I have no answers at the moment, just a lot of questions.
Sitting on the couch beside me, I have the most amazing love letter ever written. It’s about a groom who has been waiting and fighting and pursuing His bride since this whole thing began, and as I sit here trying to process through what needs to change in my life, I can’t help but feel like I still don’t understand even a fraction of His heart.
Christians are full of excuses. I am full of excuses.
Here’s my latest: the heart of God seems impossible to embrace. There are so many passions in His heart. And I share a few, but to share them all seems impossible. It seems as if my human heart is too…trapped in time?
I can be passionate about His word, and about His call to holiness. I can be passionate about the nations and the unreached. I can be passionate about the poor and the needy. I can be passionate about the unborn and the slave: about injustice across the world. I can be passionate about the widow and the orphan. I can be passionate about the alien. I can be passionate about unity in our body and serving and building up the bride of Christ. I can be passionate about preaching the Gospel to the dead who walk past me constantly. I can be passionate about calling those around me to repentance and living in a community that will shine light on my heart’s tendency to harden in unbelief. I can be passionate about equipping the saints for the work of the ministry. I can be passionate about preaching the word in and out of season. I can be passionate about clothing the naked. I can be passionate about visiting the prisoner, the sick, the weak, the lonely.
But how can I be passionate about all of them? How could I possibly spend myself on them all?
I can’t help but feel like I’ve made these things into a multiple choice list, where I get to prioritize for God what really matters. Or maybe I’ve thought these are options for Christians. God’s giving us a bunch of different things; pick your passion and pursue. But the problem is, each of these things are clearly commanded in Scripture. These things are my call as a Christian; as a follower of Christ.
I’m not sitting on this couch wrestling through these things because I feel guilty or obligated. I’m unbelievably sad when I look at how little my heart lines up with His, but it’s not because I don’t want to ‘let Him down’ or ‘fail Him’. I don’t feel like there’s this huge bar I have to clear or that God is needing more from me before He loves me. I am fully accepted by my great loving God. He is not served by human hands as if He needed anything. He’s not up there scolding me. He’s not worried that if I don’t get on mission soon, Jesus might not be able to come back on His timeline.
I’m wrestling with these things because I’m sad that I’m missing out. To live a radical life for Jesus isn’t a call to loss, it’s a call to gain. And I don’t want to miss the joy God has for those who will trust themselves fully into His heart. I want to pour myself out for the hungry because I want my gloom to be as the noonday. I want to satisfy the desire of the afflicted because I want the Lord to guide me and satisfy my desire in scorched places. I want to be merciful because I want to receive even more mercy. I want to fight for purity and be pure because I want to see God.
And I want to know the writer of this love letter because there is nothing that matters more than knowing Him.
I want to know His heart for the millions of people who will go to sleep tonight in places where the good news of the gospel of grace has never been uttered. I want to know His heart for the billions of people who will go to sleep tonight hungry and alone. I want to know His heart for the millions of people laying their heads down tonight in this country – comforting themselves with the lie that they are on the narrow path to life because they are a good person.
There are so many causes in the heart of God. You open any page of this book that is His word and you could read any passage and you could identify His passions.
If you opened a page of my book and read a day or even a week of my life you might be mislead. You might think I was passionate about people liking me, or gaining power, or being happy in the moment, or not feeling alone or being wanted.
It’s in moments like these, on mornings like this that I am so so grateful that one of the passions of my God is to finish the good work He began. I am filled with worship because the disconnect between where I am and where I will be does not need to be bridged by digging deep and finding more passion, finding more time, finding more strength. I am filled with worship because it’s a gap that will be bridged by the great gospel of Christ. Again, He will rescue me. He will move in me to will and to work for His good pleasure. Again, Jesus is my only hope. Again, this deal God’s made with me is not dependent on me, but on Him. It truly is good news.
And He, who gave me His own Son – will He not also give me all things in Christ? He, who molded my heart from the start, will He not also breathe life into the dark places? Will He not also give me the faith to fight sin that so easily entangles – the complacency, the idols – and pursue a radical life for the joy set before me in Him?
On Christ the solid rock I stand.