Desire Begets Will

man and woman sitting on chairs

Imagine a young boy in middle school who notices the girl he sits behind in his math class. Each day he enjoys how she holds her pen, the lilt in her voice, and how, during class, she changes the way she wears her hair. He’s becoming attracted to her. A desire to know her grows until he finally gains the courage to ask if he can sit with her during lunch. Desire begets will, not the other way around.

We see this law of desire begetting will in the one true God. 

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. – Psalm 115:3 

Desire is powerful

As we’ve seen, desire is the genesis of will. All of Creation exists to fulfill God’s desire. “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) God’s creation is beyond our comprehension; desire is powerful. When we turn our attention to humanity, we see companies valued at a trillion dollars birthed from the desire of one or two people. In history, we see the conquering of nations and the creation of empires birthed from one person’s desire. We find incredible medical breakthroughs birthed from one person’s desire.

So far, we haven’t given due consideration to what births desire. Let’s consider 2 Timothy 1:9

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began 

If we dare to look within ourselves, we see some righteous and some sinful fruits of our desires. For Christians, we correctly identify God-given desire for us as a holy calling. If we speak with a missionary, we will soon hear about their calling, their God-given desire. The same is true with vocations; teachers desired to teach, farmers desired to farm, software programmers desired to program. Desires can give birth to powerful wills; a will to pull yourself out of poverty, a will to earn a doctoral degree, a will to build a business. The will of a person often influences that person’s whole life. Desire begets will. 

Temptation can birth desire

Just as God’s call will birth a desire in us that births a will to serve Him, temptations can birth desires. Desire can be holy, or it can be evil. Whatever desires we feed; those are the desires that birth our strongest wills. When we go to our favorite news site, we often read headlines about people that have committed horrific crimes.

A person doesn’t accidentally cut another person’s heart out. That’s the action of a will birthed from a desire birthed from a worldly temptation. A pastor having an affair with the church secretary doesn’t just accidentally happen. That action is an act of the pastor’s will birthed from a sinful desire that started as a temptation. Temptation can beget desire, but it doesn’t have to. 1 Corinthians 10:13 is a promise from God to give us an escape from temptation if we choose to use it. If not, well, desire begets will.

Our will is our engine for action.

God understands the power of desire, more so than us. The danger to us of carnal desires is great. This danger is why God has given us so many warnings to be cautious about what we think about. An excellent tool for us is found in Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

When we desire the Father’s will (Thy will be doneMt. 6:10), when we listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice within us, and when we work to accomplish the work Jesus our Lord gives us, then we can quash temptations before they beget desires. After all, our will is our engine for action and desire begets will. 

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