The Longing

“The Longing”
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12-14
The book of Philippians is one, if not my favorite book in the New Testament and I find myself reading from it almost weekly. We all have the desire to be satisfied in life and yet we find many times we are not and our heart aches for what we long for. The apostle Paul was no different and he had desires too and yet we read in his letter to the Philippians that he “learned the secret of being of being content” but he never said he had given up on his longings or the desires of his heart.

In all fairness the apostle says just the opposite. Paul says he “presses on” to his soul’s longing. He never said he was free from desire, what he is saying is that he is free from being ruled by his desire. Meditate on that today. He was free from being ruled by his desire. That’s the key to contentment! Unfortunately, many in the body of Christ just give up and quit all together when life hurts, when the hungers of our heart turn into aches we let hope die.
When you come to a place where you have a deep longing in your heart that is yet unsatisfied we basically have three choices to make. First, we can live with the longing. Acknowledge the longing is there and then go on living with it in hope that one day it will come to pass. Second, we can die to the thought that our desire will ever come about and we determine the best thing to do is just kill it right here right now. Kill the desire of our heart and possibly live with regret and the “what if” for the rest of our life. Third, Become an addict. Do everything we can to fill that void of unmet desire with something other than the longing of our heart. Become so impatient that we are willing to settle for the first imitation that comes along. These three choices seem to seem to cover the gamut of human responses but maybe there are more?
I admit, I have yet to learn to be fully content. I’m more patient than I once was but I’m not sure if that is because I am older or just getting older and tire more easily, lol. I do know I grew up playing sports and I liked to win and yet when I was a kid, if I didn’t like the score of the game I was playing with my neighborhood friends I took the ball and went home since I owned the ball. My desire was to win and when I determined that I couldn’t win I didn’t want to live the longing of my heart and the ache of losing so I just quit, I killed the game.  

Becoming an addict is probably the most common approach in today’s society. Instead of learning that it is Ok to have longings (many that go unrealized) and/or to believe that they will be met one day down the road, addicts look for a quick fix, a temporary relief from the ache in their heart. There are all kinds of addictions besides, drugs and alcohol. You name it and you can become addicted to it not realizing that in the end addiction of any kind costs way more than most can afford to pay and they keep us in bondage far longer than we were willing to stay.
So then, how do we learn to be content? Instead of trying to possess, the key to contentment is learning to let go and let God! Like the apostle Paul, give up your life, relinquish control and trust God and His goodness. Make Jesus your master passion. Believe that God is for you and not against you, that He is a blessing God. Know that God is the giver of life and that even though our hearts ache from longings, we don’t have to abandon them, we just need to bring our longings to God in prayer and trust Him to bring them to pass in His time. We don’t have to cure the aches that fill our heart, we can let our hurts make us holy. We can learn to embrace the pain, and let our longings lead us down the road knowing if they are God’s will they will be satisfied. Father Knows best!

Do what the apostle Paul did in his own life. Let the desires of your heart and soul lead you into deeper fellowship with Jesus today. That is where true contentment comes from. loved one. We can wait because God’s word is so clear that “good things come to them that wait.” Live with your longings, beloved; don’t give up on your hearts desire. Don’t kill your dreams and don’t become addicted to anything other than Jesus. Learn to focus your heart on the Lord until He becomes your hearts desire understanding thats when all your dreams come true!
“ It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”
Isaiah 65:24

Michael Osthimer





no categories


no tags