Jesus is the master at asking good questions. He employed a particular question to great effect during His ministry on earth; “What do you want?” (Mat 20:21, 32; Mk 10:36, 51; Jn 6:67). This is the language of heart’s desires.
His question is still relevant today, inviting us to search our desires. “What is it that your heart really wants and goes after? What is your highest prize? What do you believe will truly satisfy you and give you life?” God pursues our hearts!
By putting the focus on heart’s desires, Jesus evokes the memory of Sinai where God entered into covenant with His people. Just like a marriage ceremony, the terms of the agreement called for hearts to be turned towards Him with fidelity and faithful allegiance.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deut 6:5).
God commands His people to desire Him exclusively as their most precious and treasured prize. Transformation begins with our own hearts!
Listen to the prayer of someone whose desires were being transformed God-ward! …
“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire.
O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me.
Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.”
A W Tozer
Do you know what you want?
We were made for relationship with God so what our hearts are really longing for is God Himself. That’s why nothing else will satisfy – no leadership positions, ministry success, approval, achievements, no other idol only God Himself. What do we desire more than God and His glory?
Now the Spirit has been given we rejoice that we have unrestricted access to Love Himself (see Ephesians 2:18). In communion with Christ, our Faithful Covenant Keeper, our renewed hearts are genuinely free to rise to great heights of love for God and others in response!
What a Gospel message we proclaim to a world in slavery to self! No other god proclaims deliverance from the enslaving power of self-centred, inward-orientated hearts and promises real liberty to love God and others with self-giving love. Where this Gospel power is at work, we will see communities being transformed into bodies of people who are empowered to embrace individual disadvantage, for the advantage of the body, in the likeness of Christ our Redeemer (see Philippians 2:1-9).
Dear Loving and Faithful God, You don’t deserve my lukewarm desire, for You love me with a fervent and unrelenting passion. I confess that I often find myself desiring things like peace, comfort, approval, healing, justice more than simply Your Good Presence. Please forgive and cleanse my fickle heart.
I pray today, “O God… I WANT to want Thee!” I bring my heart to You and ask that Your Spirit turns it Godward again! For Your name’s sake Amen.