Where do your longings carry you? Or, do you run towards the One who is all pure and holy–letting Him determine your path? This morning, my longings awoken my spirit quite early. Where to run? To the tv? To Facebook? To food? Or, to my knees? Where…to run? When your deepest longing is left in such a state…just longing. Then, there are questions of what the future holds. Many have some longing of some sort. Better job, retirement, money, a house, a child, a wife, for answers, better doctors, for better health, for fame even, or maybe just for good friends who stand by your side. Whoever you are, you have longings of some sort. Some desire you long to see fulfilled. But, is it one that leads you to or away from Christ?
I am reminded of the picture of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-38)—they longed to see the Messiah in their lifetime! You can be a God-fearing person and believer in Christ, and still have longings. The thing about it is: What kind of longings, and where do we turn in light of such longings? Do they draw us to Christ? Are they things that make us run to God—to prayer, to study the Scriptures, to fellowship with other believers? To complete abandon, surrender, and obedience to our Creator?
We all have longings. Do we allow the longings to lead us into sin? Or, do we grab the carnal sinful nature by the throat (by the power of Jesus)–determined to live out our lives fully for Christ by humbling ourselves, recognizing our need for Him, and praying that God will help us. Remember also what Galatians 5 teaches us:
“13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love…16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want…24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Gal. 5:13, 16-17, 24-26)
Do we have people we can be accountable to? Scripture is clear: Just because we desire something does not mean we are to pursue it… Are we seeking longings that will lead us to Christ? God promises us in Matthew 6 that He will provide for us. Yet so often, the longings we have make us feel like we are being deprived of something. God will provide all we need! Whoever you are, whereever you are: God will provide! Are you trusting Him to protect and provide for you? Often we want, but we don’t think about God protecting us in the process. We often just think about what we are not being given like some spoiled child (because we do not often deny the flesh—sinful cravings we have.). We don’t need to get whatever we want, so we need to just get over that. Would you rather have your selfish desire rather than to be protected by the Almighty God? Would you so choose heartache over God’s blessings that He desires to pour over you?
We forget that we are not our own, but we belong to the Lord. We need to seek His holy guidance. We need to pursue God. We need to learn to deny the flesh. Many things, but really just one—seek God. Seek Him with your whole heart, and all you are. The song my itunes just started playing is entitled “Lay Me Down” (Chris Tomlin) and the lyrics say:
“I lay me down. I’m not my own. I belong to you alone…
This much is true—there’s no life apart from you…
Letting go of my pride—Giving up all my rights—
Take this life and let it shine…
It’ll be my joy to say Your will, Your way.”
- Do your longings (or desires) lead you closer to Christ? If not, what do you turn to? What do you need to do to change that?
- Are you leading your heart or allowing it to lead you? Remember what Jeremiah says: ““The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jer. 17:9)