Before we look at what longing is, (If you missed what Longing Isn’t, read it here) we are going to take a quick detour. The last post ended with sacrificing our longings and offering them to the Lord as a thank offering. Psalm 50:23 says:
“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God”
What does it mean to see the salvation of the Lord in our longings and desires?
Ultimately, it means allowing the Lord to use you in the bigger picture of life. The word for “salvation” in Psalm 50:23 is translated from the Hebrew word “yesha`” meaning deliverance, salvation, rescue, safety, welfare, prosperity, and victory. “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the deliverance of God, the rescue of God, the safety of God, the victory of God…”
Even when it seems that the Lord is holding out on us, His “no’s” and “not yet’s,” are STILL provision for us! He is FOR us.
The chief aim of longing is to force us to see the bigger picture of the Lord’s hand at work. <—- Tweet this. Longings are where we meet our Savior with our heart, and not just with our intellect. As Christians when we “ask the Lord into our hearts”, do we realize that we are asking Him to be Lord of our lives – ie – have lordship over us? Do we understand that we are now no longer our own, but have been bought with a price? (1 Cor. 6)
Philippians 2 tells us to ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling’ – the working out of our salvation is the process of surrendering our desires (bad – AND good) to the lordship and authority of Jesus Christ. This means we no longer get to control the outcome of our desires, or have the right to be disgruntled when they aren’t fulfilled in the way, or in the timing, that we wish. At times it’s easy to start questioning if the Lord is a cruel judge withholding the fulfillment of your longings from you, but before you question, I challenge you to first question whether you are basing your interpretation of what is good for you (or not), off of what you know of good, or what you know of God? Who judges what the “good” standard is – you, or God? Let Him be your measure of what is good; don’t measure Him by your standard of goodness.*
Sometimes the surrendering of our lives begins with the choice to trust that the Lord’s standard of what is good for us is better than our own. <—- Tweet this.
When we surrender our longings to the Lord (i.e. coming to the place where we can trust that this way is good, His best plan for us, and that He is FOR us) we get to see the bigger picture of what He is doing. Sometimes it takes a bit for the perspective to come – but even that place is a chance to learn to trust Him to be bigger. Remember, our thank sacrifice, is what prepares the way for the Lord to show us His salvation.
We won’t see the salvation until we surrender. Surrender is the very unpopular process of denying self. Once self is out-of-the-way – the Lord works! For me, getting self out-of-the-way meant letting go of my pride – that I knew what was best for me.
Longing taught me what it meant to truly bow before my King. In retrospect, I would not change anything. Even if the Lord never fulfills my longings, the sweetness of relationship and communion I have with Him, is worth every tear, ache, and the battle to keep longing in the right place in my heart.*
Without longing, and without surrendering it, I would not be seeing the salvation – victory & provision – of the Lord in my life right now.
While I do not see the completeness of the bigger picture yet, my longings have led me on untold adventures.
- My longing for a mentor spurred me onto seeking Him for myself, and to be the mentor I longed for to a wide group of girls. If I had more mentors I wouldn’t have reached out.
- In longing for a family/relationship, I’ve prayed that if my earthly home is to be emptier, than may my heavenly home be fuller. He truly does give the barren women children – the number of my spiritual children cannot physically fit in my earthly home! I am a blessed woman!
- As I long for a husband, He shows me the bigger picture of how He longs for His bride – the church – and I realize, this life, it’s not really about me. It’s about His Kingdom.
This is the story of the Son of God, hanging on the cross for me. But it ends with a bride and groom and a wedding by a glassy sea. O death where is your sting? Cause I’ll be there singing, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord. – The City Harmonic, Holy.
The holiness of our God, and the preciousness of a love that gave all for us – wipes out the sting of longing when we sing Holy is the Lord. Your longing – it’s not really about you.
Next: What Longing Is.
Holy – Wedding Day, by The City Harmonic
*please note – I’m not talking about killing our longings and desires. Stuffing them or killing them only makes walls go up and makes matters worse–it’s only in facing them, and the pain that they bring, that surrender and freedom come. Longings don’t go away, but when they are in their rightful place (under the Lordship of Christ – not usurping His place on the throne of our hearts) there is joy, peace, freedom, and an untold depth with the Lord. It’s hard to realign our sense of what is good and right for us to the Lord’s, (I have SO been there!). If you are struggling with this, let me encourage you to start with the area of trust. ASk the Lord to reveal to you the lies you are believing about who He is, and ask for the grace for a soft heart to change your perspective. And then dear friend, share the pain with Him, and let Him work through the mess with you.