© Copyright 2011–Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant
All rights reserved. This book is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. This book may not be copied or reprinted for commercial gain or profit. The use of short quotations or occasional page copying for personal or group study is permitted and encouraged. Permission will be granted upon request. Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked KJV are taken from the King James Version. Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please note that Destiny Image’s publishing style capitalizes certain pronouns in Scripture that refer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and may differ from some publishers’ styles. Take note that the name satan and related names are not capitalized. We choose not to acknowledge him, even to the point of violating grammatical rules.
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I dedicate this book to my daughters: Topaz, Naomi, Grace, Angel, and Adore. My desire for you is God-prepared men who are better than your dad.
Dr. Bryant gives the readers permission to have desires, yet gives them the key to not allowing their desires to have them by offering solutions which empower the reader to focus their inner promptings toward permanent victory and blessing. This is a must read for those who want to transform their longings into all that God wants them to be.
MICHELLE MCKINNEY HAMMOND
Author, Why Do I Say Yes When I Need To Say No?
This book, World War Me takes responsibility for its author’s weakness while reminding us that satan seeks each of our demise. It gives distinction between weakness and wickedness which is often sutured together as one reality in the minds of people.
Bishop T.D. Jakes SR.
Potter’s House of Dallas
Dr. Bryant’s book helped me realize that life is not a game, it’s a battle zone! Every man who is serious about living will come to the conclusion that you can still make the touchdown after you’ve been tackled by life. This is a must have playbook for making better decisions
Retired NFL Player/
NFL Network Sports Analyst
The issue of desire is something seldom explored in church, yet it remains the elephant in the room for most believers. The struggle between the flesh and the spirit, the war between the pull of the world and the still, small voice of God, tears at the heart and mind of most who are striving to be all that God created them to be. Desire is good, but it can also be bad! For many, knowing how to lift and separate personal longing from divine inspiration can be a daunting task. We vacillate between pondering what Jesus would do while still making impulsive, bad choices with far-reaching consequences, and simply doing nothing, becoming so spiritual that we are of no earthly good. Should we follow our hearts or use our heads?
The answers can be elusive when the seductions of our own desires overwhelm us.
I can think of no one more able to tackle this issue than Dr. Jamal Bryant. Not only is he a skilled orator, but his ability to separate fact from fiction and make the spiritual practical is a gift which promises to transform all who are privy to his teaching and wisdom.
Not only is this a guide that readers can comprehend and apply to their lives, but it is literally a roadmap to help the readers navigate through the challenges of desire to a place of mastering them and gaining the victory which they so deeply desire to experience in their lives. Dr. Bryant gives the readers permission to have desires, yet gives them the key to not allowing their desires to have them by offering solutions which empower the reader to focus their inner promptings toward permanent victory and blessing. This is a must read for those who want to transform their longings into all that God wants them to be.
MICHELLE MCKINNEY HAMMOND
Author, Why Do I Say Yes When I Need To Say No?
King David declared forthrightly, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after…” (Ps. 27:4 KJV). I so marvel at David because he is the only person I know to have made such a bold claim and accomplished it. There are so many natural human needs—the need for affection, the need to be affirmed, the need to be empowered, and the need to be embraced. In other words, David meant that he didn’t have any of those needs or desires.
Most of us have desires, whether legal or illegal, godly or ungodly, secular or sacred, we all have many desires. How then do we channel our energy from destructive desires to empowering desires? The aim and scope of this book is to help us redirect our desire. Not long ago, I had a problem with my car and the battery went dead because I left the lights on. I asked a passerby, “Can you give me a jump?” Something strange happened. He pulled out cables from his trunk, connected them to his car, and then connected them to mine. There was transfer of energy. His car needed energy to move, my car needed his energy to be turned on. The desire was the same, but the place was different.
Most of the things we do in sin are natural desires that have been corrupted through carnal consciousness. It is my hope that our mind frame will line up with the will of God so that our desires will be godly desires and not demonic desires.
No matter what age you are, you have desires. If you desire the same thing at 40 that you did when you were 10, then your desire is dysfunctional. Likewise, if you still want the same things now as you did before you were saved, then your desires are misappropriated. There is a tension of desire called conflict and crisis of desire. For example, a drug addict may hit rock bottom and want to get away from the substance and lifestyle that has stripped him of his family, finances, job, and self-esteem. While going through the healing process, his desire may tempt him to use drugs again, so internal conflict ensues because his consciousness has shifted. The same thing happens when you grow up in the Kingdom. Just because you are saved doesn’t mean you will not desire things that are unethical.
In Romans 7:18-19, 24, Paul said,
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing… What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Do you desire something that will satisfy your flesh or something that will satisfy your faith? When David was on the balcony, he saw Bathsheba bathing across the street and fell into temptation to fulfill the desire of his flesh. Nathan, the prophet, showed up and asked him why he had risked his title and relationship with God in trying to feed the appetite of his flesh. David then understood that he could no longer make the flesh his first priority:
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in His temple(KJV).
One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple(Psalm 27:4 NKJV).
A desire is a hunger, a craving, a preoccupation, or an internal aim for an external conquest. In one word, a desire is a wish. For example, as you read this book, you are experiencing the fulfillment of a desire. Even if you are reading at the behest of someone else, you are fulfilling the desire to please that person. It is strange that people are not taught how to desire. Desire can be fulfilled without practice. Sickness and old age do not diminish desire; they just change the objects of your desire.
You have to be in a vegetative or a complete meditative state to stop desiring, and even then, you have to set the intention not to desire.
“Falling in love is the paradigmatic
example of desire”
In the different stages of growth, a human being has different desires. A baby girl’s desire may be milk, a dry diaper, and warmth. As she grows into a little girl, she may desire attention and acceptance. When she becomes a woman, she desires affection, and as she matures into an elder, she desires assistance. In the male world, things are a little different. A boy’s desire may be centered around things, like toys, building blocks to construct a castle, and later a gun to shoot the castle down. As a young man, he may desire power, money, friends, and great success in his career or business. As he approaches his prime and matures, he desires a mate and wants to leave an unforgettable legacy to his children. As you see, neither age nor gender matter. Desire plays a key role in all of our lives at every stage. If at 40 your desire is still the same as it was when you were 10, your growth in consciousness must have become stunted.
In life, we decide for ourselves what to desire. When we become born again, our desires ought to be different from what we desired before we were saved. If our Christmas lists as saved people mirror the same lists that we had when we were not saved, that means our desires may not have changed or matured.
Society, today, teaches that to achieve happiness and fulfillment, we have to change our job, hairstyle, wardrobe, spouse, income, and other external factors. But God urges us to change internally in order to be happy and fulfilled. We do not think up desires; they are formed in us.
The greatest example for understanding desire is falling in love. Two people go on a date for the first time. Their intentions may be to just get to know each other and have a wonderful evening. However, if one of them wakes up the following morning in a bed that is not their own, that person may be humiliated, embarrassed, and even shocked. In the initial plan to go out on a date, he or she probably had not planned on having sex.
According to William Irvine, falling in love is, in fact, an act of going against our will.2
Lust is different in terms of desire, because it can be fulfilled with any willing participant. But when you fall in love, there is an object of your affection that no other person can replace.