Disordered Desires

In our age of information overload, sin in its varied forms is paraded continually before us. It is tempting to latch onto a particular manifestation of evil and make it the logo for things we abhor. However, scripture rarely does this. In fact, the only evil consistently railed against by God Himself is idolatry, a sin of which we are all guilty.

The primary foundation of all sin 
is God-given desire turned upside down

The very first sin in the Garden of Eden was one of disordered desires. God planted desires within the human heart. They are not evil in themselves. However, what God creates, Satan manipulates. Satan hijacked a good desire within Eve---to be like God. The desire was good, but the way she chose to achieve it was not.

At the root of most manifestations of evil are disordered desires. Idolatry starts with the innate longing to worship someone or something greater than ourselves. Rather than look to the Creator who planted that desire within us, we substitute lesser objects in His place. Greed, covetousness, and envy start with healthy desires to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. But that desire turns evil when it becomes disordered by the lack of contentment. Homosexuality, immorality, sensuality, and promiscuity are rooted in the God-given desire for sexual intimacy. But they go awry when sinful man chooses his own ways to fulfill them.

When we see the atrocities of our world, it is easy to become frustrated and even prideful, imagining ourselves beyond such things. But when we recognize our own disordered desires and how they manifest in our lives in ungodly ways, we can respond to this disordered world with more compassion and humility. That person shrieking his or her foul agenda has the same problem I do: desires gone dark. Only a face-to-face encounter with Jesus can bring order to our desires. Only then does He promise to give us the desires of our hearts. (Ps. 37:4)

Is God Disappointed With Me?

I  talk with a number of people who fear that God is disappointed with them. 
"I let God down," they say and the mountain of shame threatens to crush them. These are people who know they have trusted Christ for salvation, they have been made new by the power of God, but they messed up way back there. Or they fear they messed up. Or they struggle with a vague uneasiness that somehow they aren't all God had in mind when He saved them. They have shied away from looking him full in the face because they cannot imagine that He's smiling.
This whole outlook is based on a false premise. To be disappointed means that we believed one thing was going to happen and instead got something less. That only works for humans. In order for the Lord God Almighty to be disappointed, He would have had to have an expectation that did not come true. He thought we were going to do A, but we shocked Him by doing B.

However, this scenario is not possible just as it is not possible for red to be green or up to be down. God is omniscient, which means He already knows everything. We can't surprise Him or catch Him off guard. He is grieved at our sin, sorrowful over our suffering, and will discipline us when we need it. But He's never disappointed. He already knew we were going to mess up before we did it. That's why He sent Jesus. It is the righteousness of Jesus that makes us right with God. That's why He can be so eager to forgive. He has already planned it out so we can be right with Him again. He is more eager to restore the relationship than we are.

The idea that we've disappointed God is a fabrication of our enemy to keep us from racing back to our Father when we mess up. Satan knows the transforming power of God's full pardon and does what he can to keep us from knowing it too. When we turn from our sin and accept the cleansing of Jesus, it's as if it never happened. Jesus bought for us us the smile of God. The only one we've disappointed is Satan.