We recognize our emotions are broken, so we pray that God will change our hearts when it comes to reading the Bible. That we would not just do it, but love it. And then in faith, we start reading, believing that God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. If we make that investment, by God’s grace, our emotions will follow our actions, and we will not just read the Word, but love the Word.
Here is an expression that, even if you don’t use it, I believe will resonate with you if you’re a Christian:
I want, to want…
“Wanting to want” means this: It means that as Christians, we are to have a different value system than that of the world. We are to value things that, in the eyes of the world, might often look like a waste of time. We are to make eternal kingdom investments rather than spending our time, finances, and emotional energy on earthly things.
Take, for example, the practice of prayer. Prayer is valuable. And it is beneficial. Prayer is the means by which we enter into a deeper relationship with our Creator in whose presence there is fullness of joy. Further, prayer is the God-ordained means by which we can bring real change into the world. By any measure of logic, then, we should not only make it our practice to pray, but that we should actually want to pray.
Problem is we don’t. We want to watch Netflix and chill. That leads us to wanting to want when it comes to something like prayer. Ideally, we should desire to pray, and not just pray because we know we should. So we want to want.
That’s true for all kinds of things in the Christian life because our emotions are just as broken by sin as everything else is. As the Spirit of God is making us more like Jesus, He is not only changing our behavior; He is redeeming our emotional lives as well. Someday, in heaven, our emotions and our actions will be brought into harmony with each other. We won’t just do the right thing; we will feel the right thing. But until then, we want to want.