What does your heart long for?
By Stephanie Szusz
My wonderful husband and I have been attending a Bible study group and we watched the Louie Giglio DVD series called “Grace – the One and Only” (I highly recommend it for everyone!!). I will admit I was reluctant to join this group because it just took up another night of my week. I loved the Lord but truthfully my heart did not long for Him or the ‘Things of the Lord’ first and foremost. OUCH - I read that now and cringe!! I want to state clearly that I am NOT perfect and the point of my message is to encourage you. I believe that the Lord rewarded me for my faithfulness to take time for Him. He is changing my heart to long more for Him above anything else. And He can do the same for you!
I know that Jesus died to account for my sin. However... I have recently learned that by professing and believing on the Lord Jesus as my Saviour He also GIVES me a cloak of His righteousness. I will always be a sinner – but this cloak of righteousness makes it that when God looks upon me– He doesn’t see my sin – He’ll see JESUS’ righteousness! How incredible!!!
So why do I tell you this? Upon learning this I was very convicted that my life needed to show it. If I am wearing a cloak that is to represent Jesus I need to put that on EACH day and proudly live it! Mathew 5:6 says ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” And filled I am!! I am filled with a deeper desire to learn more and more about our Lord – to not be lukewarm but to be always serving Him as He’s called us to be!! (Rev 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. ) In my opinion I feel like there is a lot of ‘buffet Christianity’ today – people want to love Jesus but they don’t want to be inconvenienced or give up anything for Him or His work (which is funny, because isn’t He the provider of everything we have? Why do we think we can lay claim to it all?). They find pieces of Jesus and His commands that fit nicely into their lives, and ignore the rest.
Take a moment and examine your own life. What does your heart long for? In what areas do you seek satisfaction? I will tell you plainly that until this year, my heart loved the Lord but I never LONGED for Him – at least not FIRST. I was definitely visiting the buffet!! Things like a promotion at work, losing 10lbs, having trendy clothes, the coolest ‘pins’ on pinterest, restored relationships etc. is what consumed most of my heart! Now, is it wrong to want or enjoy these things? No, not at all. BUT I will challenge you to truly examine where they fall in comparison to the Lord. When we desire something, we seek and search for resources to satisfy that desire. But how much MORE should we be longing to satisfy our God!? Our great Creator!? The one who provides us with EVERYTHING we have!! Only the Lord can truly fill my longing – and how can He do this work in my life if I’m not putting Him first?! In following Christ we have laid down our lives to the direction and calling of the Holy Spirit – that’s a sacrifice – which means that sacrifices will continue to occur in our worldly lives....before anything else we should be longing for and open to the direction of the Holy Spirit. If we are saying we are the Children of God then we need to act that way, talk that way, look that way! May HIS word guide us and be our measuring stick. There is nothing wrong with wanting a nice home, a good job, nice clothes etc – BUT these MUST always come AFTER the Lord and fall within the guidelines He has for our lives! Constantly comparing to what the Lord has called us to is FREEDOM and abundance (John 10:10b... I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly)!! Comparing to the ‘norms’ and expectations of society is exhausting... and futile as it will never fill us like the Lord can!!
How often do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? Is it not easier to just ‘go with the flow’ of society? Yes it is....I know it is. I battle with this daily. However, I believe that if we are always reaching to live a more righteous life that the Lord will reward us. He will bless us and fill us with His Spirit which in turn will enable us to do the work He has called us to do. We just need to make time for Him. Why is it so easy to spend 20 minutes on facebook or watching tv instead of spending time with the Lord? Purposefully make time to study His Word, pray to Him and listen for Him! Garbage in, garbage out -right? Well...the Lord, His Word and Godly living in....more of this OUT!! Do you not desire this!? Let’s not lose the fire we should have to proclaim the awesomeness of the God that SAVED us!! I’ll still watch tv and be on facebook – but my desire is that it’s less and less and that the Lord is more and more!
Colossians 1:18b “...that in all things He might have the pre-eminence (superiority, prestige and prominence) ” . The Lord and the things of the Lord should always rank first – people’s hearts, souls, proclaiming who our great Jesus is, saving hearts – these things MUST COME FIRST!! We all know that as 2 Peter 3:10 says “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night... both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” The Lord is coming back, and when He does the earthly things we all stress about so much will be ‘burned up’. But the people we love, and even those we don’t – their souls will remain – let’s concern ourselves daily with the important things ladies!!
I encourage you and pray for your hearts that they may always seek the Lord first. That you be encouraged and comforted by the Holy Spirit to put earthly desires aside and make a sacrifice for the Lord. He has an amazing and wonderful plan for your life – the more we seek Him the more He will reveal this plan to us! Rely on the Holy Spirit’s prompting and listen and act in faith – He is always with you!