"Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living..."
As humans we have longings and desires, but often those desires leave us empty and incredibly unsatisfied. C.S. Lewis in his address, The Weight of Glory, so timely states, "It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not to strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meat by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." Because we are too easily pleased - these fleeting desires of our flesh take root in our heart and limit our ability to live life to the fullest. Jesus says, "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" (John 10:10).
What can this abundant life look like?
Let me paint a picture for you...
it was formative in my understanding of this so called "abundant life"...
A man and wife have wanted a child for a long time...through many prayers and tears they are finally given something that has been a ache of their heart...One day God says to the man; I need you to sacrifice this child...I can only imagine the thoughts in his head...WHAT! you can't be serious...now...after ALL of our waiting...you are really asking me to do this...but in submission to God he takes the child up a mountain and builds an alter, ties up his child, and raises a knife to kill him...God intervenes and provides him a ram to kill instead of his child...(loosely based from Genesis 22)
A.W. Tozer pens a beautiful response to capture God's heart in the story:
"It's all right Abraham. I never intended that you should actually slay the lad. I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might reign unchallenged there. I wanted to correct the perversion that existed in your love." (The Pursuit of God, 26).
I think no matter what season of life we are in, we might benefit from asking - Is there anything good or bad that is challenging the throne of our heart...the place where God who is forever to be praised, indwells? Secondly, does God need to correct any perversion that exists in my love? Love is what should define us if we claim to be followers of Christ. Christ states, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and foremost commandment. An a second is like it, 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law..." (Matthew 22:37-40). Jesus also states, "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you , that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35).
Love is a sacrifice and it comes at a very high cost.
Feelings will fade, but love will remain.
Are we willing to fully surrender all, so that the temple of our hearts are not a place where our weak desires that too easily please reign, but rather indeed a place where Christ reigns unchallenged......so that we can fully experience this full abundant life by loving God and others in response to the Love that was given to us...
my prayer being:
"Almighty God, who alone can bring order to the unruly wills and passions of sinful humanity: Give your people grace to to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, among the many changes of this world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.