Proverbs 23:1-3 (ESV)
1When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
2and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
3Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
Do not desire the king’s delicacies … . The Bible is not afraid to command our emotions. By the work of the Holy Spirit in us we are able to decide what we will desire or not. This is liberating. How many Christians believe that they are slaves to their feelings? How many state “I can’t help it” believing that in some way they are off the hook because of the strength of their desires? The command to love is in part at least, a command to feel. The command to rejoice, to give cheerfully etc. are commands to the heart to feel a certain way. We need to get a solid understanding of the power of such commands. To believe that only our actions are commanded is to resign oneself to a life of misery. How good it is to know that this sin, whatever it is, will be defeated, not just by some great act of willpower, but because I have come to the point where I do not want to do this thing anymore. And how good it is to know that fellowship with God can be a stronger desire of the heart than the desire to do the sin we are pulled to do. The agony of Paul in Romans 7 is not to be denied, but the joyful liberation that comes with obedience in the area of feelings is to be chased with great joy, for it is a great, great thing. And does this not begin in prayer? We should pray with the honesty that says “Lord, I want to do this sin but I do not want to want to do it. Bring me to the place where I will no longer want to commit this sin against you. And bring me to the place where I want to be in close relation with you more than I want anything else.”