But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.
(Revelation 2:4-5a ESV)
I’ll tell you a juicy secret.
I’m guilty of something. And I realize that every believer is guilty of this, too, at some point in their faith.
In the midst of all the losses and gains in our lives, we forget our first love.
A fulfilling relationship with Jesus Christ can easily stop at the moment of salvation. By that, I mean we invite Christ into our hearts, acknowledging our need for Him for eternal life. This saves us and secures us for heaven. But we need to know that salvation doesn’t stop there. It continues now in our relationship with Him. Just as you desperately needed God to save you from sin, you still desperately need him to be everything–above any earthly desire you currently have.
Are you finding it difficult to really give something to God? You can pray and pray over and over, submitting it to the Lord. And you should. We’re taught to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), to come boldly before the throne (Hebrews 4:16), to test every spirit–any thing or person that comes our way–to see if it is really from God (1 John 4:1).
But if you’re struggling with unfulfilled desires and deep longings that seem to remain unmet time and time again, you may be missing a crucial thing.
Here’s the thing.
God could very well be doing a new thing in your life. The guy you met could be your husband. That job offer you had could be the big opportunity you’re looking for. That contact you made could be your business partner for that idea you want to pursue. That scholarship you received could very well be the ticket to the next step in your education. That check you have received out of the blue could be the financial blessing you needed to meet this month’s bills. Unexpected blessings are amazing, and it’s important to acknowledge them when they come! God can be making a way for you at this very moment–and He wants to!
When we walk with the Lord, He allows us to make contact with great events and people.
But before you get excited, I urge you to consider this with your entire heart:
God isn’t pushing you towards a new person or opportunity. He’s pushing you to Him.
What does this mean?
It’s important to remember that desires aren’t bad. As long as they align with the Word, they’re excellent! The Bible mentions that God wants to give us the desires of our hearts if we delight in Him (Psalm 37:4). However, when we desire specific things above God Himself, we end up unfulfilled–even if we get these blessings. We can end up ruining our “good things”–making them a burden instead of a blessing, because we’re obsessed with finding fulfillment in them.
You are likely to idolize something, when you haven’t found it in Christ first.
You will be much better equipped to take care of your good thing, if you’ve already found it in God. Don’t give yourself to hypothetical situations or get caught up in what if’s. I understand the frustration of waiting. Will God give me this specific thing or am I wasting my time? Unless God reveals a particular promise to you, you don’t know if it’s yours until it happens! But I’m telling you, you don’t have to sit and wait and wonder.
There are real desires and longings behind your dreams. And you can receive them right now. But the only way you will receive them now is by asking the Lord to meet you in them.
I have some homework for you.
For those who are waiting, frustrated, tired, or confused, I urge you to practice this:
Ask Jesus to be your greatest desire and prayer. That is, if you want to be pursued by a godly man, ask: Jesus, You pursue me. If you want a new job, ask: Jesus, You be that new opportunity. If you’ve been praying for new friends, ask: Jesus, You be my friend. If you desire financial increase, ask: Jesus, You be my provision. If you feel out of place or rejected, ask: Jesus, You be my acceptance. If you’re thirsty for a new season, ask: Jesus, You quench my thirst.
True joy isn’t God plus something. The presence of the Lord alone gives you the satisfaction you think you will find in these things.
You may feel you have exhausted your efforts. You’ve prayed, waited, walked away from sin, obeyed the Lord, fasted, and yet you’ve seen no answered prayer. If this is the case, I challenge you to change your prayers to asking Jesus to be what you want. I don’t know about everything else or what will happen in your life, but He is the thing that is sure, the thing that will always come.
Meeting you where you are is Jesus’ job! He came to save those who are lost. He came to meet you in your longing. And so, you ask for Jesus to fill a void in your life, I guarantee you without a shadow of doubt that He will do it.
Let Jesus be the thing you long for first.
You may have heard this several times, but I challenge you to actually practice it. It will save you enormous time, energy, and heartbreak. Some things may be what you want, some things may be what you need. You may receive both at times, other times one or the other. However, Jesus always fulfills two things: what you want and what you need.
Whether you’re enjoying a new blessing in your life or waiting on that new thing, remember that Jesus is the key to true fulfillment.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
(Colossians 3:1-4 ESV)
Reflection: Below is one of my favorite worship songs, “Give Me Jesus.” The lyrics repeat, You can have all this world, give me Jesus.
Is Jesus alone really enough for you? If not, how can you change that?