2 Peter 2:9-18
God warns us against misguided desires, because sinful passions can lead to emptiness, suffering, disappointment, pain, and even death. Wise believers let the Father direct their yearnings--and then make changes if necessary.
Impure desires have been part of the "flesh" nature since the fall of man, and they can be hard to see in ourselves. Instead of obvious things like theft, drugs, or immorality, they often involve more subtle attitudes and behaviors, like hoping for a rival's downfall, despising authority (2 Peter 2:10), obsessing about wealth (1 Tim. 6:9), or even speaking arrogant and vain words. Since worldly passions can cause great damage (2 Peter 2:18), believers are to deny them (Titus 2:11-12). But we can't overcome these desires on our own. Submitting to God's Spirit is the only way to live righteously.
The Lord knows what we really desire--and more importantly, what we need--even when cloudy judgment leads us astray. And He understands honest mistakes. When a believer misinterprets the Spirit's guidance or receives bad advice from a friend, God looks at the heart. He may allow the consequences of a poor choice to play out, but He won't shame His children for an honest mistake. He can turn a bad situation into something good (Rom. 8:28).
God can save us from worldly desires, but we must be willing to commit ourselves to Him and trust that His response is the best thing for us. When we put our lives entirely in the Father's hands, we can claim the wonderful promises He has for us and then rest in His grace.