Recently I wrote a small article bringing to light and attempting to answer the question? What do I really want to see? I mean, really, what is it I am wanting to see? In terms of revival? My life? In the professing Church? In my family? In the world? Do we, especially men, need to fashion a “new cart” to carry the old truths of the ancient of days? So here again we find ourselves, how do we carry out what we want to see? What are the deep longings of our souls?
Here is where, I believe we must begin: Do we even know what is the deepest longings that God has placed within us? What is it that the Spirit has spoken to our spirits? Are we even children of God? If so, how shall we carry and use that which He has given us?
In recent days I have had many conversations from all over – from the internet, to people in my local church, to those at work, to those I meet in public and in regards to my leading, loving and serving in my own home. Most of all, it is in the early morning hours of time alone with God that I must bear witness as to what I am doing with that which He has given me. What do I want to see being done with the gifts that the Spirit has given me?
So, give me room here in this article to share my personal desires, deep longings and some of the gifts the Lord has so graciously and mercifully bestowed upon me.
“For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7
Now you may be thinking, what an odd place to begin, but I assure you, this is not of my fleshly desire. If I am really honest, I have to say, there is nothing in me that really wants to know the depths of this verse in my life. After all, the Lord may just begin to show me the reality of myself and the deceitfulness of my own heart, especially when it comes to really serving and loving my wife, leading my children and managing my household well. But, nonetheless, it is what has been birthed deep down.
Over the course of my Christian life I have had many people tell me what my gifts are, what gifts I should have, what gifts are already there, etc. But what does it really matter what people think? Is it not more important that I am more concerned about what God thinks? After all, is it not His Spirit that gives the gifts? And after all, should I not be very concerned about how I use His gifts and to what end?
Here in lies my direction, my reasons, and my deep longings for what it is I really want to see. So what is it I really, down deep, want to fulfill? Maybe, rather than ask it in this way, I should ask, so what is it that God really desires of me? Desires of me to fulfill? Desires of me to walk out? Desires of me to be obedient?
My beginning pathway
In regards to identifying the deep longings
Over the course of my brief 15 years of being a Christian, God has used many verses to completely ravish my soul. Many verses have spoken so heavily and so repeatedly that they I could not shake them off even if I tried. Below are a just a few.
“If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.” Jeremiah 20:9
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 11:3, 13:5
“Enoch walked with God.” Genesis 5:21-24
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24
“Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?” 1 Corinthians 6:7
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.’” Daniel 3:16-18
Jeremiah 17:5-9, 31:31-40, 32:36-41; Ezekiel 36:22-32; Romans 8:13, 6:11; to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3, and so many more!
Lately I have been thinking about the all of the different prophets throughout Scripture. They were diverse, lived in specific eras and specific cultures as the Lord willed. They spoke the truth, no matter what people thought about it. Out of all the gifts of the Spirit, Paul said we should pursue love and to be a prophet. This especially is in the context of being deeply birthed in the love of God for lost souls and the edification of the church.
But we must remember, not everyone has the same gift. It is as the Spirit “apportions to each one individually as he wills.” The gift of being a prophet was so that the edification of the church and the individuals that make up the church would be kept on the narrow path, warned when off the path and led to repentance. Since early on in my walk with the Lord, my overwhelming passion (this not of me), is to see the bride of Christ, the church, edified, kept in holiness, and gaining an ever increasing passion for the glory of God, all for the uplifting and focusing upon Jesus Christ and in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Below are just some of my thoughts in regards to the prophets and my longings to obey my Lord.
I want to be like:
- Enoch: for he walked with God and warned what would come of the godless (Jude 14-15).
- Nathan: for he went individually, and to the most powerful man at the time, King David, and said, “You are the man!”
- Elijah: was “very jealous for the Lord” (1 Kings 19:10), understood and spoke out, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?” (1 Kings 18:21).
- Isaiah: caught a glimpse of the “Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6:1), having his lips cleansed from the burning coal that was on the altar. He knew he was a man of unclean lips. He also went on to proclaim the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Jeremiah: often wept over the souls of those who thought they were good with God, and proclaimed the reality of needing a deep and true repentance. For there was a burning fire that God had shut deep within his bones and he could not hold it in. And although he as only a youth, God told him not to say, “I am only a youth.” (Jeremiah 1:4-10), for the Lord had touch his mouth to speak.
- Ezekiel: What about young Ezekiel? He was told to say what needed to be said, otherwise the blood of the people would be on his hands. Ezekiel was shown by the Lord what abominations were happening in the temple behind close doors, shown the wicked counselors, shown the idolatrous elders, and show why Sodom was really destroyed.
- Daniel: Refused to eat the king’s meat, refused to bow the knee, along with the three other Hebrew children. There was no mixed living with the world in Daniel; although he lived in the world, affected that world, but never let the world’s way of living infect him.
- Hosea: Given a hard and quite toilsome task of doing the will of the Lord and calling the people to come out of their harlotry. This had to be incredibly difficult, yet despite the commandment, he followed the Lord’s calling and will.
- Joel: Blew the trumpet call of God to repent and come back to the Lord.
- and on and on it goes as for the prophets.
But, more than anyone else, I much rather be like my Lord Jesus Christ. For He was the perfect prophet. No one ever loved souls more than Him; prayed more passionately than Him; wept more bitterly than Him; sought to follow the Lord’s will more than Him; was reviled more than Him; tested by the Spirit and tempted by Satan more than Him. He was the Author and Perfecter of our faith and demonstrated the way of authentic grace. By His wounds we were healed. This is the One to whom I deeply long to be like!
In regards to my private life: myself government – my wife & children
Where does it all start? It simply starts in the depths of myself, when I am alone and no one can see me. It overflows unto my wife and my children. It continues to flow into the areas and things of leading, serving and loving while managing the home.
In regards to the church
Continuing on further, the overflow of my deep longings always ought to be to edify, admonish, buildup and encourage the body of Christ unto deeper and deeper realities, truths and passions for the risen Savior.
In regards to those outside the church
Moving even further yet, God’s grace, love, mercy and forgiveness compels me that I should use my gifts wisely and powerfully among those who have not yet seen the hope of Christ and those whom I interact with on a daily and ongoing basis.
Final Thoughts and Deep Longings
So, what are the deep longings and what I really want to see? We want to see men and women catch a much greater glimpse of the glory of God in the overwhelming grace of Jesus Christ, resulting in the mission of propelling others, in all interactions, to the reality of God Himself and His powerful workings. And this will see, and see lasting, if we will keep upon our attention to God’s promptings, convictions, and leadings and obey. For how can we say, we love God if we do not obey and also love His children?
What are the deep longings and gifts that the Lord has given you? How are you using them?