As the holiday season is quickly approaching, I want to pause, take a minute, and ask you a question. What do you want? No, not for Christmas, but from Christ?
I’ve been pondering on this thought this week — When I think about what I want from Jesus, what is it?
Are my requests things like:
“I want you to give me peace.”
“I want you to take my pain away. ”
“I want you to heal my friend.”
None of those things are wrong to ask for. However, I wonder how many of us ever stop at the words “I want You.” How many of us truly have a heart that strives to want Jesus and nothing else? I know I can be far from that mindset at times. I have been convicted this week over my fleshly desires being stronger than my want for my Jesus. I have used that conviction to refocus and realign my wants going into this Holiday season.
I believe we sometimes do not live with a want for Christ because we do not truly understand God’s heart for us. As I’ve been reading through the Gentle and Lowly book that was given to us all, by Coats Baptist, I have gotten a deeper understanding of who Christ is and His heart for me. I assume that’s why I’ve been so convicted of my own heart lately. Our whole existence is to glorify God, so why is our number one desire not Him? It was this quote by Dane Ortlund from chapter 20 of Gentle and Lowly, that brought me to tears of who I am compared to who He is. I want you to read this and get an idea of Christ’s heart for you.
“When we, despite our smiles and civility running from God as fast as we could, building our own kingdom and loving our own glory, lapping up the fraudulent pleasures of the world, repulsed by the beauty of God and shutting up our ears at his calls to come home — it was then, that the prince of heaven bade his adoring angels farewell. It was then that he put himself into the murderous hands of these rebels in a divine strategy planned from eternity past to rinse muddy sinners clean and hug them into his own heart.”
Now I want you to read the next quote, to get an idea of our own hearts.
“Christ went down into death — “voluntary endurance of unutterable anguish,” while we applauded. We couldn’t have cared less. We were weak. Sinners. Enemies.”
Ortlund goes on to shine the spotlight back on Christ’s heart towards us.
“It was only after the fact, only once the Holy Spirit came flooding into our hearts, that the realization swept over us, he walked through my death. He didn’t simply die. He was condemned. He didn’t simply leave heaven for me, he endured hell for me.”
That is His heart.
I challenge you to refocus and have a heart that truly wants Jesus and nothing else. David said it well in Psalm 84:2 — “My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.” Take joy in your salvation, not because of who you are, but because of who Christ is for you!
You are commanded in Matthew 22:37 to Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, and with ALL your soul, and with ALL your mind. When you develop a love for something that consumes your heart, soul, and your mind.. nothing else will satisfy you. To love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, is to have a love that stops at “I want you.” Nothing else matters, nothing else will do, no one else will satisfy my longing heart. Jesus doesn’t expect us to be perfect, He just wants us to want Him and nothing else.
Source: Gentle and Lowly — By Dane Ortlund