Desire is a word that Christians tend to tiptoe around. Like a Caged Tiger. It’s nice to talk about at a safe distance, but open the doors to that cage…and God only knows what would happen next.

And yet…your Desires are the undeniable drivers of your life. We pursue what we perceive we want. We orient our life around it. We are not satisfied until we get it…and often times…we are still not satisfied even when we do. You can see why people tend to avoid the subject.

But at the crossroads of real life and real growth stands an old weathered sign with this question –
“What do you REALLY want?”
This is an honest question. It’s a spiritual question. It’s a question that leads to deeper places with God and yourself. It’s a question that Jesus asked in Mark 10:51.

In Mark 10, Jesus is at the height of His earthly ministry. Everyone wants something from Him. On His way out of Jericho, a blind man named Bartimaeus lying on the side of the road refuses to silence his Desire to see. He screams out to get Jesus attention. The text says that he was yelling so loud that the crowd around began to SHHHH him. Imagine being at an outdoor music festival and in the middle of the Spice Girls Reunion Set someone is singing SO LOUD and SO PASSIONATELY that the crowd around has to SHHH them…actually SHHH them! How loud and how bad would it have to be!?!
Undaunted by the Silencers of Desire, Bartimaeus only gets louder…and it works. His undignified desire got the attention of Jesus and Jesus called him over.

Jesus asks him the question that is at the heart of all true Desire – “What do you want me to do for you?”
In other words…”What do you REALLY want?”

Bartimaeus’ desire was simple – To See.

But what about YOU? How would you answer that question? What do you REALLY want? What do you Desire?
– Comfort
– A life of minimal Pain and Loss
– To be Married
– To be a Parent
– To have Perfect Kids
– To be Validated
– To be Famous
– To be Happy

One of my desires is Recognition. I desire to be known, respected, and well thought of by the people I know, respect, and think well of. If I’m honest, I want people to know who I am and think that what I’m doing is important.

None of these desires are inherently bad in and of themselves.  They are where we start. The problem is that so often…they are where we get stuck. They become all that we see, until we, like Bartimaues, are blinded by them.

When I am able to be truly honest, what I WANT to want…is Jesus. Beneath all the top soil layers of Desire. Beneath the hard packed dirt of Desires. Somewhere down in the white hot core of my Soul…He is what I REALLY want. Above all else and beneath all my other desires, I want Jesus.
And so the work for me is to dig up and name the layers upon layers of desire that I have laid the foundations of my life on. To bring each and every desire to Jesus and ask Him to not only heal them, but to allow me to see Him. My job is to do what Psalm 37:4 says, to make Delighting in God my number one Desire…and trust Him to give me right desires…real desires that come from Him and ultimately…always…lead back to Him.
I may not be able to say that Jesus is ALL that I want in any given moment, but I can, in this moment, declare that I WANT to want Him. I desire for Him to be all that I desire. And that sounds like a good place to start.

Does that make sense? I wonder if you can relate. Do you, like me, have some diggin to do through your Desires?

If so, here’s a couple of honest questions…

– What do you REALLY want from Jesus? If you were to be really honest….what is it?

– What would it mean for you to loose your junk like Batimaeus and scream out for Jesus to give you that Desire?

– Who are “Crowds” (either literally or figuratively) that try to silence your desires?

– If it is difficult for you to honestly Desire God right now, would you be willing to pray this simple prayer – “I want to want you, Jesus”?


I’d love to hear where you land with all of this and where it lands with you.
You can leave comments, reflections, and confessions below.

  • Heather says:

    What I really want from JESUS is to have a heart of compassion for people like HE does. To truly SEE people as HE SEES them. To forgive quickly, and to be difficult to offend. This past weekend at our church the question was asked “have you ever thought about every person you’ve ever seen, GOD deeply loves them?” ~ Keith Robinson

    I can honestly say in my 11 year walk with HIM I never once considered that. I need, desire, want JESUS in every single step i take of this journey I am on called “life. “

    • Thank you for your honesty, Heather.
      I’m with you. I get so caught up in me and my desires, that I miss that God desires for the world to know of His love for them…through me.
      Good stuff.

  • Tami Inoue says:

    I’m not sure why but when I started reading this, I could feel my heart beating a little faster…that nervous faster where I kind of didn’t want to finish reading this (you asked for honest responses, right? :)). So I asked myself, why does this topic of desire, like you said, make me really uncomfortable? The truth is, Jarrett, I’m so afraid He can’t or won’t “deliver” on desires that I want so I set low expectations or ask for general things so I’m not setting myself up for dissapointment. I think resolving dissapointment with God is the hardest of all. But when reading this, I had to think, I probably don’t want what I think I want…I think I want specific and tangible things and people in my life…comfort, ease, relationships. But really, it’s what I want to feel when I have those things, affirmed, purpose, love…so thanks for this. I want to see how He sees, because I think if I saw what He knew, I’d choose exactly what He gives and doesn’t give. So as un-romanticized as that response sounds, I want to be able to see as He sees and love who He loves. I have a feeling that on that, He’d deliver ever time. 🙂 Thanks for the post! Sorry for the novel in response.

    • Wow. Tami. So honest. So real.
      I TOTALLY get it. I regularly try and “let God off the hook” but settling for so many lesser things.
      But really all that is is another form of self protection.

      Thank you for the novel. It was a fun and honest read 🙂

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