‘Probing Deeper’ Meditations: 26. Yearnings
Mt 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
We’re on the downhill slope to the end of the month. The underlying theme this month has been ‘going deeper’ and to ‘go deeper’ you have to ‘probe deeper’ but to do any of these things – and stick at them – there has to be an underlying yearning deep down for more.
Another version of this verse says, “Happy are those whose GREATEST DESIRE is to do what God requires.” This requires focus, effort, concentration, but above all a conviction that knowing God is THE all-important issue of life and knowing Him MORE is one aspect of that. Can we pray daily, “Open my heart Lord to you and to your word, put a hunger in me that nothing with satisfy except knowing you more.”
There, that was easy to say, wasn’t it, but the whole point of these thoughts this month have been to prompt us to go beyond simply saying the words and thinking more deeply about what they really mean to us.
There used to be a time (but we don’t seem to hear it so much today) when talk of ‘commitment’ came up regularly. Commitment was about an attitude of the will to ‘go for God’, which was often seen in outward actions and serving. But Jesus, especially in the Sermon on the Mount, focused more on what was on the inside of us rather than our outward actions. Outward actions should come from a yearning heart but they can come instead from a sense of legalistic guilt – this is what I ought to be doing. Jesus prefers the former reason – our actions flowing from a yearning heart.
This ‘yearning heart’ – hungering and thirsting for God and His righteousness, His will, I have come to believe, comes when the Holy Spirit is able to ‘enlighten our hearts’ as we saw back in Study 22. When He is able to start bringing us understanding (and this happens when He first finds an open heart) and we start ‘seeing’ (as we considered in various earlier studies) there comes a growing awareness of the wonder of who it is we follow and what he has done for us.
That is on the knowledge side. Probably at the same time we may be experiencing Him (the Spirit) stirring us as we pray or wait upon the Lord. For some of us this happens early on in our walk with Him, for others more further along the path and for a very few even as we came to Christ. It was all about when the Spirit could work in this way in us. If we are concerned at what we might perceive as an absence of such hunger the answer, as always, is to pray, seek Him, petition Him, for without His help, the hard truth (hard as it hits the ego and pride) is that, as Jesus said, without him we can do nothing. But this yearning brings with it blessing which we’ll consider tomorrow.