How Does a Follower of Jesus Re-Order Their Desires?

In a previous blog I wrote (Walking With A Limp) about the necessity of reordering disordered desire. I meant to get the second part to you the following week. I am sorry this is a bit late; my travel and other responsibilities have been heavy lately.

Nevertheless, here we go…

  • We begin to reorder our most honest desires by first coming to understand what they are…not what we think we should or ought to desire, but what ever is real. Don’t worry about God being offended or mad at you—he already knows what your real desires are. It us who sometimes can only find our structure of desire buried deep in our subconscious mind.
  • To do this you will need to take on Jesus-following spiritual practices such as solitude, silence or fasting, etc. Real desire often lands in our subconscious mind because our conscious mind can only handle so much—and our conscious minds is deluged these days will all manner of surface stimuli, often driving the deep things of life to the distant reaches of our being. To get in touch with this buried, but alive and real set of desires that sometimes tyrannize us, we need to shut off poking and prodding stimuli through fasting in various ways from noise. Then we can hear our hearts and God’s voice.
  • Jesus gave the world two great kingdom parables to help us make the decision to go on this journey or not: the parable of the “Pearl of Great Price” and the “Treasure Buried in the Field”. To both the pearl merchant and the real estate agent, Jesus put forward this question: do you find the Kingdom of God, and following me in it, to be so valuable that you are willing to re-organize the affairs of your life to get it?

Putting those three thoughts together, the common pattern for dealing with disordered desire goes like this: I make the decision to do so. I come to the realization that it is of utmost value to me. I then begin to make wise use of the spiritual practices that will help me cooperate with the grace of God and the power of the Spirit to do this. As Paul writes in 2 Cor. 3:18: we are being transformed [and] this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Through these practices I come to see what is most real about myself and begin to work on with God. Slowly and gently, learning to notice without being harshly judgmental on myself. Rather with childlike joy (Jesus: the kingdom is unto children…), I start the process of creating a rule of life that will put me regularly in the presence of God so that I can learn to do my life together with him.

– Todd Hunter

Sunday, March 1

Romans 4:13-25 and Mark 9:2-9

1. As you read Mark’s gospel account of Jesus’ journey to a high mountain with his friends, away from the crowds and work, what do you notice, hear, or see as an invitation to you for your every-day life or for your Lenten intentions?

2. As you reflect on Paul’s words about Abraham in Romans 4:13-25, consider the faith of Abraham in relation to the word of promise that came to him. Consider the limitations of the body, failures of faith, or lapses of integrity that Abraham had from what you know of his narrative in Genesis. What encourages you from this passage? What challenges you from this passage? What do you hear God saying to you from this passage?

3. Considering your own Lenten pilgrimage, as you provide intentional “fasts” of any sort to your seasonal practices in order to provide your soul with a “feast” with God, how might these two biblical passages fortify you on your journey with God?

Lenten Retreat Day | The Way of the Cross

Join Holy Trinity as we gather on retreat and journey with Jesus to the cross. Our friend Larry Warner will lead us through the Stations of the Cross, a devotional prayer guide dating back to the 4th century.

Our Retreat Day will be a time to reflect on the suffering love of God; to gaze upon the cross; to be still and consider the depth of Jesus’ love for us. We will stand with Mary and John and listen to the final words of Jesus. We retreat in order to draw near to God as a way to prepare our hearts for Holy Week and Easter.

LarryWarner-webLarry Warner is a spiritual director, author of Journey With Jesus:Discovering the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, and the founder of b-ing.org. Larry designs and facilitates retreats across the country. He speaks and teaches at conferences,churches and seminaries.

Retreat Facilitator: Larry Warner
Date: Saturday, March 28
Time: 9 am – 3 pm
Location: Mission San Luis Rey
4050 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA
Cost: $40.00 includes lunch, snacks & use of the Mission grounds

RSVP: Sarah Bacher at admin@myholytrinitychurch.com


We are limited to 25 people. Your payment by or before March 20 will reserve your retreat reservation. Make checks payable to my Holy Trinity Church. Partial and full scholarships available upon request.

Sunday, February 22

1 Peter 3:18-22 and Mark 1:9-15