Summary: Introductory message to a series exploring the fulfillment of our God given longings. Inspired by "The Seven Longings of the Human Heart" by Mike Bickle.
- Arrival of L.L. Bean Christmas Catalogue
- Too early for Christmas? 18 months of presidential election. 60 days of Christmas cheer.
- Bold claim of the past 90 days.
The older I get, the more I realize what I truly want for Christmas, and in life.
Here is the premise of the coming weeks: “I believe that the word of God describes for us inescapable longings, desires, wishes in the core or every human heart that cannot be ignored, denied or pacified: they must be satisfied.”
I believe there are longings that each of us have deep within us, placed there by God when He knit together our inmost being. Longings that exist for the purpose of drawing us into His grace and presence. Longings that manifest themselves as aches within our heart. Cavities within our spirit that cry out to be filled, and one way or another, legitimately or illegitimately, each of these human, heart longings will be filled.
I believe that when God made us in His image, He intentionally placed these wishes and desires deep within our hearts for the very purpose of being able to fill them. We were made for Him. So we each have built within us a God-shaped vacuum that will remain empty and void until we allow God to fill it by satisfying these deepest longings.
No wish list. No present under the tree. No gift card to Fayette Mall. No catalogue will ever satisfy these cravings. God has placed them within us so that He alone might fulfill them to the uttermost.
Now, there are some foundational statements that I need to make today about these longings. They might make more sense at the end of our series than they do this morning. In fact, as you hear them at this moment, you may not even agree with them, or at the very least may wonder what the Biblical basis is for them.
All I can ask is that you hang in there with me. Give me time over the next few teachings to share from God’s Word, and I think when it is all said and done you just might say, “Wow, that really make sense.”
So here they are. Some. . .
FOUNDATIONAL UNDERSTANDINGS REGARDING OUR LIFE LONGINGS
1. THESE ARE UNIVERSAL LIFE LONGINGS.
Everyone of us has them. We are all created in the image of God, and God’s image is consistent, true, and never changing. So while we are each unique, within each of us are elements of commonality. And I believe these longings are part of that common make-up.
Your earthly Christmas list might be as different from mine as night is to day. But when push comes to shove. When the tree is unplugged and the ornaments are put away. When the family has all gone home, and the leftovers have all been eaten. When we each sit down at the dawn of a New Year, take a deep sigh, and look inside ourselves. We will each see a universal set of longings that tug at our heart. Secondly. . .
2. THEY ARE FROM GOD, AND THEREFORE, THEY ARE GOOD.
Much of American Christianity has roots of influence in the Puritan movement and DNA. Those roots of influence have a tendency to view all pleasure and desire as evil. For some of us, the result was being raised in legalistic environments that carried the assumption that if something gives us pleasure, it must somehow be wrong, and therefore must be rejected.
The problem is, if the longings that are pulling at us are created in us by God, no attempts to repent of the longings or deny the longings are going to do us any good. The problem is not the longings of our heart. The problem is when we try to satisfy those longings in un-Godly ways.
Because Satan is a master counterfeiter, for each longing that God has placed within our heart, he will attempt to provide a counterfeit way to fulfill that longing. And that can lead to sin. But the longings themselves are from God, and are good for the purpose of drawing us to Him for life fulfillment.
So my contention is that there are good, universal longings from God in each of our hearts, and not only are they good and universal, but. . .
3. THEY ARE ETERNAL.
These longings that our Creator has placed within us can only be truly fulfilled by Him. While we are here on earth, we just scratch the surface. We just a get a taste of all that He has for us. He provides us with just enough satisfaction to sustain us in the journey, but leaves just enough longing and aching to keep pulling us forward.
Paul wrote, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (I Corinthians 13:12, ESV)”