Question of the week: Does God desire? If God desires, wouldn’t this imply that God lacks something, for to desire is to be bereft of that which is desired?
My answer: God is a personal Being who experiences emotions. Emotions are a crucial part of any loving relationship. As 1 John 4:8 declares, God is love. God desires that we would repent. He grieves when we do not repent. He feels loss when we walk away from him. None of these emotions means that he lacks anything. After all, he has the power to make us repent and come to him. However, he desires that we would freely love him and one another. Hence, he tolerates many of our misbehaviors and is willing to go through emotional pain for our sake. The crucifixion of the Creator of the universe is the ultimate expression of God’s desire to suffer for our benefit. His suffering and emotions, rather than expressions of weakness or inadequacies, are expressions and demonstrations of his power and love.
It is important, too, to put God’s desires into the context of the paradox of human free will and divine predetermination. While this paradox cannot be resolved within the four space-time dimensions we humans experience, there are several ways it can be fully resolved in the context of the extradimensional and transdimensional power that physics now establishes God must possess. For details, documentation, and graphical examples see Beyond the Cosmos, 3rd edition.1 A free chapter of this book is available at reasons.org/ross.
Hugh Ross, Beyond the Cosmos, 3rd edition (Covina, CA: RTB Press, 2017).