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I ask myself: Blessing. Do you long for it? But sometimes my answer is, “Sort of, but life would be really good if …”
…my job wasn’t so frustrating.
…I hadn’t messed up dinner last night.
…I had a new sweater.
…my baby slept well.
…she hadn’t said that.
“As Christians see her, a spiritually whole person longs in certain classic ways. She longs for God and the beauty of God, for Christ and Christlikeness, for the dynamite of the Holy Spirit and spiritual maturity. She longs for spiritual [health] itself–and not just as a consolation prize when she cannot be rich and envied instead … As we might expect, her longings dim from season to season. When they do, she longs to long again.” ~ Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
Is God the main prize you run after or just your consolation prize? Do you truly long for him?
In Psalm 119 the Psalmist sees those who walk in all God’s ways. And he wants what they have. And he takes a look at his own heart that is so prone to wander. He knows too well the shame of looking honestly at the goodness of what God has required and the glory of who God is and then seeing how far short he falls of it.
And so he cries out for God’s help, that he might whole heartedly walk in God’s ways:
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
~ verse 10
Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
~ verse 18
Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
~ verses 36 & 37
Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
~ verse 133
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.
~ verse 176
These verses are scattered throughout the psalm. The psalm ends with verse 176. Our need for God’s saving intervention never goes away, even to the last verse.
I cannot tell you how often verses 36 & 37 voice my own plea to God. It’s my way of saying, “God, I’m not even inclined to want to walk in your ways. Change my heart. Let me long for you and not for worthless things.”
Which desperate cry for help resonates with you? Read it again. Slowly. Write it out. Memorize it. Pray it. Again and again and again. Every time you feel your heart longing for something else. Until your very last verse.
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