Self desire vs. God's desire are they aligned toward the same goals?


More times than not we will follow after that which we desire. It may be best to bring into our consciousness the goodness of God each day and see how it is helpful, beneficial, and rewarding so we may desire it. This means we begin each day with prayer to help set our hearts and minds upon God thus seeking to fulfill the great commandment, not as a duty, but an opportunity.

Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering you didn’t desire.
    You have opened my ears.
    You have not required burnt offering and sin offering. WEB

Matthew 9:13  But you go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’[a] for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” WEB

Matthew 12:7  But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’[a] you would not have condemned the guiltless. WEB

Psalm 107:30 Then they are glad because it is calm,
    so he brings them to their desired haven. WEB

Psalm 145:19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear him.
    He also will hear their cry, and will save them. WEB

Proverbs 10:24 What the wicked fear, will overtake them,
    but the desire of the righteous will be granted. WEB

Proverbs 11:23 The desire of the righteous is only good.
    The expectation of the wicked is wrath. WEB

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing,
    but the desire of the diligent shall be fully satisfied. WEB

Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but when longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. WEB

Proverbs 18:1 An unfriendly man pursues selfishness,
    and defies all sound judgment. WEB

Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the sluggard kills him,
    for his hands refuse to labor. WEB

Proverbs 23:3 Don’t be desirous of his dainties,
    since they are deceitful food. WEB

Proverbs 24:1 Don’t be envious of evil men;
    neither desire to be with them: WEB

Isaiah 1:29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which you have desired,
    and you shall be confounded for the gardens that you have chosen. WEB

Isaiah 26:9 With my soul have I desired you in the night. Yes, with my spirit within me will I seek you earnestly; for when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. WEB

Ezekiel 11:21 But as for them whose heart walks after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their way on their own heads, says the Lord Yahweh. WEB

Matthew 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it. WEB

Matthew 20:27  Whoever desires to be first among you shall be your bondservant, WEB

Mark 4:19 and the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. WEB

Mark 9:35 He sat down, and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any man wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.” WEB

Prayer of repentance psalm 51

Psalm 51:6
Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts.
    You teach me wisdom in the inmost place. WEB

Powerless is a widely used term within 12 step programs. The main focus of the first step is to admit we are powerless. Yet it is often misunderstood. When we think of powerless we might envision someone without self-control, strength, or intelligence. This is not the case. Instead, we have applied our self-control, strength, and intelligence toward sinful, selfish, and destructive desires. The idea behind accepting that we are powerless is to open our minds toward a new way of life, God’s way. We admit that our way of doing things is not the best. We become willing to try new things, get out of ourselves, and seek God. The idea behind admitting powerlessness is understanding our maladjusted methods toward life fall short of God's design. God has better ideas for us, but our dependency on our maladjusted methods make us powerless. When we rely upon our self-knowledge instead of God we become stuck. We are instructed to deny ourselves, the part that relies on the world and selfishness, through God's grace of humility. 

Luke 1:52 He has put down princes from their thrones. And has exalted the lowly. WEB
Mark 9:35 He sat down, and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any man wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.” WEB
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you. WEB

We must humble ourselves to rely more and more upon God. Some other words frequently used in the bible are: follow, serve, obey, trust, believe, seek, listen, wait, worship, and fear (reverent). Read all about it here

Luke 4:6The devil said to him, “I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me; and I give it to whomever I want. 7 If you therefore will worship before me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered him, “Get behind me Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’” WEB

Temptations are all around misinforming us about success and happiness. We can get so caught up in our own wants and expectations that we forget we are to choose to be God’s servants. Life as a servant of God is choosing to rid ourselves of our selfish attitude. Our will is to align with God’s righteousness. We are to want Godly character. With a focus based on selfish desires we can get upset when things do not go our way. We might argue, criticize, blame, and create a separation from others. This distancing contradicts our call toward love, forgiveness, mercy, and peace. God is not to serve us, we are to serve God. Our thinking can be beneficial through seeking how to daily grow with God.

We forget the serious limitations of our self-knowledge and personal understanding. When things go wrong it is us that are wrong, not God. Our attitudes and beliefs fall short of God’s plan because we are not obeying God’s instruction. Historically the majority of man including God’s most dedicated followers became hardened and rebellious serving selfishness and pride. Are we really so much different?

How do we understand right and wrong? Is pain and happiness our indicators of right and wrong? Is God only present with us when we feel good? Often times our suffering is provided to produce strength and Godly character. Difficulties can create bonding and build relationships. Challenges bring people together more often than good fortune. Hurt can bond people together. Growth toward God requires a dying to our selfishness. We must be willing to let go of our personal agenda that does not fit with God which can be difficult and uncomfortable. The discomfort in letting go of undesirable character creates room for new Godly character... "let go, let God."

When is the last time we took a long hard look in the mirror to find our own flaws and misguided thinking? It’s there, isn’t it? We all understand that we sin, but how much effort do we apply to correcting our thinking and attitude with Godly character? No effort = no change. The spirit of God can help us, but we must listen and act on what it says.

James 1:22-24 But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. WEB

2 Corinthians 10:2-6 Yes, I beg you that I may not, when present, show courage with the confidence with which I intend to be bold against some, who consider us to be walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we don’t wage war according to the flesh; 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, 5 throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; 6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience will be made full.

Regular practice of studying the bible, listening to the Spirit, and interpersonal dialogue about growth in Godly character could be the best method of finding and developing spiritual truth provided we continually seek improved adherence to God's commands. We go to the word with our own understanding, compare that with others understandings, listen to the Spirit, evaluate our experience in putting it into practice, and make corrections.

Effort, diligence, struggle, suffering, perseverance, strength, endurance
We are called into this character to grow and learn about God. It is our own thinking which betrays us. Our own rationalization and manipulating thoughts convince us into fulfilling selfish desires. What valid reason could there be to condone continuing our slavery to sin. We do not have to be perfect, but ought to be progressing toward perfection as Christ exemplified. We ought to feel suffering and joy in the process of growing with God, but we must first take the initial steps to resist the evil temptation which often blocks us.

Romans 12:10-1210 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

Powerlessness is the admission that our understanding is incorrect. We have so much to learn about God and God is right here with us right now urging us to pay attention to our heart, soul, and spirit. We often enjoy intelligence, but God speaks to us in love. We desire pride, but God teaches those who are humble. God’s grace comes in the form of mercy and forgiveness, but we often stand in judgement, pointing out wrongs, and creating distance. We seek an attitude which contradicts God. We follow something not of God and we could benefit from repentance. The first move toward that repentance is to admit there is something wrong with our thinking and beliefs. In order to change we must accept responsibility for our own condition. We ought to put into regular practice guarding and filtering our own thinking.

Becoming a servant of God is to become more obedient to God’s character. We won’t get very far if we procrastinate. God must become a regular part of our awareness. Asking ourselves “how can I serve you God” or “God please help me grow in your compassion and patience” multiple times each day throughout the day can help keep us get on track.

 We are to grow and increase in God as we seek out ways to increase our understanding about God. We can sense a new identity over time as our thoughts, attitude and behavior aligns with God's character. Feeling confused, humbled, weak, and uncertain can mean that we are giving up our self-reliance and practicing new methods of God reliance. Practicing new thoughts and actions unfamiliar to us can present a sense of uncertainty and unfamiliarity. Through practice and experience we will increase in our faith and knowledge of God. As this new way of life fills us our confidence can become more solid then we could have ever thought possible. Our confidence will become reliant upon God.

Our new way of life shaping us in truth, sincerity, justice, love, and gentleness can continue to grow provided we persevere with endurance. At first this new character is like a new tree with shallow roots and is easily knocked over, but over time those roots can grow to make that tree more solid. New knowledge with repeated experience provides evidence which strengthens our understanding, beliefs, and faith. Yet we cannot acquire any new knowledge until we become ready to let go of our limited understanding and let new Godly experiences reshape our faith.

Philippians 4:7 the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
Proverbs 15:32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
Proverbs 23:4 Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!
Luke 24:45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Ephesians 4:17-19 The New Man
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Romans 5:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.