By Charles Stanley , Christian Post Contributor
July 21, 2014|7:44 am

Psalm 145:18-21

Dr. Charles F. Stanley(Photo: In Touch Ministries)Dr. Charles F. Stanley (File).

Believers can have wrong desires. In fact, if we work hard enough—by pressing ahead of divine timing, manipulating our circumstances, and even acting dishonestly—we may be able to make those wishes reality. But anything gained apart from God will prove to be empty and disappointing.

Having desires is good—goals drive us and set the direction for our life. But we want our objectives to match the ones God has for us. Longings contrary to His purposes have the power to corrupt the body, mind, or spirit and can also cause believers to fall into temptation (2 Pet. 2:9-10 ; 1 Tim. 6:9).

How can we be sure our desires are right? A godly ambition is usually specific and fixed, and it will stand up to evaluation through prayer and Bible study. In contrast, a wrong desire fails to meet these criteria. For instance, some people have only a vague sense of what they want from life. Or their yearning changes easily as circumstances shift or time passes. Most dangerous is that goal which is pursued despite its incompatibility with a righteous lifestyle. In such cases, the believer has neglected to consider two vital questions: Does God want this for me? and Can I follow Christ and this objective at the same time?

Many of the things we desire are not specifically addressed in Scripture as "thou shalt" or "thou shalt not." That is why God has given us access to the Holy Spirit's wisdom and discernment. We must prayerfully evaluate our longings to ensure we are within the Lord's will and pursuing His purpose for our life.

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