Thursday, January 22, 2009

God's Longing Heart

Have you ever longed for something that you did not receive? I am not talking about something ungodly or something you knew God did not want you to have. Instead, I am talking about longing for something pure and holy but not being able to have it, such as a loved one coming to Christ, a godly spouse, a more intimate marriage, a child fully following Jesus, a physical healing, a job to provide for your family, etc. It is very hard to want something that you know would please God but for some reason not be able to have it, or to have to wait for a long time for the desire to be fulfilled. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov. 13:12).

Have you ever stopped to consider how often God experiences unfulfilled longings? For example, His longing heart desires for people to walk close with Him, yet they refuse. He reaches out with His loving arms, only to have many turn Him away. He deeply desires to bless His people with good things, but they refuse to give Him the time of day. He longs to bring inner healing to many, but few allow Him into those painful areas of their heart.

Recently in my quiet time with God, I read Psalms 81 and noticed the longing heart of God. Read this passage and take special note of the words I have highlighted:

"Hear, O my people, and I will warn you--if you would but listen to me, O Israel!
9 You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god.
10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. "But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me…13 "If my people would but listen to Me, if Israel would follow My ways, 14 how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! 15 Those who hate the LORD would cringe before Him, and their punishment would last forever. 16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you."
Psalms 81:8-10, 13-16

Consider also the words of Jesus in Mt. 23:36-38:

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."

Do you sense the heart of God in these passages? Do you feel His intense longing for His people? Do you see how much He wants to give good things? Remember, He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebr. 11:6). Yet, time and time again His people refuse to listen to Him, submit to Him, and allow Him to feed them with the finest of wheat. How tragic! God has such good things for us, but we think our way is better.

This is the heart of God for YOU, my friend. God wants you to come to Him – fully come to Him – that He might bestow upon you the finest of wheat. Why would you hold back? Why would you not give Him your all? Why would you not seek Him with all your heart? Why would you not give Him your pain and abuse, so that He might heal you at the deepest level possible?

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28)!