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!