The new birth brings an awakening of delight in Christ and increasing victory over sin. But how much delight and victory should Christians expect?
Last week we talked about the challenge of why our theology does not change our lives quickly, at least not as fast as we wish it would. We also talked about the expulsive power of a new affection — that new, holy affections for God push out of our lives the fallen desires we have for sin. But from those topics emerges another related question: Realistically, how changed will my desires become in this life?
This question is from a listener named Emma. “Pastor John, hello! I think I understand Christian Hedonism. By the sovereign grace of God in regeneration, God gives me new desires that align with his desires. This includes a new delight in what most delights God — himself! Amen and amen. But boy, do I sure struggle with a ton of desires within me that are not God-honoring! So how in the world can I be sure God has given me new, holy desires when I so often feel inundated by my old, unholy desires? Even Jesus seemed to be more motivated in his earthly life by future joy (Hebrews 12:2). So how much desire-victory is realistic and normative in the Christian life, inside this fallen flesh and inside this cursed planet?”