All of us come into this world with deep and rather intense longings (discovered over time of course).
When in growing up, we don’t connect them to God (as most of us are prone), we soon come to grips with the fact that they cannot be realized, not fully and not satisfactorily. So we either shut down that area of our hearts or medicate (anesthetize) it…the former resulting in deadness, the latter in addiction.
Ecc. 3:11 says that God has placed eternity in our hearts. Why? So that we might seek after him throughout our pilgrimage on earth and one day receive forever all and more that our hearts deeply desire.
Don’t settle for less…for the quick fix, the immediate. Our longings are a gift, telling us there is more. Don’t shut down, don’t medicate them…befriend them. They will help get you home. Proverbs 16:26
*If we don’t acknowledge our longings, we’re only shorting ourselves.
Not to disparage any of the world’s religions, be they ancient, recent, popular or vague (including christianity), but Jesus never offered us religion. He didn’t live and suffer and die so we could add a little (or lot as the case may be) religion to our otherwise worldly, materialistic lives. His offer is, and has always been quite simply ‘life’…to the full and everlasting.
I could add freedom, beauty, love, intimacy, wonder and adventure, but of course these are essential aspects of life to the full. Sounds good to me. People can have their religion, I’ll follow Jesus thanks.
Okay, so what do I know? But just came across an old marriage lecture tape, and thot maybe I’d listen thru it, and great advice as I expected, agreed with most of it, but it was what the guy didn’t say that bothered me. I mean I have heard a zillion times, that marriage is work, work, work…and either spoken or implied that it’s not about the romance. Okay, I get the first part…a marriage based alone on romance may not survive, but, and here’s my 2 cents worth, a marriage without romance will certainly not survive, and if it does technically, certainly there’d be nothing appealing or remotely attractive about it. Here’s to keeping it alive! (and that may well be where much of the work comes in).
Love, that one quality which best describes God, is the one thing that he most desires of us. Indeed, he is jealous for it. He desires intimate allies, not cringing slaves; lovers, not religious puppets.
He is jealous for us, not of us. He isn’t after what we’ve got, he’s after us.
It is those who have trained themselves to slow down and disconnect from the mad pace of life; who take time to be quiet; who stop, look and listen…these are the ones who get to hear the voice of God, see his reflection, and experience his wonders…and are transformed. All earthly treasures pale in comparison.
One of the great tragedies in the church today as I see it, is that for most, there is a wide disconnect between the deep desires of our heart and our faith. Yes, God is good, the Word of God right and true, and Jesus the correct answer (mental ascent), but it all has little to do with the true longings of our heart, it would seem. Or does it? Who gave us all those universal longings for love, beauty, adventure, wonder and intimacy? Who created us this way? These are what I consider to be eternal longings. We don’t want just a taste, we long to have this and never lose it…ever! Ecc. 3:11 says God placed eternity in our hearts.
So having this disconnect, we end up with a quasi-christianity of duty and obligation, while trying (unsuccessfully) to find some fullfillment for the deep cry of our aching hearts, outside the realm of God and our faith. It’s not enough, it never will be. Eventually we shut down our hopes and settle for what crumbs we can find, or turn to addictions. Either way, our hearts are dead. What futility and what a great deception!
Duty and obligation will take you only so far, but not that far at all,and certainly they will not take you all the way home. They are not to be dismissed, they are just woefully insufficient without your heart being central in our journey of faith. That is to say, without your true and deep desires driving us on toward Jesus and our eternity with him.
It is difficult enough to live the christian life from your heart and with desire, but it is impossible without them.
Love changes everything. The gospel, in fact the whole word of God is a love story, and when we finally see it as that, as opposed to merely good theological instruction, principles, and tips and techniques, everything changes. Good parents would readily lay down their lives for their kids not because they read it in a instructional manual, but because they love them. Who knows where your love for God will take you in this world…but let it take you. This I do know…in the end it will take you home to where you long to be.