Romans 7:18-19 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
To discover why a person does, says, thinks, or feels certain things you simply need to ask. “What do you want? What desires made you do that? What yearning led her to say that? What did you fear when you felt so anxious?”
Then you need to listen closely to their answers. People will often tell you exactly what they want. “I got angry because she put me down, and I want respect. She became speech-less because she yearns for acceptance. Those fantasies of heroism and success play in my mind because I want to be successful.” If you know yourself well, you will deduce the answer. Look for the pattern of their desires and you will learn much about them.
Naming what you want is easy. The hard part is learning to interpret what you have identified. Naming the problem is not the same as understanding the problem. The desires of the heart rest in the battleground of the soul.
Is it true that we have these “needs” for respect, acceptance, money or significance that must be met from outside ourselves? No one ever rightly understands and weighs desires without God’s self-revelation in Scripture. God sees our hearts as a war zone ruled by one passion or another. Either we chose to meet our desires in the world or we chose to meet our desires through a relationship to God.
The apostle’s had the confidence that the only resources of the gospel of grace and truth possess sufficient power to change us in ways we most need to be changed. The mercies of God work to forgive and to change what is deeply evil, sin, within us. He alone is able to cure our soul and set us on a new path to life.