The Insatiable Desire
of the Redeemed
Edited from a message by
John Wright Follette
I am a flame born of celestial fire,
I bear a name, Insatiable Desire.
I wear in heart an image all divine,
Past human art, not traced by mortal line.
I hear God call to taste His heavenly power:
I give my all to burn life's single hour.
So let me burn through fetters that would bind;
Thus will I learn and freedom will I find.
I shall return to Love's eternal fire,
There shall I burn - a satisfied desire.
The question of our identification, why we are caught up
in an arrangement so divine as a "new creation,"
is usually not considered sufficiently to allow substantial
ground for our ventures in faith. If I am unsure as to who
I am, endless confusion will follow. I will mistakenly think
that I am what I was before I became a partaker of the Divine
To discover and use the basic fact of my "new creation
life" as a premise from which to "work out my salvation
with fear and trembling" is of paramount value. I must
remember that man is essentially spirit. My body is not I;
but only a medium of expression, the house in which I live
during my earthly life. When I recognize this, and order my
life accordingly by placing the emphasis where it belongs
- on spiritual, eternal issues, only then will I begin to
experience the necessary vital adjustments in my new creation
This new "being" that I have become can be likened
to a flame. In Psalm 104:4,God makes His ministers a flaming
fire. In Deuteronomy 4:24 we read, "The Lord thy God
is a consuming fire." Being born of God through the redemption
accomplished by Jesus upon the cross, I have become a partaker
of His Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Therefore, I think of
myself as a flame of celestial origin, and one with God because
the heavenly fire is ministering in my whole being, making
me daily more like Him.
Through the miracle of our spiritual rebirth, God continually
reckons with us as a new being. We are born of the Spirit
in order to receive a nature which is perfectly adapted to
this new order of life. All the laws and principles of spiritual
life are made for this, and as a new creation, we are fitted
for the finest and highest that heaven can afford.
The opening lines of this poem expresses the characteristic
mood of this new creation, "I bear a name, Insatiable
Desire." Desire is at the root of all life and conduct,
the starting point for all natural urges and drives common
to human experience.
Through sin and failure, desire may lose its sense of relation
and proportion, resulting in abuse, misuse, and misdirection.
But the wonderful Christ who knows and understands us perfectly
can take a disorganized personality, cleanse it of sin, fill
it with His own life, and cause an integration of all the
essential elements of our makeup. He does not destroy; rather,
He cleanses and unifies our personality, causing it to function
normally and perfectly for God's glory.
Behind all the forms of outer expression is "desire."
We are conscious of these inner urges in their various tones
of emphasis. This unique God-given quality in our makeup is
one of the marks which lifts man above the animal kingdom.
It is not possible for us to do all that we would like to
do, or become all we would like to be, yet God sees our desire.
Paul said "If there be first a willing mind [desire],
it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according
to that he hath not" II Cor 8:12.
It is here, in the field of desire, that God sees us and
where He longs to change us. But man has become so adjusted
to the external, tangible world that often he fails to deal
with the desire question. As a result, he experiences frustration
because he does not realize that his conduct is but a reflection
of the real man inside.
Most religions deal with desire, since it is common to all
mankind. Hinduism would get rid of it by a process designed
to bring the personality to a desireless Brahman. Buddhism
offers a different solution: Strike it with death and kill
all desire for life (a strange and subtle delusion) and so
enter Nirvana. But Jesus has the true solution. He recognizes
desire as a very necessary part of life, not only on the natural
plane but also in the realm ofour spirits. Instead of condemning
it, He creates a new place where it may find its release and
Jesus did not come to suppress or destroy life with its desires.
Rather, He came to give life, and that more abundantly. He
comes into our hearts and lives to create and correct, by
His radiant presence. He sets new objectives before us; He
cleanses and adjusts our desires until we can say with the
Psalmist, "Lord, all my desire is before Thee."
The desires He creates in our heart are for spiritual, eternal
qualities rather than for material things. Therefore, while
we tarry here, the hungers and thirsts we experience are insatiable.
The new man that we have become yearns for completion. He
longs to find adequate expression for the hidden, spiritual
awakenings and discoveries in this new life.
As a part of our new birth, there is created within us a
holy urge to attain to full spiritual development. Jesus said,
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is
in heaven is perfect" Matt 5:48. This word "perfect"
means "to be fully grown, fully developed in mental and
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus painted a vivid picture
of a fully committed Christian life. He presented an impossible
standard for the natural man to attain to. But Jesus was setting
this standard for the new man, not the natural man. All the
character qualities He shows in this ideal picture are to
be found only in our new creation. Jesus paints the picture,
then says in effect: "Here is the ideal concept of the
new man, along with the dynamic for its realization - the
Holy Spirit. I have begun this new creation in your hearts
and lives; now, rise to the completion of this new order."
Jesus did not tell us to do something; rather, He said that
we are to become something. He sets before us the blueprint,
then He tells us to carry it out to completion in our lives.
His words in the Sermon on the Mount are both a challenge
and a command. He challenges us to lead morally blameless
lives as we go on to completeness, or perfection; which is
the fulfillment of God's purpose for the new man. We are to
grow. This is the end toward which God is working.
Our desires rule. Because Jesus recognized this, He demanded
a fully surrendered life in all of its meanings, even unto
death. Death is the very means by which He releases us from
the hidden dangers which still lurk in the realm of our natural
life. He alone is the answer, the source to which the hungry
heart ever looks for satisfaction. O matchless Christ! The
One solitary grandeur of all creation!
"I wear in heart an image all divine." We are created
in the image and likeness of God - not a corporeal likeness,
but a moral and spiritual likeness, as mentioned in Ephesians
4:23-24 and Colossians 3:10. The process that is now going
on in our new creation lives is the restoration of the image
of the Son, and our conforming thereto.
"I hear God call to taste His heavenly power."
The Apostle Paul wrote that we are called "unto a fellowship"
1 Cor 1:9. Here we find a call to a fellowship which precedes
heaven. This fellowship is a phase of our present lives for
a specific and necessary reason. It is a relationship that
is initiated by God. It deepens and matures as we yield to
the demands and requirements for its realization. It reaches
past the external life of the senses.
Many hear God calling them from sin and from the world, but
this is not that call. This call to fellowship comes after
the initial steps of redemption, water baptism, and the Baptism
in the Holy Spirit. It reaches the ocean floor of the heart,
the seat of all desire and motives, the veiled recesses of
self-hood. God longs to bring the soul into a conscious relationship
with Himself, even as fire. Fire cleanses, reduces, frees,
and refines. This fire is heavenly, for neither natural force
nor process planned by man can accomplish the necessary miracle.
It demands all of life.
"I give my all to burn life's single hour." When
I think of the eternal ages ahead and know that I am born
for them, this earthly life seems but a single hour. Here
and now I must plan and settle the issues which project themselves
on into eternity. Christ, in His teaching concerning the deeper
and fuller life, let His followers know it was no easy matter.
He laid very stringent and searching demands on those who
wish to enter fully into all that He has made available. We
must deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him
(Luke 9:23). Instead of loving our life, we must lose it for
His sake (Matthew 10:39). A miracle awaits the one who thus
dares to yield all to God.
"So let me burn through fetters that would bind."
The fire frees and releases the soul. One finds freedom from
earthly bondages and the soul experiences a rich spiritual
illumination. The fetters of tradition, religious habits (not
born of the Spirit), unscriptural dogmatism (a natural setup
in spiritual life), are burned off. All this and more is consumed
in the fire of God.
As surely as the Blood cleanses us from sin, the Truth, this
heavenly fire, cleanses and sets free the soul from hindrances
and bondages which would block our entrance into the fuller
understanding of His glorious purpose. "Thus will I learn
and freedom will I find" the true liberty which God has
for those who will pay the price.
There is a deep and glorious spiritual progression into His
highest for those who meet God's requirements. Our new life
in Him becomes a schooling, a divine process of becoming.
Here we are disentangled and extricated from the old, Adamic
setup. Life becomes a series of divinely planned experiences
in which God is faithfully working to adjust us to life in
Our heart, once set on fire and illuminated in His fellowship
can never again rest in any pattern of earthly life. An insatiable
desire, a divine discontent, a heavenly restlessness becomes
its holy obsession.
This marvelous and wonderful Christ we adore and love! We
are changed as we behold Him. All our soul's desire is found
in Him. Our deepest desires shall yet be realized for "I
shall return to Love's eternal fire, there shall I burn, a