Rachel Hauck

Best-selling author and award winning author Rachel Hauck lives in central Florida with her husband and loving pets. She earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and spent seventeen years in the corporate software world before leaving to write full time. Rachel loves to teach and mentor writers.

She is a Book Therapist at www.MyBookTherapy.com, a daily craft blog and community for writers. Rachel is the past president of American Christian Fiction Writers and now servers on the Advisor Board. Visit her blog and web site at www.rachelhauck.com.

Dodging Raindrops

What Do You Desire?

Coming off the Christmas season, the New Year is both exciting and melancholy. Exciting for what lies ahead. Melancholy because another year has faded into our memories and is now tucked away in the halls of history.

One of the joys of Christmas for me is the beauty: the lights, the tree and the music, the general goodwill and good cheer. A week before Christmas, my husband and I attended a surprise party for a friend in our quaint, downtown area. On our way home, we cruised the main thoroughfare, looking at the street decorations, lights, and festivities behind the store windows. Very beautiful.

As a kid, my grandparents would take us to downtown Columbus to peer into the Lazarus windows. “Silver Bells” still takes me back to those days.

It’s been a long time since I’ve strolled a sidewalk, gazing into windows, being awed by the displays. Even longer since I’ve been in awe over something without ultimately wanting it for myself.

That’s the design of window shopping, to stir desire for the merchandise. When you go to an online store, the merchandise is displayed and coupled to make you want to buy something. More than “something.”

It’s said we become what we behold. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (NASB).

As we behold the Lord, we are changed. Transformed! Into His likeness.

But how do we choose what to behold? I mean, how does a person behold Jesus long enough to be changed?

Ah . . . by what we desire.

We behold only what we desire. What we desire becomes a fascination. A fascination grows to beholding, beholding to changing.

As I’ve studied Jesus, His life, His beauty, His love, His willing obedience to the Father for mankind’s redemption, I’ve become fascinated. As I’ve become fascinated, I’ve developed a desire to behold Him. As I’ve beheld Him, I’ve changed. Emotionally. Mentally. Spiritually.

What do you desire? What do you spend your days gazing upon? Gossip? Negativity? The news? Is it a wonder you desire drama and negativity in your life?

Do you read stories of illness, death, destruction? Are you fascinated with it? Are you desiring it more and more? Are you worrying more and more? Is it affecting your heart and mind? Your emotions?

I spend a lot of time on social media. I can feel myself starting to desire it. I have to check e-mail or Twitter in the middle of the grocery store! It’s crazy. But I have to change, go deeper, behold more of Jesus so my desire for the external pleasures of this world no longer has a fascinating grip on me.

Men who get caught in pornography start with a fascination.

Fascination. Desire. Beholding. And suddenly, the person is changed.

Change happens in one of two ways: gazing at glory, or gazing at sin. If you are fascinated with sin, you’ll begin to desire it. Then you’ll behold it. And your emotional and possibly mental chemistry will be altered.

Fascination doesn’t have to be deep dark sin. Worry is a sin. Fear is a sin. Lust, gluttony, greed, lying, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, gossip, all sorts of coveting, stealing . . .

Wait, don’t take my word for it, listen to what Paul wrote to the Romans:

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God (stopped gazing) any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are

gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:28–32 NASB)

Listen to what Paul tells the Corinthians. Straight up...

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9)

Gazing at ourselves, at the world, at the creation rather than the Creator impacts us to the point of desiring unrighteousness, the ungodly.

I moved to Florida after college. About six months into my new corporate career, I was hit with a draining despair that I’d live in that same shared house, sleep in that same secondhand bed, work at that same stupid job the rest of my life. I’d wake up in the middle of the night panicked and hopeless, feeling like I had no future.

But I refused to agree with this negative emotion and kicked it out of my life using Jeremiah 29:11. I also made a commitment to gaze on Jesus and do what He needed me to do because I knew I’d not be happy unless I was in fellowship with His heart and His will.

Call me a Jesus Freak, but if being a Jesus Freak means I get to tell fear, anxiety, and despair where to go and never to haunt me again, buy me the T-shirt, I’ll wear it! Jesus Freak. Wouldn’t trade His power and authority for what the world has to offer.

So how did I overcome anxiety, dread, and fear? I gazed on Jesus. How can you overcome?

By gazing at Jesus.

Consider this: Who is this God-Man who brought redemption to the human race? Go beyond salvation and look into redemption. Look into Bridegroom love. Who is this redeemer King who calls you “beloved” and “friend” ?

You’ll become fascinated. You’ll desire Him. You’ll want to know more about Him. You’ll find yourself discovering aspects of His character in the Word and through prayer you never noticed before.

You’ll begin to desire different things in life. I don’t desire things I used to because I’ve changed my fascination.

We can’t do this life alone. We need Jesus because only He saves, heals, and rescues. Only HE is the righteous Judge. Do you need justice in your life? Behold Jesus.

What we desire, we behold. And what we behold changes us.

As we face a beautiful new year, one with all kinds of possibilities and potential, gaze on Jesus, author and perfecter! “Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1–2 NASB, emphasis mine).



Dining With Joy