I long to drink of you, O God, drinking deeply from the streams of pleasure flowing from your presence. My longings overwhelm me for more of you! My Soul thirsts, pants, and longs for the living God. I want to come and see the face of God. Psalm 42:1-2 (TPT)
Have you ever experienced that feeling of restlessness that causes you to pace the floor? Now we would all readily admit that sometimes the path we have worn across the carpet is not a result of a passionate pursuit, but of internal striving and anxiety. But there are other times that a deep sense of dissatisfaction creeps in and overwhelms us. It is the insatiable feeling that cannot be satisfied with another cookie – although I am never opposed to trying that, another walk, or even another mind-numbing show on Netflix. What we do in those moments of sheer yearning for something we have not yet attained, will always come from our heart and can reveal what we really value.
The psalms are full of David’s internal struggle to keep his focus on the One who could actually bring life and satisfaction. His life, like ours, was not always filled with celebration and victory. There were many days and nights when the pressure of circumstances made his heart ache and his mind reel. There is hope for all of us if we can grasp the ways that David pulled himself out of the dungeons of despair and found a place of solid footing. He did arrive there on the coattails of someone else, it was David’s personal pursuit that brought him to a place of peace.
Our hearts know what they long for most. Yes, they can be deceitful and wicked, but that describes our condition before Jesus. Now, our hearts can be tamed as we linger in God’s presence. Just like a bank teller readily knows the feel of a counterfeit bill, when we spend time in the presence of God, face to face with the one who loves us unconditionally and fully, we train our hearts to long for the real and authentic. It is true that we can still fall prey to tantalizing options and may take a few steps toward the unfulfilling promise of things. It doesn’t take that many steps to realize that anything less than an encounter with what flows from God Himself is really unsatisfying.
Living a lifestyle of pursuit is not without its cost. Often, when we are overwhelmed with God and His presence melts our hearts, we offer, in sincerity, to give away what is a costly offering. It is His overwhelming love and kindness that draws the very best out of us. God always takes us up on our offer of surrender and willing obedience. He is ready to offer us new levels of relationship and deep satisfaction, all it takes is our “yes”.
Mary, the sister of Lazarus, is the poster child for worship and being a sold-out lover to Jesus. Her story is inspiring and brings into focus what can happen when we find our hope and expectation in Him. We may, like Mary, give away some of our most valuable treasure without even a thought of the ramifications. Those moments capture the heart of God and become milestones in our relationship with Him. No, He doesn’t need our money or our most expensive possession, but those willing offerings reveal something much deeper about our hearts. That, right there, is what He is ultimately after, our hearts.
Before the cross, Jesus was spending a few moments with His disciples. Mary came into the room and did the unexpected. She carried with her an alabaster jar of perfume. This was not a cheap knock off. It was an expensive fragrance valued at almost a year’s wages. It represented the accumulation of money earned and invested. Everyone in the room would have probably been okay if she had just anointed Jesus’ head with a drop of fragrance. But she had something entirely different in mind. (Excerpt from Rethinking Love: A New Perspective on an Old Flame by Dawn Cole)
Our lives are a gift. The righteousness we enjoy and the promise of the goodness of God being experienced by the generations of our linage are incomparable to the offerings we will make today. Not everything we pour out has a monetary value – sometimes it costs us time, or relationship, or family, but none of those drops of worship go unnoticed by God. He will meet us, face to face, and if we smell the air around the throne, it will still have the scent of our offering. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain in this divine exchange.