It is good to have desires and goals. They are gifts from God that make life worth living. It only becomes a problem when we do not know if the desires and goals that we set for ourselves are a gift from God or a distraction from Satan.
We can only know the true answer to this question by examining the word of God. When we examine the word of God, we know that He will never give us a desire or goal that will occupy our mind day and night whereby we do not have time to daily read and meditate on the word of God. Once we put anything before the word of God, we know that our goal or desire is not a gift from God.
Another way we can tell the difference between a gift from God and a distraction from Satan is — God will not give us a desire or goal that has us obsessing over it. It’s not going to cause us to become filled with Satan’s negative traits of anger, frustration, discouragement, depression, and other negative thoughts for not having this object of our affection. Again, God will never give us a desire or goal that will imprison our mind with negativity. Anything that imprison our mind with negativity is not a gift from God.
At one point our goal and desire could have started off as a gift from God. However, once we allowed the object of our affection to elevate itself above the word of God, this object is no longer a desire or goal but a distraction from Satan. We must keep in mind anything (including something good) can become a distraction of Satan.
In other words, whenever we take our desire or goal far beyond its God given limits, whereby we allow it to imprison our mind with Satan’s negative traits of anxiousness, frustration, depression, anger, confusion, discouragement, etc., then we have crossed over into sin.
Becoming too preoccupied with goals and desires to the point of putting them before God, is a distraction of Satan, not a gift from God. A gift from God will not dominate our thought life by having us obsessing over it. An excellent example of this fact is our desire to spend eternity in heaven.
As you know, everyone has a desire to go to heaven. However, we are not willing to rush the process of death to get there nor are we allowing our “normal” desire for heaven to dominate our thoughts day and night because we are not there. If we compare our desires and goals to our thoughts about heaven, we can easily tell if they are a distraction of Satan or a gift from God.
Consider my question from this perspective and it will give you a definitive answer to your delima. Again, if our desires and goals are truly a gift from God, then we would think about them on the same level as we think about heaven (Col 3:2). In other words, we will not allow our goals and desires to dominate our thoughts to the point that we become frustrated, bitter, depressed, and even angry for not having it.
I think the problem with answering our question is that most of us think from a checklist perspective. We think that just because something is good and wholesome it cannot be evil.
We forget that even something wholesome can be turned into a distraction.
Satan’s distractions can come in the form of a job, family, relationship, or whatever we put before the word of God. Anything that keeps us from reading and meditating on God’s word is a distraction from Satan. Again, these distractions can take the form of a job, a spouse, a friendship, or whatever.
Always remember, no one should ever come before reading and meditating on the word of God. If it does it is a distraction from Satan, not a gift from God.
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