, but that we want it more than God that is the sin.  As a result I am dissatisfied with God’s sovereignty over my life.  The good things that God has filled his world with ought to be “bridges to joy in God.” (p114)

Desires deceive us by masquerading as needs (“I need to be loved”).  “We take a good desire (to be loved) and turn it into an idolatrous desires and call it a need.” (p115).

But God is not the key the good life.  He is the good life!  God must be desired for his own sake – because he is altogether glorious not merely as the giver of worldly success.


~ by John on January 8, 2011.

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