The following is a guest blog post from Chris Mars who by day is a High School Learning Specialist in Colorado, and who regularly staffs our Restoring Freedom Intensive. Read more from Chris or contact him through his blog Sex Addiction SOS.
A few years ago Gatorade ran a commercial showing a bunch of sweaty, exhausted-looking people doing a variety of intense, athletic activities. Then suddenly the picture would cut to these athletes taking a break, chugging a bottle of Gatorade, with an off-camera voice commandingly intoning, “Obey your thirst!”
We all know that, truly, your thirst must indeed be “obeyed”. You’ll die in about three days without water. Gatorade is a different matter.
Our Hearts Are Thirsty
What about obeying the “thirst” inside your heart? People addicted to porn and lust often come to believe two crucial lies. The first is something like this: “The problem is that I’m a pervert. I just need to stop lusting and start obeying God.” The second goes like this: “I can’t help it. I just have excessive sexual desires, and I’ll die if I don’t get them met somehow.”
The crux of the problem is that the sex addict misunderstands his “thirst”, the desires within his heart. Either he thinks they are bad and must be snuffed out, or he thinks they are fundamentally sexual, and must be satisfied.
In his book, Desire, John Eldredge makes the case that in order to recover your heart (and truly experience the “abundant life” Jesus promises), you must come to grip with your desires, with what your heart longs for. And oh, my friend, it most certainly longs for something.
Our Thirsts Matter To God
Again and again in the Gospels we see Jesus asking people what they want. We see, too, Him inviting those who “hunger” and “thirst” to go to Him. So obviously our desires matter to God. They seem to be crucial if we are to truly experience and encounter God.
So, what do you want? You cannot deny that you want something. If you don’t want anything, you may already be dead. On the other hand, if you are aware you want something and think your deepest desire is for sex and sexual ecstasy, you’ve been lied to.
God infused your DNA with a desire for Him, for connection. Not to behave yourself, not for more Biblical knowledge (per se), and not for Christian principles.
God infused your heart with desire for relationship with Him, first and foremost, and for connection with others.
We need connection with God, continually. This is a huge part of Soul Care. We also may need for Him to reveal to us our true desires. They’re there. Will you ask Him to do this, and keep asking until you get an answer?
Our Father desires to give us a loaf of bread, not a snake or a stone. Keep asking Him.
Question: Have you ever considered that your thirsts and desires matter to God?