What is it that you want taken away from you, not a question that one is generally asked, for more is the goal, more is what we seek for, it is what, no matter the item, we are compelled to grasp after.
The born-again believer has only one goal, to know Christ, to be filled with the knowledge of His grace, (2 Peter 3:18) the knowledge of His will, (Col. 1:9) He is our only goal. The question of what do you want taken away from you is irrelevant to the lost, to us, it is all compelling, we want that which is dishonoring to the Lord removed from us. These are the crosses we bear, the knowledge of the sinful nature that still resides within us, our old nature that desires the objects of the flesh, the desires of the mind, the things of the world that will find no place in the kingdom of God.
Many believers there are that deny the existence of these things within themselves, they push away or even hide them from themselves, the facts of this part of who they are, and thereby refuse to carry their cross. These are they that are nearly always pretending, not only in front of themselves, but in front of others that everything is alright, that God is in His Holy temple and everything is perfectly fine in their lives. Most generally, if not always, these crosses, these burdens, if they were to be brought into the light, are items that cause shame, embarrassment, and therefore the fear of what others might think of us. To say that these are acts of our past would be incorrect, at least in the spiritual sense, for all of those sins were forgiven at the cross, (1 John 2:2) and those we have committed since the moment of our salvation, have been forgiven if we have repented of them. (1 John 1:9) No my friends, these are not past sins, they are not unrepented sins, they are our thoughts, they are the reoccurring patterns within our minds that, although not constantly at the forefront, show their ugly heads enough to hinder our walk with Christ.
These are the thorns in our side, (2 Cor. 12:7) we with Paul and every other born-again believer whose one desire is to be pleasing in the sight of God carry these burdens, feel these thorns, and they are not going away. These are, when we correctly recognize them, the same burdens that our Lord carried, the hatred of sin, the heart of compassion for the lost, the desire to serve God, all of these and more are added upon us in the lust of our minds, the desires of our flesh, the pride that tries to engulf us, and when we battle against these last ones for His glory, then we have become partakers of His suffering.
I am sorry to say that most believers want no part of this suffering, they desire the crown of glory, but flee from the crown of shame, they desire to eat at His table in the kingdom, but not of the bitter herbs that are laid before us here. “The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” (Prov. 27:7) What we want taken away from us is generally what we desire the most at times, sometimes above all else, even to the loss of fellowship with the Lord, it is a difficult battle, and it is supposed to be. This is why many will hide from these truths in themselves, it is not that they do not ask the Lord to remove them, it is that they fear He will see them as disgusting each time they return to our minds afresh. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13) Every temptation that you encounter, whether real or imagined, our Lord knew, but because we are sinful beings, we must bear the load, carry the cross of them, perhaps until the end of your life.
Most will bear them alone, for they are far to repugnant to reveal to a brother or sister in Christ, and many who profess Christ actually have little desire to assist their brother with this burden. A great personal loss, incredible grief, yes, they will be there in these moments, but a burden of the flesh, the eyes, the mind, that is most usually a different story. Isn’t it amazing how so many will seek out a counselor, a psychologist, or other trained individual, perhaps sometimes even their pastor, but will not seek out those we are called to go to, our brothers and sisters in Christ. These are not issues of accountability, for we have no intention of acting upon these thoughts, that would be an abomination, yet to just express them should not be seen as the same. These are the burdens of the mind, these are the crosses we all must bear, these are the thorns in our sides, these my friends, are what we want taken away from us, cast away never to return.
That will happen on the day you are glorified, the day of your accounting, and not until then. Remain strong, trust in His Holy name, that day is coming, the truth will finally set that last vestige of us free.