I want to want God.
I want to be passionate for the One who suffered a bloody Passion for me. I want to seek the One who sought me. I want to delight in the One who delights in me. I want to feel strong emotions for God.
I want to feel something!
There was a time in my life – it seems long ago – when I had great passion for God. But now? Well, I seem more “on fire” for my political views than for God’s kingdom. I get more excited about the latest Marvel movie or a really good bowl of ice cream than I do for God Almighty. I get more worked up about the need for mentoring than living for the One who commanded me to do so.
Yeah, I’ve got a problem. And this has been rattling around my brain for weeks now, convicting me, depressing me.
Mostly because I’ve seen how “on fire” some of my godliest friends are for God. Yes, I am well aware of the dangers of placing too much weight on emotions. But somehow, in my quest to not be overly emotional, I have failed to have any emotion for God. And that’s very, very bad.
While my friends pray, almost weeping, for strength in their own fight against sin, I feel only slightly inconvenienced by my own sinful failings. While I stumble upon my friends praying regularly and passionately for the needs of others, for souls that are lost, and for even myself, they stumble upon me endlessly researching politics or movies. Wasting my life away. Passionate for pointless things.
To be honest, I feel jealous and annoyed at their passion for God. But am I willing to do something about it? Not for the sake of one-upping them. But to reignite my love for Jesus.
If I am truly a child of God, there should be longing for my Father. It’s unnatural for there not to be!
That’s where a great message Sunday morning from my fiance’s pastor came in. He preached on Psalm 119:10:
“With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!”
What a passionate prayer from someone in love with his God. But with the “whole heart”? No way! I can’t even get my whole heart to seek pizza!
A couple verses later, he says:
“In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.” -vs. 14
Delight. The pastor described it as a boyfriend and girlfriend. They both don’t care what restaurant they go to. It doesn’t matter – they just want to be together. Delight means flexibility. Surrender.
And so, if I am to delight after God, I won’t care where He takes me. I’ll love Him so much that it doesn’t matter how difficult the path is. I just want to be with Jesus!
This means I must love Jesus. How simple a thought. How difficult to live out.
I’ve always felt inadequate in this task. I love a lot of things. I love mac ‘n cheese. I love Starbucks. I love llamas. I love my fiance. But to love God Almighty? Every time I sinned, my guilty soul (and probably that wily Satan) told me that I didn’t really love Jesus at all. But I loved the idea of loving Jesus!
And that means that I do love Jesus after all. It may not be much. But I do – and oh, how much more I need to love Him! Because if I truly love Him, then any sinful pleasure, human position, or physical object -really, anything this planet can offer – will seem like garbage in comparison. And every time I’m tempted, I will choose the Jesus I love.
It’s as my friend always ends his prayers: “We love you. Help us to love you more.”
Or, as the songwriter put it:
Set my heart, O dear Father,
On Thee, and Thee only,
Give me a thirst for Thy presence divine.
Lord, keep my focus on loving Thee wholly,
Purge me from earth; Turn my heart after Thine.
A passion for Thee!
O Lord, set a fire in my soul, and a thirst for my God.
Hear Thou my prayer, Lord, Thy power impart.
Not just to serve, but to love Thee with all of my heart.