by Anna Koh
Have you ever been thirsty to the point of desperation? What was on your mind then? “Water! If only I can have some water! Where can I find water?” The desire for water comes from within, no one needs to force it on you.
What about our desire for God? We may have heard sermons or lectures on how we must desire for God, it may stir up a desire that will make us fervent for days or perhaps weeks, but it soon fizzles out. Some of us seek God earnestly when we are in a crisis- when someone we love is terminally ill, when the bank balance is running low or when hopes are dashed. Desperation drives us to God and we desire for Him to speak, to do a miracle, or to direct. Why do we wait until a crisis to desire for God? Is that desire driven by a love for God or a love for His gift and what He can do? Have we missed out on the spiritual blessings?
However, it is impossible for us to desire God on our own accord. Only God can make a depraved heart desire for Him, by His grace, to transform our heart to do what it cannot do on its own. This transformation starts with our conversion.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Cor 5:17)
With conversion, He gives us a new heart by removing the old stony heart, and gives us His Spirit who will move us to follow His decrees and to keep His laws. (Eze 36:25-27) For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Phil 2:13). As believers, we have the capacity to desire God and to please Him. We can desire God by responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. In our 21st century language, we could say: the software/app is already installed, it is up to us to use it.
The things we desire are things that give us delightful and pleasurable experience, and we will always go back for more. The question is how do we find delight in God, so that we will desire to go back to Him, not only in times of distress, but always. To delight is to please, to make one glad. To love Jesus is to delight in the person of Jesus. He is relatable- the Bible says he is a brother (Rom 8:29), a friend (John 15:15), besides all the other titles and roles He carries. And to love God the Father is to delight in the Father. The bible exhorts us:
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps 37:4)
Rejoice in the Lord always. (Phil 4:4)
In prayer, I have experienced the Lord revealing Himself as Father to me at the point of an identity crisis when He said: “You are my daughter, is that enough for you?” It was a delightful reassurance. In worship, I once saw myself sitting on the Father’s lap when He was sitting on the throne, and I could whisper to Him, I felt so safe and secure. In reading His Word, I enjoy His story, now and then, He shows me nuggets of treasure. At times, He gives me words from the pages of the Bible confirming direction and decisions to me. It is delightful to spend time with God, He has ministered to me countless times and gives me joy, peace and sweet relief from the burden of life.
Sometimes other cravings and desires take precedence. But we must continue to “fight the good fight” because there is so much more of God to enjoy.
Do you desire God? I pray that we all do. The reason we do is because we love Him!