Desire’s Ambush

by Katy Kauffman

Dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat.

Terrified and half-asleep, I lifted my head from the pillow and looked around the room. Who was in my room, and how were they making that noise?

Dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat.

The metallic pounding seemed to come from above.

Dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat, dat.

A woodpecker.

After a month of battling plumbing issues with vent pipes and drain lines, my house endured one more attack. From a woodpecker. Apparently, he (or she) didn’t like it that the vent pipes were now covered with metal caps that actually look like bird houses. A bird’s nest had been found in one of the pipes. Was this woodpecker the culprit?

Another culprit ambushes us when we’re least expecting it. When we’ve won a spiritual victory with God’s help, something comes lurking, ready to bang a dent in our spiritual progress—our own desires.

If we’re not careful, selfish desires can creep back into our lives and cause the same problems that we’ve tried to overcome (James 1:14-15). I don’t know how many times I’ve been grateful for a new victory, and months (or days) later, I’m facing the same battle. The desire may be for a good thing, but it’s the wrong method or timing for achieving it.

One way to guard our hearts, minds, and spiritual victories is to align our desires with God’s. He wants the best for us, and He knows how to provide it. In just the right way at just the right time. It takes self-control to yield to His will, but we gain pleasing His Father’s heart and trusting Him for His good and perfect gifts (James 1:17). What we can gain on our own is so far less than what God can do in our lives.

There’s a verse that many of us love, and it shows us how to align our desires with what God wants for us. The strategy involves joy.

“Delight yourself in the LORD,
and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:4 NKJV

Delight in God. Delight in His ways. Delight in His company and fellowship. Delight in His word. Then you won’t want what will hurt you. You will be driven to want what will build up your life. And God will give you what you want, because you’ll want what He wants. Because you find your joy in Him.

We make choices based on what we value, what we delight in. When we immerse ourselves in loving God and delighting in who He is, our desires will more and more match His, and we’ll be better able to stay on His path for our lives. Our desires will ambush us less and less as we are molded into Christlikeness and transformed from self-seeking to God-seeking.

What good thing is your heart wanting? Or what battle keeps popping up in your life? Could it be that a certain desire is trying to ambush you? Let’s examine our hearts and minds, and continually ask God to create in us a clean heart and to renew a steadfast spirit within us (Psalm 51:10). A steadfast spirit that delights in Him and seeks Him above anything else.

How has God helped you to handle a spiritual battle that keeps appearing in your life? Share your strategies and thoughts in the comments below, and may God be our greatest delight!


© Copyright 2019 by Katy Kauffman


This post is the second one in a new series called Sustaining Life’s Victories. See “Victory’s Default Setting” in case you missed the first post. Be sure to follow this blog to receive future Bible study devotions in your inbox!

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victory, selfishness, desires, Desire’s Ambush, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (4)

  • anon

    I enjoyed reading your post. How great it is to delight in our Lord!
    The better we know Him the easier it is to love Him and delight in Him. And the best way to get to know Him is to spend time in His Word and in prayer.

    Feb 12, 2019
  • anon

    I agree! Thank you, Connie.

    Feb 12, 2019
  • anon

    How often it seems we fight and refight some of the same spiritual battles. Prayers for our final victories. Thank you for this inspiring post ma'am.

    Feb 12, 2019
  • anon

    Yes, it seems like we do. Thank you for your comment, Jim!

    Feb 12, 2019

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Winning the Victory: A Blog by Katy Kauffman

Award-Winning Author, Editor, Bible Teacher

As co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy is a Bible study author and editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine. Follow Katy's blog to receive posts sharing practical strategies for winning life's spiritual battles. 


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