What do you desire?
I’m not talking about things you want, or things you might even consider a need. Sure, maybe a better car or a more effective ministry might be on that list.
I’m thinking about that question because I know it is desire that drives us in life. We desire more money, so we ask for a raise, or get a new job. We desire companionship, so we get social and start talking to that guy. When it’s cold out, we desire that warm blanket and a few extra minutes of sleep.
What does God desire? That’s a question I’d like to know the answer to. He knows our hearts and our deepest desires but how often is He being asked that question.
I’ve heard it said before that we’ll never know what we’re looking for until we know what He is looking for. So, I turn in the bible to a guy who has one of the most intimate relationships with God – David.
The psalmist David in the bible wrote a lot on the beauty of God. He knew that the most powerful being in the world was also the most fascinating one to be with. He was the one who penned the phrase,
“One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.” – Psalm 27:4 NLT
Something that stands out to me about this man, David, was that he was a king who was obsessed with God. The above verse shows us that David’s main desire wasn’t conquering kingdoms or being rich and powerful. He had all those things, but they didn’t move his heart. God moved his heart.
Here was a king that, when his army commanders were looking for him to discuss war strategy’s, they knew they could find him in that Tent, sitting before the One who dwells between the cherubim and seraphim. David was the uncommon King that happened to be obsessed with God.
And, as I look at King David, I can learn a lot about how I can approach God, and have a deeper walk with Him.
That’s because this was a man who knew that God really liked him – and was confident of it even when he sinned. He knew the God who is love – and it ushered him into what I’d like to call The Beauty Realm.
THE BEAUTY REALM OF GOD
Revelation 4 describes it well. John the Apostle gets taken up in the spirit and sees heaven’s throne room, and the One sitting on the throne. John is completely taken in this vision that affects all the senses, and falls down as one dead. Here we read:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.” – Rev. 4:1-6 NIV
Jesus appears to John as beautiful as brilliant gemstone, and he can barely take it. These images are so overwhelming, yet he sees even more as the chapters unfold.
From BEHOLDING to BROKEN to BEING SENT
John wasn’t the only one in the bible to get caught up in this realm. Ezekiel and Isaiah both give descriptions of what they saw, and how they were changed.
Ezekiel was charged with a message to tell the sinful nation of Israel of God’s judgment, whether they listened to him or not. Isaiah became aware of how sinful he and his nation was, and then after getting his lips cleansed from a coal on the altar of the throne, heard a cry from the throne:
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8 NLT
Isaiah is then commissioned to make the people of Israel,
“Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes.” Vs. 9
Do you see how this revelation births missions? We get a revelation of God’s beauty, and we now see the world – and ourselves rightly, from heaven’s perspective. This in turn calls us to repent, be cleansed, and then to hear the call from Him to be sent to the people.
Anne Graham Lotz gave a great message on this. She noted how in Isaiah 5, he writes,
“Woe to you who add house to house
and join field to field
till no space is left
and you live alone in the land.” 5:8 NLT
But then, in chapter 6 he says, “woe to me!” Can you see how the presence of God touched him? It’s no longer all about their sin and what they’ve done wrong, but it’s our sin. We each have gone astray and have fallen short of His glory.
BEHOLDING FUELS THE MISSION FIELD
I am persuaded that this beauty realm was the fuel for the rest of Isaiah and Ezekiel’s ministries, and that this will be the fuel for the future missions movement that is coming to the earth.
MY EXPERIENCE IN BEHOLDING GOD’S PRESENCE
I will tell you of an experience I had with this:
I had been apart of a worship school and was at the end of a three week training, where I sat out in the congregation apart of the worship meeting before playing the following week. The director laughingly warned me that the set was intense.
Thinking I had been involved in rather intense ministry before, and that I was prepared, I went to the set thinking about what a good time I would have, maybe learning something new.
The worship set was singing the word of God for two hour sets, and they happened to be singing on Revelation 4. Towards the end, I’m not exactly sure what happened, but God’s presence was in the room. My reaction was to get out of my chair and lay prostrate on the floor. I had fear of God. I started repenting of every sin I could think of. And I kept wishing I could open up the carpet in the room and hide under it.
After the set, I was invited back in the debrief room to talk about next week. I said to them, “What in the world was that?”
I thought I knew about the holiness of God, but what I had encountered in the room that night was far more intense than I had previously experienced.
And I wanted more.
WHAT WE ARE MADE FOR
We were made to enjoy beauty. It’s one of the seven longings of the human heart. Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City co-wrote a book called, The Seven Longings of the Human Heart.
In it, he describes the seven longings of every human, and one of them is the desire to gaze on beauty.
I believe God gave us that desire to enjoy beauty because He wants us to come to Him to fulfill it.
It makes sense. If Revelation 4 describes a beautiful God in a beautiful throne room. Then it would be fitting to create a people who desire that, so they can enjoy intimate fellowship with their Creator.
HOW THIS TRUTH APPLIES TO US
If a beautiful God desires me to be fully satisfied in Him and the beautiful love He offers me, why am I not currently satisfied? Why am I surrounded by a world where people prefer the temporary satisfaction of pornography, sinful crimes, and selfishness than to fully abandoning themselves to their Creator who loves them? Why does it seem like we all go in the very opposite direction?
Scripture is clear when it says,
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 NIV
Why would God, who is a faithful Shepherd, as depicted here, let us wander? Doesn’t He know we’re bent on doing many times the wrong thing?
The answer lies in His character; He wants voluntary lovers, who will choose Him instead of enslaved workers.
Have you ever forced your children to do something they didn’t want to do? They may have done it, but they probably weren’t happy about it. Wouldn’t you feel the same way?
But, the following verses describe God’s incredibly costly and great plan to allure the human heart back to Him. He decided to place His Son in the middle of this glorious story to mankind, and kill Him on a cruel cross.
“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:10-12 NIV
LOVE STORY THAT TOUCHES THE HEART
This is the most beautiful true story that I have ever known. Some of the best movies are ones where the hero gives his life for his beloved, or for a cause he believes to be sacred – like in Braveheart. Or in those who gave their life for the Gospel – like Eric Liddell, the runner featured on the movie the Chariots of Fire, who later was killed while a missionary in China.
THE POWER OF LOVE
God and his love is the most powerful thing there is. Song of Solomon says:
“for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” Song of Solomon 8:6-7 NIV
This scripture is not only referencing human love, but the love of God. It truly is the most powerful force on earth. And WE are the object of His desire. Stop and think about that for a moment.
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 NIV
God loves us with the same love that He loves His dear Son, Jesus with. John 17 says:
“I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:23, NIV, emphasis mine.
So, what are we to do with this great desire God has for us? Give Him what He wants. Love Him back. There’s a reason why the greatest commandment is to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ” Deut. 6:5 NIV
Jesus says that it is the first and greatest command. Why? Because all the other commandments stem from it. You were made to love God. Your children were made to love God. That’s why the next verses say,
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NIV
What about you? Are you feeling dry spiritually? Sense that what you do for the Lord and what you’re doing for your family spiritually is monotonous, and that you’re just going through the motions, with no impact or benefit?
Take it from another learning mom, that the very best thing you can do for your heart is to just come to Him. Each morning. Without a list of things to do, or have God do. Just worship Him. Open up your Bible and let Him speak to you about Himself. About you. About our world. And then let your family in on the secret. Don’t just make it another classroom where you teach and they take notes and learn. Actually worship God with them. Let them see you cry out to God in sincerity. Show them in your love and devotion that His Spirit is always welcome in your home, in the car, on your walks. Who cares if other people look at you funny?! I guess they’ll just think you’re a fanatic.
Are you facing a financial crisis, or some challenge that has blown your faith and your joy right out of the water? Get quiet with God and love Him. Open your heart and let His words wash you and bring you new life. Your problems are no match for His love. I repeat: your problems are no match for His love. It’s too powerful.
I don’t say any of this because I’ve mastered it all, or I have come to some great place of faith in my walk. I simply say it because it’s true. The bible says so.
Ephesians 5:26, 27 NIV
“to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
John 4: 13,14 NIV
“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The scripture exhorts us to pour out our hearts before Him.
Psalm 62:8 NIV
“Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.”
There’s so much scripture about this, God is lovingly pleading His case with us to come receive His love again and again, as a primary function for our life.
So, here’s what I can take away from this: God first desires me, and shows me how much by sending Jesus to die for all our sins. He calls me to desire Him. And, then, from that place of encountering again God’s burning desire in the place of my own for Him – He calls me to proclaim His beauty and desire to all mankind. To my family. To my neighbors. To complete strangers. To anyone who will listen, and, in some cases, like some of the prophets, even if they don’t.
I leave you with this scripture on the love of God poured out in our hearts. Don’t forget today that whatever you are facing is no match for His consuming, all reaching, passionate love for you. Let it awaken your soul to love Him even more. It’s so beautiful. He is so beautiful. Enter in to the love of God. You are always welcome.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:5-8 NIV
Subscribe to Rachel’s Newsletter