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And He said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.”

Luke 15:11-12

It is a human trait to want, to desire. Desire is defined as a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. This sense of wanting is what drives us as humans—this perpetual need to have more and our constant dissatisfaction with what we already have attained. Two types of humans: the older brother who suppresses the want, ignores the desire for more and the younger brother who asks for what he wants before he’s meant to have it. Both dealings with human want fall short of the Father’s heart for their desires. The Father in His grace offers the older brother something He doesn’t ask for—but at the same time freely gives the younger what he wants even though it won’t really be beneficial for him.

Our want, if suppressed, causes legalism. A bound up, chained up life full of regret and judgment of others. Our want, if given in to for selfish gain, causes antinomianism, or lawless living. A destructive pattern of living that will leave us more empty than how we felt before getting what we thought we wanted.

Which category of human do we fit into? Are we pushing down desire in the wrong way, hoping that God the Father is pleased with us? Do we believe that somehow we are more righteous by our oppression of desires? Or are we taking what we have been given and freely spending it on ourselves—with no regard for the One who gave us our breath, intellect, emotions and desires in the first place?

Both miss the mark. Both have misunderstood who is freely dividing up his property and giving it to the two brothers. Both have misplaced their want.

This want or desire is in every human. It is not something we develop, but it is there from birth: from day one, we want. Either this life is a long curse or an eternal gift—which is it? It is not that every getting of our desire is negative. But if the first purpose is unmet—why desire is in us as humans—then all other desires have the potential to bind us up or tear us apart.

What the two brothers were going to discover, each in their own way, is why this want was originally placed in us.

I pray we rediscover why we want so much and why we suppress this want. Let’s ask the Father by His Spirit to redirect our want so it doesn’t destroy us but truly fulfills us.

// Pastor Josh Kelsey