Priority number one is that we should guard our heart with wisdom because all of life flows from it: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
God gave us at least four primary desires (see Genesis 1:27-29). They include (1) the desire for significance from being created in God’s image (see Genesis 1:27a); (2) the desire for contentment from being blessed by God (see Genesis 1:28); (3) the desire for control from being empowered by God to rule the earth (see Genesis 1:28b); (4) the desire for security from being provided all that we need (see Genesis 1:29). Since the first sin of pride — desiring the satisfaction of these desires apart from God — the bent of the human heart has been toward evil (see Genesis 8:21). Satan preys upon these desires with his bait of temptation (see 1 John 2:16).
Desiring the tempting bait is sin (see James 1:14-15). When we mull over the pursuit of the temptation, we desire satisfaction of our desires apart from God which is the definition of sin. We think that the bait will satisfy; however, outside Christ our desires remain dissatisfied. The deceitful hook of dissatisfied desires holds us captive to the sin: “The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires” (Proverbs 11:6).
Jesus said the desire for life with or life apart from God flows from the heart (see Matthew 12:35). Consequently, Satan accuses the person whose heart is hooked in sin with dissatisfied desires by lifting up his line to show God and others what he has caught — a heart that desired life apart from God.
The sinker is God hates a heart that devises wicked schemes (see Proverbs 6:18). The sinner is destroyed from the pursuit of his own evil desires.
Inventory your heart: your will, mind, emotions, and spirit. This includes your choices, your thoughts, your feelings, and prayers — or lack of them. What or who are you desiring with your heart? Is it wise or foolish? The answer lies in whether you are hooked in the pursuit of dissatisfied desires apart from the heart of God. During the next two weeks, keep a journal of your challenging choices, your predominant thoughts, your prevailing feelings, and your prayers. Examine the results to determine whether your heart is hard or soft toward God.