Desire of God grows in one when worldly desire decays.
- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
- 1 John 2.15
By "worldly desire" Colman did not mean "living in the world." We must all live in the world, make our way in the world, and try to make this world a better place, radiant with the glory of God.
God loves the world (Jn. 3.16), and so must we. But we must guard against "worldly desire." Colman, following John, opposes "worldly desire" to "desire of God." In God we find all wisdom, knowledge, joy, and holy pleasure. In God all meaning and fulfillment are lodged. In God our own identities are confirmed, enlarged, renewed, and transformed. In God is all our rest, all our provision, all our hope, and all our true and pure delight.
We must not seek such things from the world, for if we do, we shall not be able to find them in God. Which means we will not be able to find them at all. Worldly desires allure, but they always disappoint. The desire of God is harder to nurture, sustain, and pursue, but it yields more satisfying and lasting rewards.
What do your time and attention reveal about what you most desire? Is it the Lord and His glory that fills your mind and your waking moments? Or is it the preoccupations and diversions of our sensual and materialistic age? Do you find, in the midst of each day's busyness, that your thoughts and longings linger around the Lord and His good and perfect will? Or does He scarcely cross your mind as you ply your trade and plod through your schedule?
Try this: For one day, carry a 3x5 card with you. On one side, write the questions in the previous paragraph. On the other, keep track of all your activities in 30-minute segments. At the end of each activity take a moment and render an assessment of the extent to which you were conscious of desiring God in the preceding activity, whatever it may have been (rate yourself 1 to 10, where 10 is the highest). At the end of the day, reflect on your day in the light of the questions in the previous paragraph, and commit yourself to desiring the Lord more throughout the next day.
Would you desire God more? Then make more time for Him, and less for the desire of this worldly life. You need not abandon living in the world in order to desire God. Rather, by giving more time and attention to desiring God, you will enrich your lawful activities and appointed duties in this world. But these will not be the source of your joy and pleasure.
That will come from Him Whom you desire - in all things, through all things, at all times, for all the time of your life.
For to know Him is life eternal. And desiring Him is the starting-point to knowing Him.
Again, Susie and I want to thank those of you who share with us in this ministry through your gifts. You can support our work in prayer and by clicking the donate button here or at the website. Or you may send your gifts to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 100 Lamplighter Ct., Hamilton, VA 20158. And if you're in the neighborhood, stop by to see us.