Will Give You the Desires of Whose Heart?

To what degree, I wonder, are our desires shaped by other people’s desires? How many things do we need because other people have them? How have our tastes been shaped or even reshaped by the tastes of others? People eat things, drink things, and smoke things their taste buds once told them were disgusting because other people, who seemed to be in the know, did.

Have you ever watched the birds in autumn all take off – hundreds of them – at the same time and in the same flight path? Scientists say they are so attuned to each other’s movements that their acts are governed by the flock. People are like that too.

In a study conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds, groups of people were instructed to walk aimlessly around a large hall, without conversing with one another. However, the researchers secretly gave a small number of people precise instructions on where they should walk. The result: no matter how large or small the group, it wasn’t long before everyone was following the path of the handful of people who seemed to be in the know.

One researcher put it this way: “The research suggests that humans flock like sheep and birds, subconsciously following a minority of individuals.” They discovered it takes only 5 percent of “informed individuals” to influence the direction of a crowd of up to two hundred people. The rest follow along without any idea that they are being influenced.[1]

We need to be careful or our natural human desire to be like everyone else does will prevent us from being ourselves! God never intended for his people to be like everyone else, to desire what they desire, and do what they do. He intends for them to be influencers, not merely influenced.

It is worth pausing to consider whether our desires are manufactured by the people around us. God promises to give us the desires of our heart not the desires of other people’s heart. Since our desires clear the path to our future, this is tremendously important. Our desires will only lead us into our best future when we are delighting ourselves in the Lord (Ps. 37:4). If we are not delighting ourselves in the Lord, it will be culture, not God, that gives us the desires of our hearts.

(Excerpted from the sermon, We Want What We Want It and We Want it Right Now. The entire sermon will be available for viewing later this week.)

[1] Martin Lindstrom, Brandwashed (Crown Business, 2011), p. 104-108


About salooper57

Husband, father, pastor, follower. I am a disciple of Jesus, learning how to do life from him. I read, write, walk, play a little guitar, enjoy my family.
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2 Responses to Will Give You the Desires of Whose Heart?

  1. Terry Powell says:

    Some time later, a message came from the Lord to Abram in a vision. “Stop being afraid, Abram.” he said. “I myself—your shield—am your very great reward.” (Genesis 15:1 ISV)

    Those who hurry after another god will have many sorrows; I will not present their drink offerings of blood, nor will my lips speak their names. The Lord is my inheritance and my cup; you support my lot. The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for me; truly, I have a beautiful heritage. (Psalm 16:4-6 ISV)

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah! Because of his great mercy he has granted us a new birth, resulting in an immortal hope through the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah, from the dead and to an inheritance kept in heaven for you that can’t be destroyed, corrupted, or changed. (1 Peter 1:3-4 ISV)

    Then he told me, “It has happened! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give a drink from the spring of the water of life to the one who is thirsty. The person who overcomes will inherit these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:6-7 ISV)


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