“The place for which He designs them [human beings] in His scheme of things is the place they are made for.”
That’s C. S. Lewis commenting in The Problem of Pain regarding human desires. “When they [humans] reach it [the place God has made for them] their nature is fulfilled and their happiness attained: a broken bone in the universe has been set, the anguish is over.”
Yet human beings universally set their desires on the wrong things. We want various attractions this world offers more than we want God. And the result is the opposite of what we expect: “When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy.”
Lewis knew what he was writing about from personal experience. His “wants” did not include God or being whatever God had in store for him. Any God that existed was nothing more than a being that sought to interfere with what Lewis wanted. That’s why his path to God was so long and slow; he had to get past the wrong image of God that he had created in his mind.
Those Divine demands which sound to our natural ears most like those of a despot and least like those of a lover, in fact marshall us where we should want to go if we knew what we wanted.
We have a mind problem and we have a desire problem. That’s why this verse has always been so foundational for me in all my teaching:
Once we recognize that what God has prepared for us transcends anything offered by this world, we have taken the crucial first step. We don’t conform to this world; rather, we seek transformation through a constantly renewed mind. It’s a lifelong process, but the result is knowing God’s will and being delighted in having found the place He has made for us.