Grace Notes // Desire - Week 4

Written by Keli Miller

Desire | Immeasurably more than all you can ask or imaginE 

 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16: 21-23)

Man, I love Peter. Voted most likely to cut an ear off in his Discipleship class, he’s easily one of the most passionate and rowdy of Jesus’ twelve.  Peter has good desires. He longs to see Jesus establish his rule and reign on earth. He could have never fathomed the kind of plans that Jesus had in store. 

I have been Peter a thousand times- screaming my plans and dreams at God, so sure that we were on the same page. But just like Peter, my vision is so small compared to the plans that God has. Can you imagine if God had given Peter what he asked for in that moment? 

Picture this: 

Jesus responds, “Well Peter, if that’s your hearts deepest desire, then let it be. Let’s go overthrow Rome and bring a new kind of kingdom.” Jesus and the twelve then successfully overthrow Rome and Rome has a thriving Jesus centered government for years to come. The downside? The whole world is still under the original covenant and a slave to the law.  

Praise God that he didn’t let Peter settle for his plans and dreams. All Peter could comprehend was what he knew, Rome. But God had a plan that was bigger and wider than Rome. I’m thankful that we have a God who pushes us to dream a little bigger and doesn't want us to settle for a lesser prize. I think back on all my plans and dreams that didn’t turn out how I had planned: relationships that ran amuck, jobs that I didn’t get, and even loved ones who were not healed. Those were hard seasons where I have wept and sowed tears. Those were seasons where like Peter I was furious that God would even suggest another plan - hadn’t we dreamed about this together?! And while I’ve never heard God call me Satan, I am familiar with his request to kindly step aside, lay my desires down, and follow him. 

Jesus is about love. He loves 100% all the time, no matter what. There’s no turning his love off, but as much as Jesus is about love, he is also about sacrifice and will say and ask hard things of us. God’s plans for your desires are not to deny and forget them but rather for you to submit them to him so he can fulfill them for his glory. This is hard work, but we are promised that when we do this God will do “immeasurably more, than all we could ask or imagine.”

In the Word

Ephesians 3:14-21 

Psalm 23

Matthew 16:21-27

Processing Questions

What areas are you needing to ask God for his vision? 

Are there dreams or desires that you are “white knuckling?” 

Where is God asking you to dream a little bigger?