Tag Archives: needs

Why We Do What We Do

How often do we search our hearts with the help of the Holy Spirit, seeking to know why we do what we do? Take the time, ask Him to shine the Light of His refining torch into your soul.

The things we do, do we do them to fulfill a need within us or because of wanting to share the love of God with others? For most of us, the answer will be both at times.

Each of us has longings. We all ache at times and seek to numb the pain through activity. We all experience emptiness that fuels what we do as we desire to be filled.


Christ wants to fill the emptiness. He wants to satisfy the ravenous wants we have as human beings. But it requires that we face the pain of not numbing ourselves.

We have to surrender the mindless actions we often undertake, such as repeatedly checking Facebook, sleeping away the day, or binge-watching the next new TV series. It requires that we cease doing things, even serving people, to try to grab onto anything to make us feel whole.

How often do we engage in activity for the sake of self over truly giving form an overflow of God’s love? At the least, we all love imperfectly. Each of us will be perfected in His love season by season as we grow in relationship with the Lord.

So what is Jesus wanting to work within us?
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Come to the Feast

Jesus has set a table of extraordinary delicacies before us, beloved ones.

He anoints your head with the oil of gladness and fills your cup so that it overflows without ceasing. In the joyous times and in the painful moments, despite the trials and persecution of life, He want to continually feed you with the knowledge of Himself and His love (Psalm 23:5). Feed upon His faithfulness.

All are welcome to come to Him. You who hunger and thirst for true love, beauty and authenticity are welcome to come. There is no cost, no perfect perormance required, for He has paid the price. All He wants is your heart, so come freely to receive of His (Isaiah 55:1-3). Continue reading

The Rawness We Face in Pursuit of Prayer and Intimacy with God

When we pursue a deeply close relationship with Jesus, we often come face to face with the deepest longings within our souls. Yearnings seem to ache and cry out from the depths of us in the midst of life’s noise, needing to be fulfilled.

Even more, we stumble upon the slippery river rocks of our struggles in which we must fight against filling the voids we feel with things other than Jesus. We need to just let go, take a deep breath, and journey out of our comfort zone, diving deep into the, at first, shockingly frigid river and start swimming upstream toward God’s throne.

This can feel like an unbearably raw place to be. In the midst of worship and prayer (whether in a group, prayer room, church, or alone), the tug to pull away from feeling and facing our neediness yanks at us, trying to rope us back into more practical activities and even into mere distractions.

We may first face the deafening ache of our hearts, ever needy for God, as we attempt to draw nearer to Him. Within our souls the pain of this longing can seem like an intolerable silence, yet all at once filling us with its wearying noise. It is the deep calling to deep at the roar of His waterfalls (Psalm 42:7).

Our surrender to God’s ways will soon smell satisfyingly sweet if we will simply turn our gaze to Him and off our soul and our circumstances. Know this: Jesus is worth it all in comparison to any other pursuit. Refuse to quit when your soul demands you to pacify its needs. Keep drawing near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

All this may seem foreign if you have not journeyed this way before, but in time I pray that, for each of us, the budding understanding of this experience will be fully formed in us, assisting us as we decide to push past the pain, the emptiness, and the yearning with the determination to grow closer to God.

We know with assurance: Only Christ can fully satisfy these yearnings.

The Root of All Our Longing and Wanting

Chai latte in hand, I strolled through our local bookstore, browsing the titles and beauty of books, journals and stationary. I recalled the former days when I was drawn to the bookstore like a moth to a lighted lamp nearby.

I would longingly look at the books, not realizing that the longing I felt would not be fully satisfied by just simply reading about God and His ways. Even when I found another good book, my yearning was not for knowledge, but for a deeper relationship with Jesus and to encounter His love, truth and beauty.

Words and pictures can help lead us and even stir up the flame of love in our hearts, but they cannot fully satisfy. It took me a while to realize that my desire to feel satisfied was what drew me to the bookstore. I love to write and to read, but I discovered that yearning for more of God was the only answer to my soul’s longing.

Many of us have things in our lives that we turn to during those times when we feel a little more empty inside than usual. For me, browsing the books was one of those activities.

God does speak to us in many ways, such as through a beautiful sunset, art, words and even titles of books, but these things cannot replace pure fellowship with Him and the way this connection satisfies our hearts.

Even still, my spirit fluttered today when Jesus spoke to my heart as I browsed, reminding me of all He’s been teaching me. First and foremost, it is my Father God who I need and long for deeper communion with.

All of our longings point to Him. The ultimate root of every desire is our need for God and through close-knit moments spent with in His presence. If we will allow God a moment to shed light on this truth, we will find it always true. He uses the beauty of nature, relationships with others, the hobbies we enjoy, and much more; but ultimately, without Him, these things leave us still unsatisfied, for only He can satisfy us completely.

We must learn to cultivate an awareness of His presence with us in every moment and yet also set aside focused time to have conversation with Him and encounter Him in His Word. (Brother Lawrence, who wrote a short and very excellent book on the subject, called this “Practicing the Presence of God”, which is also the book’s title).

[A Note of Clarification: We must come to the Father through His Son, Jesus. This truth holds together all that I write: I am a Christian. I believe Jesus is the only way to the Father; Christ’s sacrifice, believing He is the Son of God and making Him Lord of our lives. Salvation is not on our terms, but His; nonetheless, He is no forceful tyrant, He is Love and He tells us that He will not go against our free choice, but we must choose Him.) For starters, see Romans 10:9-11, John 14:6, Matthew 22:37-39.]

Intimacy is an every day, every moment endeavor. Just as in other relationships, such as that of a husband and wife, it comes in grand moments of love and life shared in the big, and it comes in the tiny droplets of joy shared in a momentary glance or smile. It comes as we give love through a gesture of kindness and service to another, and also comes as we support one another in times of trial and hardship.

This too is how I think God longs for us to live–walking through life always connected to Him, and I long to live this out. To walk through each day with joy instead of stress, gratefulness instead of fear, and meekness instead of frustration… and above all, to be intimately connected to God in every moment of every day and night.

I want to be so aware of Father God that I am filled with His love and the knowing of His presence dwelling in me by His Holy Spirit. I want to be “devoured” by the One who loves me so immensely that even through eternity I will never fully comprehend Love’s depths. I want to get lost in Christ so fully that I think nothing of myself and all of Him and what is on His mind and feeling what is on His heart. “More of Him, less of me” (John 3:30).

Father God, however possible this is on this side of eternity, please bring me to this place with You.

For Christ is all, and in all… and by Him and for Him and through Him all was made, and in Him all things consist and are held together. Jesus is THE Way, the ONLY Way! May He have the preeminence – it’s all about Him! Loving Him and knowing Him! (See John 14:6, Colossians 1:16-17).