Holy Longings

by David Smithers

“For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.” (Eph 5:30)

Are we truly intimately acquainted and connected to Christ like the Scripture declares? Have we in truth become bone of Christ’s bone and flesh of His flesh? If so, we will possess the same passions and longings that Jesus has. We will settle for nothing less than to be consumed with His character and holy desires. We will long to be a visible expression of the broken and famished heart of Jesus Christ. Let’s carefully consider now some of these heart longings of our Husbandman, Jesus Christ.

Longing for Holiness

Those who truly possess the heart of Jesus long to be perfectly conformed to the image of the Lover of their souls. Their heart aches for holiness, for a complete inward and outward purity. Those who have become one with Christ will not rest until by faith they have laid hold of all of Calvary’s perfect provisions. That precious missionary to the American Indians, David Brainerd, had such longings. The consistent heart-cry of Brainerd was, “Oh my soul exceedingly longs for that blessed state of perfection, of deliverance from all sin. Oh that I could spend every moment of my life to God’s glory.”

Longing for Revival

The true lover of Jesus also possesses Christ’s desire for His Church. Jesus longs to pour out the Spirit of revival on His Bride today. Therefore, the intimate follower of Christ yearns and travails for its coming. Such followers of Jesus will never rest or be content with anything less than a glorious and holy Church. Their hearts break with Christ’s over petty divisions, vain ambition and the worldliness that runs rampant in our modern churches. The heart cry of the true disciples of Jesus is: “For the zeal for your house has eaten me up. I will be consumed with jealousy for the honor of the Church!” (John 2:17 Expanded)

Longing for the Unreached

The friends of Jesus are also consumed with His grief over the lost and perishing. It is shameful that so many of us can claim intimacy with Christ and yet still neatly ignore the reality of an everlasting hell. How can we say we are one with Christ, while we are still so unconcerned and careless about the unreached? Listen to the heart of one who was genuinely acquainted with Jesus. Amy Carmichael writes:

Oh for a passionate passion for souls.
Oh for a pity that yearns!
Oh for the love that loves unto death,
Oh for the fire that burns!
Oh for the pure prayer-power that prevails,
That pours itself out for the lost.
Victorious prayer in the Conqueror’s Name,
Oh for a Pentecost.

Longing for Jesus

In spite of the fact that the Church has become spiritually one with Christ, this union has yet to be made perfect. As long as we are clothed with flesh there will always be an obstacle to perfect and complete intimacy with Jesus. It is this reality that creates a deep longing in the heart of every true believer. Listen to the Psalmist as he pours out the passions of his heart. “As the deer pants and longs for the water-brooks, so I pant and long for You, Oh God. My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God, when shall I come and behold the face of God? (Psalms 42:1,2) Like a father who delights to stare into the face of his child, so the lovers of Jesus long to delight in the unhindered vision of their Savior’s face.

These holy longings must be nurtured and protected through careful and constant prayer. Those who nurture such longings will certainly be participants in the next great move of God’s Spirit, while those who desire only sound teaching and sweet singing are destined to be mere spectators. When revival comes which will you be: a participant or a spectator?