All of us have insatiable longings that can only be satisfied in communion with our heavenly Father. The longing to be enjoyed, fascinated, to gaze upon beauty, and to be someone great are driving forces within each of us. The longing to experience intimacy without shame, to be wholehearted, and to make a deep and lasting impact resound within each of us at the foundation of who we are. God created these longings knowing that they can only be fully satisfied in him—that they would be avenues to deeper relationship with him. As we look at each of these longings individually, I pray your heart would find its fulfillment in the loving nearness of your heavenly Father.
The titles and main concept for this week are all derived from The Seven Longings of the Human Heart by Mike Bickle and Deborah Hiebert.
As children, we dream of a life of adventure and impact. We pretend to be astronauts adventuring into the unknown, police officers serving and seeking justice, or even a king rightly deserving respect from all in our kingdom. No child ever dreams of doing something mundane or meaningless. But as we grow older, we accept reality—that few ever attain what society deems the most respected and honorable professions. We settle into mediocrity and work to attain greatness in whatever ways we can. We give our lives to a business, a social circle, or even a church position all in an attempt to fulfill our need to do something or be someone great.
The truth is that our longing for greatness will never be satisfied until we surrender our concept of greatness to the truth of Scripture. Jesus tells us, “Whoever humbles himself…is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). And in Matthew 20:26 Jesus says, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” You have a heavenly Father who longs to make you great in his sight. He has a plan for you filled with eternal reward, significance and satisfaction. But it will cost you everything. His plan is the exact opposite of the world’s. To be eternally great is to lay down your life, stop seeking greatness in the world’s eyes and give your heart entirely to the service and plans of your heavenly Father.
The Bible tells of the wonderful life in store for those who would devote themselves to the Lord. Matthew 5:19 tells us that “…whoever does them and teaches them [God’s commandments] will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” In John 10:10, Jesus proclaims that he came to earth in order that we might have “life, and have it abundantly.”
The opinion of man is fleeting and fickle. But your heavenly Father’s plans and purposes are entirely steadfast. You can live a life so great that all of eternity is changed as a result. You can live your life so devoted to God that heaven meets earth through your life and changes the eternal trajectory of souls.
You were made for greatness. You are called to a specific task that only you can do. Take time to surrender your life entirely to your heavenly Father as you enter into guided prayer. May your time be marked by the peace, passion and purpose that comes from wholeheartedly living for God.
1. In what ways are you seeking greatness in the world? Take time to confess any of your pursuits that aren’t in line with the heart of God as stated in Scripture.
“Whoever humbles himself…is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4
2. Now ask God to reveal his heart for what he deems to be great in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to instill in you a desire to lay down your life that you might find it in God.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” Matthew 20:26
3. Now commit yourself to live in pursuit of his opinion instead of the world around you. Ask the Spirit to help you live in line with his perfect leadership. Commit yourself to trust him as he leads you into the perfect plans of your heavenly Father.
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
Follow whatever the Spirit would lead you to do today. True repentance requires us to turn away from the life we’ve been living and live for God instead. It always leads us to a better, more abundant life. Know that whatever the Spirit leads you to do, it is out of love for you. Responding to his leading is the only way to live a life full of the fruit of the Spirit and the only way to satisfy your longing for greatness. May your day be marked by the purposes and plans of your loving heavenly Father.
Extended Reading: Ephesians 1