Father, as you have been helping me to build more hope and joy within my soul, I realize that there have been many times in the past when parts of me have resisted receiving deeply the love, hope, joy and peace that you want to grant me. Why would I defend myself from my Defender? Why would I shield myself from my Shield? It all seems so odd and even silly to me. It can only be those residual forces in me of stubborn independence...my inferior and proud desire to make my life work on my own instead of simply trusting you as a child. It is rooted in my fear and doubt that you will somehow abandon me when the heat is on. Forgive me Immanuel and continue to draw me into a greater and firm trust that you are more "for" me than I can ever imagine. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
We are beings designed by God both from desire and for desire. It is futile to try to rid ourselves of desire. In order for wrong and counterproductive desires to lose their grip on our hearts, minds, emotions and ways, they must be displaced by right and healthy desires, not simply denied. Indeed, we must say "no" to sinful desires, which is easier to do when we see their fallout in our lives and relationships. But we must, in turn, say "YES" to better desires. This above verse implies two things. First, that as we become focused on discovering how delightful God truly is, then He promises to weed out the old desires of a self-centered life and plant new desires within us. I call them golden desires. Second, God literally longs and promises to fulfill the desires that His Spirit establishes within our hearts that cause us to live and walk in the rhythms of peace and joy in Christ. So, to "adore" God as a preoccupation is what inevitably leads us to "a door" of living a life of wholehearted satisfaction and joy...even in the midst of a world that is yet weighed down with much pain and perplexity. To adore is to a door! Through this maturing process, we become a vital part of very real and practical divine solutions to human dilemmas.
The first time I heard God speak to me (in a way that I was aware), was when I was 16. I was a confused young man with conflicting powerful desires raging within me and vying for ascendency. I had evolved into a pseudo-intellectual, hippie, jock - an admittedly very strange combination of forces! I was trying on various masks and personas out of the deep insecurity of not knowing who I really was or was called to be. I was not consciously searching for God, though I can now see how the Holy Spirit had been preparing me throughout my childhood to offer my life back to our Heavenly Father.
I deeply resonate with what the great French philosopher Pascal said, "There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus” When I heard God's voice, I knew it was Him and that I wasn't "okay" on a very deep level...and it scared me. But rather than responding to His invitation to soften my heart and receive what He was offering me, I ran away determined to make myself more presentable to Him someday.
After 2 years, I ran out of energy to resist and I prayed (from a level within my soul that I had never before known even existed), "I give up, You got me." On the spot, I had an undeniable encounter with Jesus Christ that was beyond this world. One of the main things that transpired in that moment was that I intuitively understood that the many powerful desires...warring within me...that had intimidated me and beat me up, were going to be subdued and trumped by a brand new set of even more powerful desires that were attuned to the heart, mind and will of God. This is how the "Golden Desires" get first place in us and recast/reorder all other human desires.
When Jesus literally "came into my heart", He calmed the raging storm of my lust to live in lies any longer and I instantly knew that God Himself has superior desires, longings, yearnings, jealousy and passion than I could ever imagine or manufacture on my own. And...I also soon discovered that the first thing that He was jealously yearning to possess was me...just as I was. He said He loved me and actually wanted me and that He wanted me to want Him back out of wonder and gratitude. So, my first prayers after this were, "Wow!" and "Thank You!". (By the way, those prayers really work!) Oh yes...He wants us all, every human being, in the same way too.
I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. Ezekiel 36:27
Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. Philippians 2:13 The Message
A VOICE OF HOPE
Michael Sullivant's Blog
I am a Child of God, a Husband, a Father and a Grandfather. I enjoy putting my prayers and thoughts into words.