“The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.” (Proverbs 21:25–26).
I often marvel at how often my personal desires seem set on sabotaging me. My plan will be set, the work laid out in front of me, but my cravings for rest and leisure creep in like a thief to steal what is mine. These are not thieves from without, but within. “The desire of the sluggard kills him,” the proverb states; not the desire of others, but from himself.
We are often a self-sabotaging species. The sluggard of this proverb discovered this the hard way. Many after him have realized the same truth. Knowledge, or the lack of it, is not usually our problem. The sluggard knew labor would lead to a paycheck, which would lead to food and satisfaction. Anyone can see this, for that knowledge is not hard to come by. But still, the desires of the sluggard crept in, pushing him to live outside of wisdom.
It is at this point the Proverbs can no longer help us, for taming the beasts of desire within are not their expertise. No, for that we must turn to Christ, the one who taught "from within, out of the heart of man," come self-sabotaging and defiling thoughts and actions (Mark 9:20-23). Though internal desires sabotage and kill us, Christ can replace them and bring us life. He is making all things new, and wills to make you new within.
Do you not recognize this war? Do you think you are immune to the self-sabotaging desires of the flesh? Has your eye immunized your desires for leisure, for luxury, or for entertainment? Have you come to believe there are no self-sabotaging desires within you? Look around. Are disciples flowing from your life? Is the next generation being impacted by your presence on earth? Perhaps self-sabotaging desires have taken more than you think.
No, we must run to Christ, always and often, to help us combat the very desires within us, the desires which plot to leave us fruitless and pointless. We must push back in prayer and ask the living Christ to enable us. He must cut out the flesh and write His law on our hearts. Praise be to God! He can.