Skipping the Appetizers

I don’t suppose there is a greater compliment in this life than being sought after by someone of the opposite sex. Isn’t that the heart of real romance, being sought? Hollywood wants to make romance equivalent to lust. Being desired in that way may be flattering, at times, but it is no compliment to the person as a whole. But what if someone noticed you and sought you out because of who you are and a desire to know you better? I can hardly imagine what that might be like. It seems almost impossible that someone might want to get to know me more or might desire to spend time with me. And, if he did so after seeing that I have glaring flaws – because we all have flaws – that would be miraculous. Most days, it feels like even being noticed would take a miracle; being sought is something I shouldn’t dare to dream of.

My mind tries to remind my heart of the truth: I know from God’s Word and from my own life that I have been sought. Moreover, I have been sought by Someone who knows my every flaw better than I ever could. He knows every sin, no matter how deep I’ve tried to bury it. Still, He sought me. Still, He gave His life for me. It seems inexplicable, but He wants a relationship with me. It is the greatest “compliment,” in a sense, because He offers me perfect love. Why do I long for something lesser when God is there seeking this fellowship with me? Why can’t I consider it to be of greater value than the attentions or affections of a man?

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:1-3

I want to shed this humanity, so that somehow I can set my soul right to seek Him with just half the love with which He has sought me. I wish I could excise from my heart these foolish longings for temporal human relationships, so that my true longing and desire would be for Him alone. I imagine that if I can stay true to the path that I am on, the pangs of earthly desires may lessen and my desire for God will increase. How I want to speed up this process, but at the same time there is a clenched fist deep within me that holds tightly to the earthly desires. I’m afraid to let go of them, and I’m afraid of what my life will look like if I stop hoping my desires will be satisfied. I am stubborn in thinking that I should be able to have it all – a life devoted to God and fulfillment of my desires for this earthly life. Surrender is a difficult posture.

What it would mean for me to truly surrender my life to Him, to shed my human desires and truly desire nothing more than fellowship with Him? How to get there is the real question. My starting point is clear to me, after last week, that I must “take every thought captive in obedience.” And, it can’t be a sometimes thing. It has to be daily, or I will slide back into sin. I need to trust Him more, so that I can pry loose this grip I have on my own desires. I try to remember that this earthly life is just a foretaste. Why am I so hung up on sampling all of the appetizers when the feast that awaits me is more grand than I can comprehend?

Lord give me a heart of patience. Help me to fast until the Bridegroom comes and we eat together at the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Rev. 19:9) I want to be Yours. I want to seek the One who has sought me. I don’t want to value lesser things. Seal my heart to be Yours, Lord; help me to keep out impostures.

If the energy of my heart were set only on my relationship with Him, how close we might be. But my adulterous heart is always looking around for other options. I betray and devalue His love at every turn, yet He still seeks to draw me back. It reminds me of the prophet Hosea. That book of the Bible can be difficult to read because of the strong language used to compare God’s people to a prostitute. But at the heart of this book is an overwhelmingly awesome love. It gives us a picture of how we faithlessly seek the wrong things, and the God of love keeps following after us to bring us back to Him – no matter what we do or where we go. This perfect, amazing, forgiving love, is impossible to obtain from a human source. We may see reflections of it in people who walk in close fellowship with Jesus. But only our Savior, Himself, can supply the kind of love that every heart longs for.

And the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lathech of barley.

Hosea 3:1-2

These recent weeks have driven me to my knees to beg that He would remove from me the desires of the flesh and fill my longings with this love of His. I pray that He can help me let go of all these earthly things that I seek.

One thought on “Skipping the Appetizers

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  1. “Surrender is a difficult posture.” So, true, but also so much freedom and peace when we are finally able to surrender. ♥

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