Deep Personal Desires

Since we are both intuitive types, we do not decide things as much as we gravitate toward them. This is not very theological language, I know, but on the subject of divine guidance I side with Susan B. Anthony. “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do,” she once said, “because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” Having been somewhat of an expert on the sanctification of my own desires, I try not to pin them on God anymore. At the same time, I recognize the enormous energy in them, which strikes me as something God might be able to use.

When I read the stories in the Bible about people such as Sarah, Jacob, or David, what stands out is not their virtue but their very strong wants. Sarah wanted her son to prevail over Hagar’s son, Jacob wanted his older brother’s blessing, and David wanted Bathsheba. While these cravings clearly brought them all kinds of well-deserved trouble, they also kept these characters very, very alive. Their desires propelled them in ways God could use, better than God could use those who never colored outside the lines. Based on their example, I decided to take responsibility for what I wanted and to trust God to take it from there.

–Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith

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1 Comment

Filed under Books, Ministry, This Is Good

One response to “Deep Personal Desires

  1. See also:

    “You know you’ve made God in your own image when he hates the same people you do.”
    – Anne Lamott

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