What do you long for? A better job? A nicer home? A happier marriage? Godlier children? A longer vacation? A plusher retirement? If what we are longing for is not Jesus, then we have substituted a lesser lover in our lives, and it is a lover that will never truly satisfy.
If Jesus is at the center of our lives, we will live with a sense of deep longing for the day when we will be in His presence forever. Lesser loves will not have the power to possess our minds, capture our hearts, and direct our wills when we love Jesus more than anything else in life. When driven and directed by a lovely longing for our Lord, we are able to keep things in their proper perspective. We understand that there is room for only One on the throne of our lives—and His name is Jesus Christ. When He occupies His rightful place in our hearts, our lives point to Him and everything we think, do, say, and desire becomes a hymn sung to His glory.
When we long for Jesus more than anything else, all that we have is viewed in light of eternity. We see beyond all that we have been given to the One who has given it all for His glory—not ours. Now, instead of viewing every good gift as a means to “horizontal happiness,” we are captured by His “vertical vision.” We expand the borders of our lives beyond the borders of our lives. We hold loosely to . . .
- Our plans
- Our dreams
- Our goals
- Our schedules
- Our agendas
- Our wants
- Our preferences
We hold loosely even to our lives, as we hold tightly to Jesus. We see our story in the context of His story, and we acknowledge Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our story. We dare not take the pen to write any portion of our story, because any segment we write will be stained by our sinful desires (see Jeremiah 17:9). Instead, we are always looking for ways to connect what we are doing with what Jesus is doing—right here and right now, both personally and professionally.
We were not made and remade to live simply for ourselves. We were created and given new life that we might live our lives for Jesus, and this is the only way that life will have eternal value—when we live for Him and in Him. We live in the present moment, but we long for that future moment when we will pass from this world into the next, where every moment will be filled with the presence of our Prince. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. (2 Corinthians 5:8-10)
So . . . are you living with a lovely longing for the Lord Jesus Christ? If yes, praise Him. If no, prayerfully consider what changes you need to make . . . because when you make them, it will make all the difference in the world for you. Robert Murray M’Cheyne provided great counsel for all of us who long to long more for Jesus, “For one look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ.”
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!