Monday, September 12, 2011

Desire and Delay part 2

I blogged previously on desire and delay and the importance of waiting on God believing He uses our desires to draw us nearer to Him if we allow it. It is ok to desire and even necessary to live a fulfilled walk with God that is more than mere "rule following". Without desire, there is no passion, no eager hope, no dependence on God to provide for something out of let desire well up and bring it before the Lord, but be careful to linger and not run to satisfy the longing in your own strength or carefully crafted schemes.

You probably know the story of Exodus 32 where the people of God asked Aaron to make a god who would go before them. They had given up on ever seeing Moses who unbeknownst to them was receiving life giving instruction from God--the true God who desired to go before them as He faithfully had the whole journey out of Egypt. They went on to collect all their gold jewelry and make a golden calf. Its easy to scoff at them because we know how the story ends and see how much better it could have been. And we judge them that they gave up waiting in 40 days--the amount of time Moses was on the mountain WITH God. But are our hearts really that much different when we have a good desire?

The Israelites' desire for someone/something greater than themselves to go before them into unknown territory was a good, human desire--to not be on their own, to have a sense of protection and security that God had given. They got their eyes off of God and onto their desire alone. That was their fatal mistake. Then they became uncomfortable in their desire and especially the wait, and they grasped at anything to comfort them---a handmade golden calf.

We too have desires and we need to be careful to let God fulfill them. I have found this lingering desire for a few more friends. I can't explain it as I have several very meaningful relationships, yet the desire remains and grows. I get frustrated and beat myself up--why this desire? What's is for? How is it to be fulfilled? The accuser comes and whispers, "Its because you're needy...or there's something wrong with you...why can't you just be happy like other people and find more hobbies, etc." I then start to doubt, get frustrated...desire is awkward as it exposes something missing and a longing ache. I want to give up desire or shift it to a hobby, OR I recognize the desire and seek to satisfy it by running after friendships by joining groups that seem to promise or cling deeper to the friends I already have only to be frustrated by all. My focus is off. I am obsessing about the desire and how to fulfill it, which can lead to poor choices or an overcrowded schedule. I am not much different than the Israelites who crafted the cow out of things within their, is this convicting as I have read Exodus 32 with a bit of a scoffing heart at those weak and wayward easily satisfied by a trinket when they could have had the living God and His blessing if they had only waited a few more days!

As with my desire, if I would stop trying to make it go away through grasping (my first reaction to the awkwardness) and actually rest and acknowledge the "hunger" that is welling up, I have an opportunity to invite Jesus in. I'm sure He has a plan that will surprise and bless me once He speaks--but I will miss is as long as I insist on a quick fix to the issue.

To wait or to run...that is the question and it is a choice based on the posture of your heart!