How Do I Learn to Want What’s Right?
My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. Isaiah 26:9
Someone recently asked me what I do when the craving for a pill returns. I had to think, because it has been so long since I’ve felt that desire. Honestly, the thought of taking a pill is now abhorrent to me. This is a radical transformation in my appetite from when I nearly threw everything away in pursuit of the pill.
How did I get here? How was my appetite changed? While enslaved to the drug, I desperately wanted a magically transformed appetite. God, take away my hunger right now! In theory, I wanted to be sober, but in the moment, I still wanted the pill.
Today’s passage reminded me of this conflict. In the passage, the author expresses his passionate desire to know God more. In theory, I want to want God like that, but in the now, I usually just want to pursue me.
I would be discouraged, but I now realize that wanting to want something, is the beginning of transformation. In my addiction, I hungered for the pill right now, but still, I had some overall desire to be sober. So, how did God change my now appetite?
Obedience. That is how God worked in me. Even though I had an appetite for the pill, I had to make a conscious choice to start living for sobriety. I had to go to treatment and attend meetings. I had to start every day by pointing my life at God. I went to jail bible study and I told others what Christ was doing in my life.
It was in acting like I wanted to be sober, that I came to truly desire sobriety more than the pill. It was in being obedient to God, that he made me want to follow him more than me.
If we desire transformation, if we want to want God, and if we want to hunger for what’s right, then we must act like it. We must discipline ourselves to obey, even when we don’t feel like it right now. In our obedience, God performs his miraculous work so that our appetite is truly transformed. This may take time, but when we pursue God, he is always faithful to work in us.