Right to the heart

On Mondays, we fast and pray for men and women to show their unique reflection of the image of God more and more clearly. And we pray for marriages to be given to those who desire them. 

Every time it comes to fasting I get hungry and slightly food-deprived edgy, not pretty, but true. Any other time I can soldier through a missed meal with a mission to complete whatever task has engrossed me, but this ability seems to escape me while fasting. Anyone else get distracted and hungry during our fast times? 

It starts with a dull gurgle then grows to full-on pangs. Why do I get so hungry on fast days? I know why, it distracts me from the purpose of denying myself food… prayer! What I don’t like is how the food denial turns my mood into something less than lovely. I’m supposed to be praying, getting closer to God, denying my basic need as a representation of my full surrender to God, but I’m overcome with hunger thoughts and a bad attitude. Jesus help me!

Two Mondays ago I had to run errands for work and utilized the time in the car to extend my prayer time. As I was flying down the highway, my mind began to wander to the hunger pangs that usually overtake me during fasting. As the hunger twinges grew, my thoughts moved to a hunger of a different kind. 

I long to be seen, pursued, and loved by a male specimen that wants to sign up for a grand, Christ-honoring adventure with me. I desire to have a partner in life working towards shared goals and dreams, a spouse, a friendship, a lover wrapped up in marriage. Sometimes this hunger is so strong that it hurts and completely enraptures my thoughts and focus. As much as I try to dull the desire by focusing and being thankful for the positive aspects of being single, I can’t seem to shake the longing for marriage. 

So, there I am cruising along with traffic, praying and entertaining intermittent mind-swirling thoughts of hunger and longing, when God speaks directly to my heart! And this is what He said: 

I want you to hunger for ME like you hunger for food! I long for you like you long for a man!

God pulls no punches, He goes right to the heart! Some of you need to hear this as well, “GOD LONGS FOR YOU!” The creator of the universe, who formed you in your mother’s womb LOVES you!

Ephesians 3: 17 – 18

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…

We often talk about Jesus identifying with us – in suffering (1 Peter 2:21), in trials and temptations (Hebrews 4:15), in our humanness (Philippians 2:7), but I’ve never really thought about aspects of my life identifying with God. Created in His image, yes, but created with His feelings… 

Sometimes I have prayed, “God, just take these feelings away! If my longing isn’t going to be realized, just take it away!” I’ve rationalized that life would be easier if I wasn’t getting heartbroken over unmet desire. Would I want God to be so dismissive of His feelings for me? 

What if for nothing else, our longing and desire for a spouse that has gone on for years on end was to serve as a testament to God’s love and longing for His people? Your desires and deep down longings for love and acceptance are the very heartbeat of God for you! Relish in that thought for a moment. 

The rest of the prayer for the Ephesians (3: 19-21) goes like this…

and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

I don’t know about you, but I NEED this love that surpasses knowledge. My prayer today is that I can love Jesus with all of my heart, mind, and soul (Deuteronomy 6:5) and pursue Him with all of the longing that fills my heart. May the cry of David in Psalms 63, be my cry as well… 

God—you’re my God!

I can’t get enough of you!

I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God,

traveling across dry and weary deserts.

I just finished listening to the latest Beth Moore simulcast entitled, Audacious, and one of her points reaffirmed what God has been speaking to my heart. I’m going to phrase it in a form of a question for you…

Do you have the audacity to make an unseen Savior the supreme romance of your life?

May He speak to your heart today!

Michelle

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8 Responses to Right to the heart

  1. Jennifer says:

    Dear Michelle,
    Thank you for your very candid and lovely sharing. I, too, find fasting often becomes a huge distraction and other longings creep in as well as that for food. I love that God knows the desires of our hearts and we can confess these things to Him and move on.
    I am married and blessed to be so, but understand from the few years of not being married (while being in a serious relationship that ended a number of times before God saw fit to bring us together ), what those longings are like. In fact, I can tell you that even though i’m married to a wonderful man and so grateful, he does Not fill the holes in my heart. He is a friend but I still feel lonely at times, very lonely. When desires are at there highest, it’s lovely to have the intimacy of a sexual relationship. Yet even that, does not satisfy completely. I don’t expect this makes it easier for you or anyone else who longs to be wanted, held, comforted, share life and faith with etc, I can feel the ache for you. Honestly. I just know that even in my situation, God is telling me the same things. Children are grown, I long for relationship with them (they live far away and there are other challenges), My heart achesto be with them actually and to be closer to 3 grand children, but God keeps saying to me the same as He did to you: “Am I enough?” “Do you trust Me to Give you what you need?” Can you love me as much as you do him/them?” “Is my grace sufficient for your weakness or not?”
    Sometimes, I tell Him, it isn’t; it doesn’t feel like He’s enough, but I’m still Wanting Him to be and when I feel like giving up, that I need Him to fill in the gaps. It’s about perservering,”and we know that perserverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing”.as James says.
    There’s a wonderful book by a woman named Glaphre called “When the Pieces Don’t Fit”. If you’ve never read it, go on Amazon and order one. It’s short and a marvelous, challenging and inspiring true story by a woman whose life prayer becomes “Lord, Teach me that You love me”. And indeed He did in a powerful way and He does. I love that because, while I know it in my head and have read it in His word and heard it a thousand times, I still don’t fully believe it. So I confess that and pray that prayer. It’s honest. It’s my hearts’ cry and the truth is, as it says in Scripture, “We love Him Because He first loved us”. He knows that I can love Him much better as I Know more of His love for me.
    I’m so grateful for your heart michelle. I’m praying even now that should God see fit, He will bring a man into your life to share your life and your Faith with. In the meantime, I join you in praying that He will make His love known to you in such sweet ways that the love “hunger” that we try to fill with everything but Him at times, will dissipate and be swallowed up in the intoxication of His unfailing Love. Yes Lord, teach us that You love us, So that, we may love You more because You are worthy of all of Our love and Praise. He Rejoices over you!!
    Thanks again, jennifer

    • fast. pray. says:

      Beautifully said Jennifer! I appreciate your perspective as a married woman. It’s easy for those of us without a ring to think that things will change with the Mrs before our name. Learning to relish in God’s love before we’re married is important for not putting to much pressure on a spouse and marriage.

      I’ll check out the book you recommended. Thanks!

      I appreciate the prayers!
      Michelle

  2. Tabitha says:

    Michelle, This is truly beautiful! Thank you for sharing something so personal and vulnerable…a sweet revelation born out of an intimate time with your Savior. Living out fasting and praying in an authentic way is challenging in a culture that seems to dismiss the simple, stripped down form of passionately pursuing God as naïve or disillusioned. I commend you and thank you for your willingness to share. I will pray that all who read it be encouraged to pursue God passionately as well…not just for what He gives, but for who He is…that’s when His love becomes real, personal, and intimate. That’s when “knowing” moves from “know” (oida – intellectual knowledge, to be aware of) to “know” (ginosko – experiential knowledge, to perceptively understand). Oh, to know Him more…our highest calling!!

  3. Cynthia Mast says:

    Thank you, very much, Michelle! This has been exactly where the Lord has been speaking to me, in light of my recent divorce. He has been asking, “but am I ENOUGH for you?” He wants ALL of us! “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you”. When we put Him first in every way, we already HAVE everything that we NEED. Anything else is just the “icing on the cake”. Just an added blessing ~ NOT a necessity! HE IS OUR NECESSITY!:). In Him we live, move and have our being!:). You have more wisdom for your years than many much older! Blessings to you! HE IS FAITHFUL🙏🏻❤️.

  4. Charlene says:

    Um, no. This is not the right comparison, sorry. It’s like saying change your desire for food into desire for God and all will be well. It doesn’t work like that and I suspect you know it too.

    • fast. pray. says:

      I’m thankful that God speaks to us through our prayer times! From your response, what He spoke to me about desiring Him more didn’t resonate with you. I pray that God speaks right to your heart in a way that you understand His love and longing for you.

      Michelle

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