Read Galatians 5:16-17
16 So I say,let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil,which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other,so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. (NLT)
There are passages of Scripture which suggest God will grant us the desires of our hearts. We dare not take these literally! That would be to assume that all our desires are good and godly desires. It would be to assume that even if our desires are harmful and God-denying that God will still grant them. It assumes the ultimate primacy of our immediate desires.
The assumption behind such passages is that God is directing the desires of our hearts so that they reflect his heart and mind. Our present text reminds us that this is not always so. A battle is being fought within us between that part of us that wants to assert our own interests and that which seeks to be dependent on God’s ways.
So how do we discern what is and is not a ‘good’ desire? Only by ruthlessly honest prayer and perhaps some appropriate wise counsel. Only by measuring all such desires against what we clearly understand of God from the Bible. We dare not equate each desire with the prompting of God. On the other hand we dare not dismiss our desires as merely human promptings. God is able to give us good desires and grant them just as the evil one is able to plant the wrong sorts of desires in us.
Pray that we will desire the right desires.