Topical Studies: Desire Verse Intention
The Church is in the middle of a season of deep, relational connections being established with one another, a time of healing, and a time of refinement. These are some of the main war-room plans Father is showing us for this season in America. There is tremendous grace being poured out upon us to flow with the Spirit of Christ to bring healing, soundness of mind, and above all a transformation of our belief systems. There is a special window of time in this hour for this.
The main point I want to encourage us all in is the aspect of our belief system. In short, we are being called to reject the lies that our worth comes from this realm. We are being called to walk in kingdom identity. This releases greater intimacy and authority to bring to pass on the Earth was is on Father’s heart.
Two Belief Systems are in play in this generation
Worldly Belief System (est. circa Garden of Eden). This is a very polite, unobtrusive term to use when we don’t want to use the word demonic or “the god of this world.” This system says we are only as valuable as the world-system says we are. There is a cost that comes with finding validation from others and from our own accomplishments. When we sow to this belief system we reap fear of rejection, fear of failure and shame. We also have the opportunity to reap by the sweat of our own brow, fame, wealth and recognition in the sight of man. It is what satan offered Adam; it is what satan offered Jesus.
Kingdom Belief System (given back to man circa 2,000 years ago). This system, given to us by the accomplished work of the Atonement states we are forever loved and blameless. There is also a cost that comes with this system. It is initially very painful to begin rejecting the old ways of finding validation and love. Especially when we have not yet tapped into the experiential reality of the Lord’s intense love and acceptance of us. This system governs our way of life and we embrace what Father says about us. There is discomfort felt and courage needed to overcome the fear of man, the uncertainty of trusting God with all our heart and counting all thing as loss for Christ. There is also a major time investment and a structured discipline needed to take every thought and emotion captive that daily interactions with people bring up. We must examine the motives of our own heart. It is hard work!
Consider though, what this might look like: peace that never fails; perceiving the realm of the kingdom all around us; perceiving the love of Christ wrapping us like a swaddling cloth 24/7; the nature and expression of Holy Spirit flowing in and through us continually; hearing Father’s voice without the distortion that comes from anger, fear, anxiety, or the desire for validation (a major stumbling block in the prophetic office that is crippling the Church) and an ever-increasing sphere of influence and favor that allows one to minister the kingdom wherever one’s feet trod. (Josh 1:9, Gal 5:22-23, Phil 4:7, 2 Pet 1:19, Acts 17:28 and 1 Cor 13 to cite a few of the blessing of living in and with Jesus in regard to our self-worth).
Please take a moment and let that sink in. What might that actually look like as a day-to-day reality? Now, let’s talk specifics.
One of the most significant stumbling blocks the body of Christ has in this generation has come from confusing desire with intention.
- Desire: a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.
- Intention: a thing intended; an aim or plan.
“Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue…” John 12:42
Here we see an example of individuals who had a desire- a longing for Jesus, but were unwilling to take certain actions. they had NO intention of doing anything about their desire.
“…for they loved human praise more than praise from God.” (v. 43) And here we see the root cause for that unwillingness. Fear of man; fear of rejection. There is actually a vast expanse between Desire and intention.
That expanse is called “the wilderness.”
Those people reaped the cost of that decision. Scripture is loaded with examples meant to help motivate us to have the intention of casting down the lie that our self-worth can be added to, or diminished.
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Prov 29:25
“Yes, and amen Yes, and amen!” we say. The word of God says we are fully pleasing, without blemish and are clothed in Jesus’ righteousness.
But… what are we truly doing with this reality?
We all have a desire to feel His love more deeply. We corporately agree we want “more of God,” right? There is no lack of desire. But, here is where we have failed to teach and instruct the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven. We have removed admonishment to work or contend for the desires of our heart. We have been lulled into being passive recipients and have changed the role of the Holy Spirit from Co-laborer to the One who we expect to do everything without our partnership.
As a result, I am seeing more and more brothers and sisters who are confused, angry and wandering in their spiritual walk. Sullen and depressed, we are waiting for something to break, clinging to simple exhortations to “hang in there.”
But our Lord’s Words give us the keys to get out of the fear and bondage of man and the uncertainty of this world. It looks like this: Desire gives birth to intention and intention gives birth to action.
“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14
I am often asked where in scripture we can easily find examples of positional and relational righteousness. The above verse is one of my favorites. We are made forever holy in Father’s eyes… and now we can enjoy the process of transformation into His image… if we allow it.
The process of transformation begins with desire and ends with action.
The bridge is intention.
Are we actually willing to do something about the whole thing? Are we willing to take the longing of our heart and put work into it? That decision is where intention resides. Desire is seated in the emotions of the soul. Intention is seated in the will of the soul. For a great many of us, we have no intention of actually doing anything about the Kingdom realities we have been given access to walk in. We choose instead to suffer in the wilderness.
It requires action. That action begins with our thought life. We must take our thoughts, examine them against what God’s word says about who we are in Christ.. And then actually apply it.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Rom 12:2
“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” Prov 23:7
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10:5
Family, if we do not work to change how we choose to think toward God, others, and above all, what we truly think about ourselves, we will never enter into the Sabbath rest of intimacy in Christ. These are not my words, but God’s words.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind…” James 1:6
That greek word ‘diakrinó” translated in English as doubt is a terrible translation. It actually means: “I separate, distinguish, discern one thing from another; properly, investigate (judge) thoroughly.” In other words, it means to contend and argue with God.
“That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” v7
If we do not apply the truth, it is faith without works. Dead; useless to us, and will not transform our soul. Our soul (mind, will, emotions) determines what aspects of the Kingdom within our spirit we will walk in, because it is our soul that is the gatekeeper to the realm of the spirit.
The next time we feel fear or shame, stop and ask yourself: “What am I believing about this situation right now?”
Examine your emotions. They are the indicators to what we are believing at that moment in time.
- “Why did I experience anger in response to ________?”
- Why did I get embarrassed at _______?”
- “Why am I hesitant to pray for a stranger?”
We so very quickly confess scriptures to one another. But, all of these are signs that our soul is not really living the Truth that our self-worth is in Christ alone, and that His unconditional love is our sole source of worth. Guys, there is not way around this. To be certain, it is work to stop and speak His words over ourselves, and confess:
“I am feeling fear at this very moment because I am choosing to believe the lie my identity is not rooted in Father-God’s love. At this very moment in time, I am believing the lie my worth is tied to what this person thinks of me. I reject that lie! I declare your word is what I will choose to live by, Father!”
Brothers and sisters, if this sounds foreign, it just means we need to be more deliberate with the fuller kingdom reality when Jesus declared we are holy, blameless and above reproach in His sight. (scriptures here)
Let’s Knuckle down and decide to put action behind the desires of our heart. The wilderness has its place. It is meant to transform us. We must be willing to do our part. Fear will get replaced by Love.
“After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Gen 15:1
Family, the cost truly is not greater than the blessing.