Following Hard After God
In Psalms 63, we find the heart cry of a man (King David) who desperately longed for His God: O God, you are my God; earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land, where no water is; My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me (Psalms 63:1, 8).
This Psalm expresses the essence of King Davids life. His supreme desire, above all others, was to pursue God with his whole being. This is the type of relationship our Heavenly Bridegroom desires to have with His Bride. He yearns for us to follow hard after Him; so much so, that we cleave to Him and thus become bound together with Him in intimate union. (Before I proceed further with this article, I wish to clarify the concept of intimacy with God. As I refer to intimacy with God, I am in no way speaking of anything related to God and sexuality. Divine intimacy is a holy, sacred, supernatural union with God. Words associated with divine intimacy are: closeness, oneness, union, connectedness, like-mindedness, being bound together. Intimacy with God is a function that takes place in our inward spiritual being).
The Longing Soul
My personal pilgrimage toward intimacy with God began with a passionate longing in my heart for Him. My longing was so deep and strong that nothing else brought real satisfaction to me. I just wanted Him and Him alone. (He is still my deepest longing!) It has been my experience that the greater my growth and increase in relationship with my Beloved God, the more of Him I crave.
When I began pursuing an intimate relationship with God, I found a prayer of desire in Song of Solomon, which mirrored the longing and yearning of my heart for the Lover of my soul. I began to pray this prayer: Draw me, I will run after you (Song of Solomon 1:4). My prayer was affirming to my Beloved I was following hard after Him; that my whole being was aching for Him; that I desired Him to know I really, truly, wanted Him above all else.
Who of us does not want to be wanted? I have seven grandchildren. How it thrills my heart when they do or say something that confirms to me that they want me. For the first several years of her life, Kelsey, my second oldest grandchild, always wanted me to hold her before she played with the other grandchildren. She is now a teenager. Several months ago my husband and I went to see some damage that had been done to our sons house by a fallen tree. Just before we left, Kelsey wanted to know when she would see me again. I could hear the longing in her voice. Dont you know this is the kind of stuff that melts your heart? Another granddaughter, Bethany, always wants to sit next to me whenever we are together. Oh, how good it feels to be wanted! If we as humans feel this way, how much more must it thrill the heart of our Beloved as we run after Him with our desire and let Him know of our longings for Him?
One glance of our eyes ravishes His heart (Song of Solomon 4:9). Just one glance! We each have something to give the Lord that no one else can give Him ourselves; our love, adoration and attention. We can bring Him delight, in our own unique way, as we ravish His heart with words of love.
As I pursue my Beloved, I tell Him that He is my Desire all the day long. I want Him to know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that He is the Love of my life and the continual longing of my heart. I affirm to Him that I am in pursuit of becoming wholly His. I say to Him that He is the Altogether Lovely One, the Fairest of all more beautiful than I could ever express in words. I tell Him that I am a desperate woman; as desperate for Him as expressed by the Psalmist in Psalms 42: As the hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God. My inner self thirsts for God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? (Verses 1, 2).
Our quest for becoming intimate lovers with God is wrapped up in the longings of our heart. Without intense longings, we will never come close to God. What is so vital for us to realize is that these longings do not originate with us; they have been placed deep in our inward parts by God Himself. It is by divine design that we have desires, longings, cravings, and yearnings within in the core of our being. However, the outworking of these longings is wrapped up in following hard after God. These God-crafted longings within our spiritual belly, when yielded to, help to form who we are and who we are becoming.
If we truly understood the power of longings, we would see that our destiny (both for this life and eternity) is connected to our longings. Because God is the initiator of our longings, we can get a revelation of that which He has planned for our future. We might conclude that longings are prophetic because they reveal to us that which God desires for our life, especially that which will bring us into the fulfillment of our destiny. I would encourage you to sit quietly in Gods presence and listen to the longings of your heart. Once you identify your longings, you will know what God desires to do in your life.
This article to be continued: Hannah: Portrait of a Longing Heart