Have you ever been on a missions trip or served in your community? In my mid-20’s, I lead numerous mission trips to Malawi, Africa. The one thing we all shared in common by the end of the trip was our desire for God. Our hearts had been ignited by fire to love Him as we had never before.
However, shortly after returning from the trip that fire would slowly stop burning. We would turn back to our normal way of living and almost forget that God existed in the first place. Slowly it became really hard to desire God.
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Maybe you can’t relate to that. But so many things threaten to get in the way of our desire for God. Perhaps you have kids and just simply can’t find the time to read your Bibles or the mundane day-to-day life drowns out your desire for God. Or you worship worldly things and desire after those instead of God.
What Is God’s Desire For Us
God’s greatest desire is to know us and save us. God desires to be intimate with His children. God desires a life that is filled with love, joy, purpose, and hope. He wants what is best for us. He is our shepherd and watches over us. He desires us to follow Him and walk in ways that bring glory to His kingdom. He desires for us to act justly, love others and walk humbly. When we grow in our relationship with Him, our desires will become His desires. He is working in you to give you the desire to do what pleases Him.
Being a Christian is about God’s will and the desires of His heart. He deeply cares for us. That’s not to say He won’t give us our desires because He grants us the desires of our hearts when they align with His will. He wants to give your life great meaning and purpose by giving you the privilege of participating in the kingdom’s work. God reveals His desires through Scripture. So we can seek His desires through that.
Bible Verses About Desiring God
The Bible is our greatest source of truth. It gives us the practical ways that we can align the desires of our hearts with God’s desires. When it comes to our spiritual growth, desire is the fuel. Without we just simply won’t operate in the same way. God wants us to desire Him above all else. He wants us to desire to know Christ and make Him known. He wants us to crave to drink from His living well – one that is full of life, love, righteousness, mercy, and grace. Jesus shows us how to have a holy desire for the Father and make Him known to all nations.
1 Peter 2:2: Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
1 Peter 1:7: so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 5:6: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Hebrews 12:29: for our God is a consuming fire.
Deuteronomy 4:24: For the Lord, your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
**All Bible Verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
How to Ignite Your Desire After God
In 1 Peter, we see that God can refine us and purify us so that we desire after Him and His ways. In the end, it is your faith that will be on display as evidence of his victory. As Christians, we are called turn from our worldly ways so that our hearts might desire after God. Only God can turn our hearts so that we might have vigor and passion to love others and do His will.
God knows we need Him. He gives us our salvation as a gift. It is not because of works or anything we could do. But once we do receive Jesus in our hearts, there are things we need to do to keep the fire ablaze in our hearts.
Desire the Word of God
To be able to desire God, you must put Him first. You must seek Him in all that you do. Putting God first puts everything else in perspective. Start your day by reading God’s Word so that your desires will be aligned with His. Some days or weeks you might be too busy but that is just an excuse. Make a Bible verse as your screen saver or get an app on your phone that you can whip out while you walk to the bathroom or take a lunch break. Someone once told me she takes the long way to the bathroom at work so she can squeeze in some Bible reading time. Now walking and reading aren’t always the safest thing to do so you can throw on some headphones and listen to the Bible as well.
Seek God first. Make him treasured in your heart. Allow the Holy Spirit to ignite your desire for God. He will help set your heart on God and give you the obedience you need to grow closer to God.
Prayer for Desire of the Heart
God desires intimacy with us. He is faithful and good. He wants to change our hearts and desires to reflect His own. When we repent, He will bring us back into fellowship and rest with Him. He will mold and transform our hearts into the image of Christ.
My hope for all of us is that we desire God with a fiery passion and love so that we can rest in His peace and wisdom.