In HOPE
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David Timms 

Issue 5.18

See you in August

I'll be away from the University for the month of July and look forward to rejoining you in August. May this next month be filled with faith, hope, and love for each of you. Blessings ... David. 

HOPE Happenings

The University continues to forge strategic partnerships with other training organizations. We are hopeful of working even more closely with Stadia: New Church Strategies, perhaps offering credit for people who undergo  s church planting labs. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too!

I Am What I Want

Thomas Merton once wrote: "Life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire."

 

As human beings, we differ substantially from the inanimate objects of our everyday world. Unlike our cars, furniture, and kitchen utensils, our lives are constantly morphing into new shapes. We are forever "becoming." 

 

And Merton is surely correct. We "become" what we desire.

 

Our desires tend to be extremely diverse, and change with time. For a time we desire marriage and children, then we long for financial success and security, or we want to own a home, or we wish for success as a leader. W hatever desire drives us most in a given season, determines the shape of our lives at that time. We are the ultimate chameleons.

 

Think of the man consumed with sexual desires and how it affects his lifestyle, his relationships, his conversation ... him. Or the person whose burning desire is a marriage partner, and how it affects their judgement, their settledness ... them. Or the desire for success and how it affects our decisions, our time-management, our families ... us.

 

As each desire takes hold of us, we find ourselves transformed. Our challenge is to distill those desires into a single one - the desire for God. 

 

God created us with desires - especially the desire for Him. We may not have drilled down that deeply, but it's true. All other dominating desires reflect distorted ways by which we seek to complete what only He can fulfill. 

 

The desire for intimacy with another person in marriage is a reflection of our desire for intimacy with God. Our desire for respect from others can only be satisfied by the full acceptance we experience from the Father. The desire for achievement is usually attached to significance or security, both of which are found most perfectly in Christ.

 

Our pursuit of seasonal desires distracts us from the pursuit of God.

 

Psalm 73 opens up the third book of the Psalms and Asaph writes: "Apart from You, O Lord, I desire nothing on earth" (v.25b). Surely this defines what he means by "pure in heart" (v.1). Purity of heart is not necessarily a moral issue, but one of singular and pre-eminent desire for God.

 

Similarly, and much later, Jesus says "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matt 5.8). Again, the text probably revolves less around moral purity and more around a single, unadulterated desire for God.

 

This focused desire is modeled by the Apostle Paul when he gladly discards everything he has desired in the past, so as to pursue wholeheartedly the one desire of his present - "to know Christ Jesus" (Phil 3.8ff). 

 

I may not always get what I want, but I will always become what I want. Merton was right.

 

What do you want most right now?

 

"Lord, purify my desire to want You above all else."

 

In  HOPE -

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/