Every pursuit begins with desire. Whether we want something we do not have (desire) or we have something we do not want (discontent), humans are primarily driven by wants, not needs.
Desire and discontent are the mother and father of ambition. These parents serve us well; without them we cease to strive. But ambition gives birth to both great and terrible heirs.
It’s not just having drive and motivation that’s paramount to success, it’s what we do with them and how we define success. In the grand scheme of good and evil, we must consider who our father is before we set out to divide and conquer whatever passion relentlessly grips our soul. Because man is not naturally like God in his goodness. Man is most naturally like Satan in his evil.
Man’s desire to attain is never quenched though he has pursued. God’s desire to pursue is never quenched though he has attained. Man seeks idols and novelties. Doubtless, particular idols are indicative of particular weaknesses. But God seeks the lost. He has no weakness.
Satan would that we chase after that which we cannot attain, or that flies away once we do attain it, or that never satisfies though we have attained it. He crafted the first idol – himself – and is the father of idolatry.
How oft and how apt we are to strive like him and call him father as he masquerades as God! How far our lusts can drive us from our only true Father! God help us!
Idolatry is the single most destructive heir of ambition. Ask me how I know. Others include pride, fear, selfishness, and anger. All these are wrapped up in doing that which Satan first did – making ourselves idols and failing to worship God first, as Father.
Ah, but ambition harnessed by a new heart gives birth to great and wonderful heirs. God would that we strive for his ideals; that we might ever run as though we truly will receive the prize. Now, unfulfilled desire gives birth to patience and discontent produces faithful trust.
How good it is to have God as our Father! How foolish to mistake Satan and self for Him!
God help my unbelief! Redirect my desire and rescue me from idolatrous discontent. Use my passion to produce good and drive my discontent to develop trust. Though you have already attained me, relentlessly pursue me that I might relentlessly pursue you despite anything I lack. Amen.