What are you desperate for? Desperation is prompted when we are acutely aware of that which we are lacking and also believe to be essential. And it typically evokes action. When we are utterly convinced of a need for something we are compelled to take active steps toward the relief that comes with acquisition or experience.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” —Jeremiah 29:13
God made the promise that he would be found by us when we use our whole hearts! Using all of your heart implies that you are desperate for him. I believe most of us would answer “yes” when asked if pursuing and responding to God is a good idea. The question is what is it that leaves us in a place of desperation for interaction with him? That kind of heart invites a whole different ball game.
I believe part of it has to do with an awareness of our need. There are times that for many of us it can seem as if we’re doing alright, life is good, marriage is fine, kids are excelling, and compared to most of the people around us, we’re basically good people. But we’re using the wrong back-drop for comparison.
Upon entering the presence of God, Isaiah is made painfully aware of his incompetencies; his unholiness against the backdrop of a holy God. And he is shaken by it — immediately before he was commissioned:
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” — Isaiah 6:5
I interviewed Cindy Hawks (discipling Wonder Woman) for a recent post on having an eternal perspective, and part of our conversation dipped into the topic of developing a desperate heart for God. She discussed with me the relevance of the journey we all enter into upon introduction to Jesus, and the desperate heart that is manifested as our eyes open up to all that he is, and all that we are.
“It’s a component of a journey — earnestness and passion are typically formed on a journey through hardship and heartache, and hard look at our sinfulness. When you see your lack, you see your need for God. Poverty of spirit creates our desperation.” —Cindy Hawks
The more we know God, and develop a healthy awareness of our need for him, a desperate heart is developed.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5:3
Here’s where it gets dicey; a healthy awareness of our sin can be used for profound growth, redemption… essentially anything God wants, because he delights in making something broken useful. It is out of these moments that he receives glory. But at this moment of massive spiritual potential, our enemy is also desperate to interrupt, devastate and deny. He comes to counter God’s conviction which leads to life, with shame that points to death. Shame and conviction are two very different things. And being able to discern which is which and who whispered what is imperative to our response. Next time we’ll go there – why one can be so tremendously life-giving while the other is so completely the opposite; and what to do with them both.