Longing. Have you ever experienced the kind of longing that fills you with anticipation—like the first crisp air in early spring? When you breathe in deeply, it hints at blazing colors to come, the smell of freshly cut grass, and dazzling mornings. You can't help but smile.
Does this sound similar to the longing you have—delightful anticipation—when you approach God? Do you long to spend time with Him, communicate with Him, and have Him instruct you? Do you run to Him often with this longing?
The psalmist describes this longing:
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water (Psalm 63:1).
Perhaps you've grown stale or lethargic. You may not recall the last time you felt this kind of passion for God. Perhaps you've lost your desire for God by allowing other things to crowd Him out. Absence does not necessarily make the heart grow "fonder" in this relationship. An "out of sight, out of mind" mentality can develop if we're not looking for Him throughout the course of our day.
It is hard to imagine taking for granted the goodness of God, but we can all plead guilty. A lack of gratitude and contentment with His provisions can steal our affection for Christ.
The loss of longing can also be the result of broken fellowship with God as a result of sin. When God opens our eyes to a "blind spot" and we ignore His clear conviction, we develop a "hardened heart" that will grow cold until we are broken in repentance.
If you've grown dull in your approach to the Almighty, today you can begin cultivating a fresh hunger for Him!
- Discover time wasters. Consider whether you've allowed other things to fill up your life and crowd out your time with God. See if you have any "time wasters" by keeping a time log. For a week, write down your activities each hour as you progress through your day. At the end of the week, review what you've recorded and discover time wasters that can be released!
- Cultivate a heart of gratitude. God delights in hearing us thank Him. Start with the basics if you're struggling to find blessings: the gift of sight, the ability to think, and a glorious sunrise! Sincere expressions of gratitude throughout the day soften the heart.
- Turn from sin to Him. Sin blocks our ability to see clearly and dulls our sensitivity to spiritual matters. It breaks our fellowship with the Father and leads to a state of coldness toward sacred things. If you find yourself in that condition, simply return to the One who can cleanse and restore. Ask Him to grant grace for repentance and to renew your hunger once again.
Although repentance is painful, the cleansing process brings a deeper level of appreciation for God's mercy and holiness. When you sense your heart hardening and your desire to meet with God waning, heed that as a warning. Run to the cross.
"Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you" (Hosea 10:12).
Where is your heart today—hardened or filled with longing?