In 1991, our church was desiring to build a new sanctuary. The existing structure was no longer sufficient. The roof and walls were beginning to sag and the only real solution was to build. We had talked about building a new sanctuary for years. There were some who felt renovation was a better option. Some were fearful about our ability to pay the mortgage. Others felt we did not have the numerical strength to be successful. We decided to push forward with our plans although we still had some in the congregation who had mixed emotions, lingering fears and doubts.
However, I could not wait for the bulldozer to plow into that old building. Inwardly, I rejoiced as I watched the bulldozer demolish that edifice. I knew that once the land was cleared and all that was left was an empty lot,there would be no turning back – the congregation would be united in its resolve to build the new sanctuary. As the bulldozer trashed the old sanctuary to smithereens, I said to myself,“Now we are all on the same page.” Destroying the old church intensified our shaky desire to a red-hot,“burning desire.”
The difference between desire and a burning desire is whether or not you have burned the bridge behind you. A burning desire means you have demolished your backup option and the only solution is to move forward. Our desire burns like an inferno in that moment.
Proverbs 13:12 states, “When desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Everyone has desires that lie hidden within our hearts. Our desires are the rich, fertile ground that produces life or death, poverty or wealth, reduced capacity or explosive creativity. Solomon was so profound when he stated that our desires produce a tree of life.
However, we cannot leave our desires unexamined. Examining our passion takes us back to the starting point. It takes us back to the “why” question. We ask ourselves probing questions, like “What was it I originally wanted to do?”
Faith always connects to desire and takes over where desire leaves off. Desire and faith go together like white on rice. Rarely does anyone receive anything by faith when it is not a burning passion. God knows the issues of our hearts. Do you really want it, and are you willing to pay the price to have it?
Napoleon Hill said, “There is a difference between wishing for a thing and being ready to receive it. No one is ready for a thing, until he believes he can acquire it. The state of mind must be belief, not mere hope or wish.”
Desire stirs our imagination and creates mental pictures. You can “program” your desires by speaking to yourself. Thoughts are definite things that always produce results. Thoughts mixed with emotion are the influencers that drive us. Whatever I feel the deepest and replay the most in my head will drive me.I increase or decrease my capacity by the thoughts that I allow in my head. “As a man thinketh, so is he.”
My desires will generate additional negative or positive thoughts. It won’t be long before similar thoughts are connected to the original one that was accepted. We can control our thinking and are mandated to do so. The thoughts that generate our deepest emotions will eventually be manifested in our outward reality.
Napoleon Hill also said, “Remember, no more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty.”
How big is your want to? God will keep putting opportunities in front of us until we are captivated by desire. Paul the Apostle said, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12 NIV). Our greatest opportunity is the one that is right in front of us.
Failure cannot be the endpoint, but the knowledge that you will gain in the process of doing what you are doing. It is in the doing that our capacity increases. When not failing is your goal, you will probably fail. Make each experience a learning and growing opportunity that inflames your desire for the tree of life that you really want to produce.
Big dreams move us from little thinking.In his poem, Thinking, Walter Wintle wrote:
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost a cinch that you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost;
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can!