Desires, Interpretation and Longing for God.

Firstly, apologies for the long absence. I took some time off to enjoy a well deserved holiday with my daughters and also visit some of my family in Africa.

My trip home was quite a bitter sweet experience, one that was so different from all the other times. And the topic of today was the very reasons.

For well over 10 years I have put my self in many situations and done so many things that aren’t necessarily good for me or in line with God and my faith. The most impactful of those moments being what I now call misplaced desire and misguided attempt to feel something.

I used to love going home(Africa) for more than just it being my home, but because home really nurtured my dysfunctions. I didn’t live there and I could get away with doing just about anything without having to deal with the immediate consequences. I could let loose, party like there is no tomorrow and play with lust to fulfill all my desires. I could live “my best life” and fully live out that YOLO lifestyle.

With this trip home, everything felt different. A mixture of feeling of mourning shame and temptation all at once. Who I was used to being when I’m visiting was no longer acceptable to me. I felt somewhat lost in the middle, unsure of how to feel or what to do.

And so there I was in a place of my dysfunction and the middle of my transformation…

Augustine of Hippo once wrote, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” 

We all have a longing and a desire to feel something meaningful, something more something fulfilling. I understand now that most if not all my decisions have been influenced by this longing… that covers all that formed part of the dysfunctions in my life.

It has only really sunk in me that this desire is really for God and trying to fill it with anything else is futile and will keep you in bondage.

One of the most powerful promises of God in Jeremiah says;

For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord

Jeremiah 29:11-14

I have to confess and say even though I have experienced the power of seeking God and his peace, I get caught up in life and when I do, that longing comes back, the first thing on my mind isn’t to check in with God.

Being on holiday my schedules were tossed out and unfortunately so was my time with God. It’s obvious that I would start to have that longing – a reminder to check on the state of my relationship with God

As I was navigating my new relationship with “home”, I had a conversation with a friend, who, in talking about such dysfunctional behaviour and attempts to fill that longing described it as ‘running away’.

Instantly memories of all the times in my life I was told I like to run away from things came flooding.I could never really understand why people said this about me because I did not feel like I’m running away from anything. I had nothing to run away from but a lot of emptiness I needed to fill.

The danger of seeing this reaction as running away from something is that, instead of comprehending what the longing is for (God) we are pulled back into our dysfunction..(because i don’t want to run away from this life so I’m going to recommit to this dysfunctional thing and work hard to make it work)…..we all know how much the world values sticking it through even if it kills you.

And so we are now stuck in this cycle jumping from one dysfunction to another and right back to the original one.

 Paul says in Corinthians that we should not conform to patterns of the world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. The reason for this command is so we are able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good pleasing and perfect will.

There comes a point in the life of a believer where you have to separate yourself from the ways of the world, the rationale and logic used by the world. Everything that happens has to be tested and approved as one within God’s will and the passage above reminds us…or should I say guides us to know that this Will is good, it’s pleasing and it’s perfect.

 

So next time you find yourself longing for more when everything is “seemingly” right or perfect or you find yourself engaged in damaging and not so good things, don’t just assume what the reason may be… first seek God, test what you know with truth that is the world of God.

The bible warns us that the heart is deceitful and desperately sick and that only a fool gives full vent to his spirit.

Therefore quietly hold back your spirit and trust in the lord with all your heart.

Seek him and you will find him.

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