Longing – Psalm 119:17-24
My soul is crushed with longing for your ordinances at all times.
Longing was a quality of David’s heart that pleased the Lord. It seemed to accompany him throughout his life. He longed for God as a shepherd and as a king, as he dispatched giants and as he repented of his sins. Should longing be a part of the normal Christian life? Let’s pursue this together.
The scriptures testify of themselves they are God-breathed. They also declare Adam was transformed from clay to a living being by God’s breath. If we are in Christ, God has breathed in us as well and our new natures are kindred to God’s words, and he speaks very intentionally.
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
As God’s words return to him, hunger is evidence they have not done so in vain. David’s story of hunger is now ours to read. When we read about David’s experience with God, we should not see him as a great and mighty anomaly. David is our example and he is God’s invitation to us into intimacy. God has told us David’s story that we might become God’s story. David is not an exception. He is our benchmark.
Having the right reference points is critical if longing is to become a quality in our hearts. If David is a special case, we can applaud, If he is our mentor, we must imitate. Once we see David as God’s invitation to us, we have taken a big step forward in our spiritual formation. Longing is instinctive to hearts created for another realm. Longing is only natural for beings who are just passing through.
Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law. I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me. My soul is crushed with longing after Your ordinances at all times. You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed, who wander from Your commandments. Take away reproach and contempt from me, for I observe Your testimonies. Even though princes sit and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Your statutes. Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors.
Father, thank you for Your Word and Your Spirit. May they work in concert to accomplish your will in our hearts on earth as it is heaven. May hunger accompany and escort us into your presence now and forever more. Amen.