Are we neurotic shelf-worn little gods?
“Inquiring into the causes of sin takes us back, again and again, to the intractable human will and to the heart’s desire that stiffens the will against all competing considerations. Like a neurotic and therapeutically shelf-worn little god, the human heart keeps ending discussions by insisting that it wants what it wants.”
“Our core problem is that the human heart, ignoring God, turns in on itself, tries to lift itself, wants to please itself, and ends up debasing itself. The person who reaches toward God and wants to please God gets, so to speak, stretched by this move, and ennobled by the transcendence of its object.”
“But the person who curves in on himself, who wants God’s gifts without God, who wants to satisfy the desires of a divided heart, ends up sagging and contracting into a little wad. His desires are provincial. There is something in humility which, strangely enough, exalts the heart, and something in pride which debases it” (see: Augustine, The City of God, 14.13.).
Transformation of the desires of the heart of spiritual change.
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13).
- God’s kingdom always challenges desires that preoccupy us (Matthew 6:32-33).
- God is always calling us to more noble and lasting passions.
Are we too easily pleased?
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased” (C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory).
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world” (C. S. Lewis).
Faith is not only an agreement with facts about God and Jesus. It’s a matter of appetite and longing; hunger and thirst; satisfaction and fulfillment in the One who is the bread of life. Faith involves satisfaction of our deepest longings and needs.
Our hearts will remain hungry until they find satisfaction in God; Our souls thirsty until quenched by God. Yet, In this life, we can only be satisfied with unsatisfied satisfaction.
We can taste and see that the Lord is good, but we must repeatedly return to Him in with our hunger and thirst.
- “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).
- “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1-2).
- “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26).