Life,  Theology

The Longing in our Hearts

Longing – We all have experienced it at one time or another in such consuming ways that we feel as if we cannot be contained. I remember the feelings deep inside of me on numerous Christmas Eves I faced as a child. I longed for the morning to come to the point where sleep would elude me. I can think of the longing for marriage, the longing for graduation, and the longing to see my children; none of these compare to the deep longing God has placed in the heart of every human being who has ever lived. As I taught this past Sunday, this longing is for something who is bigger and beyond us, and that something is a Someone. It is God alone.  The otherness of God of which I spoke is called transcendence. A. W. Tozier is one of my favorite authors. He wrote of God’s transcendence in The Knowledge of the Holy:

“We must not think of as highest in an ascending order of beings, starting with the single cell and going on up from the fish to the bird to the animal to man to angel to cherub to God. This would be to grant God eminence, even pre-eminence, but that is not enough; we must grant Him transcendence in the fullest meaning of that word. Forever God stands apart, in light unapproachable. He is as high above an archangel as above a caterpillar, for the gulf that separates the archangel from the caterpillar is but finite while the gulf between God and the archangel is infinite.”

God made us to long for Him, to yearn for him, as a deer pants for water. We only find fulfillment through knowing God. The deepest needs in our lives are met only through our personal experience and relationship with Christ. In my message on Sunday, I quoted  from a book entitled The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning:

“The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.”

One Comment

  • jan lea

    wonderful teaching, as i continue to walk and increase my time to and with God, i realize if i step back just a little bit or get a little lazy, i tend to feel miserable and desolate. Only God can truly fullfill what man needs or longs for. It’s amazing that God know the number of hairs on my head and I do not. How much I am loved by my almighty creator..praise King of kings and Lord of lords

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