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Heart's Desire: A Devotional

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

May 22, 2023

grand-canyon

I am sensitive to the fact that not every reader of my blog claims to be a Christian, and I am respectful of another’s personal beliefs. I will be upfront and state this blog post is “from my heart” and meant to be a spiritual encouragement to fellow believers and a gentle calling to those who may not yet know Christ. Come, and see that the Lord is good!

 

What do you long for in this life? What does your heart crave? What do you think about in the wee hours of the night or your waking moments before the rush of the day begins? What are the things or opportunities that if you could just have them, you are convinced that you would be satisfied?


In college, one of my favorite teachers shared in a lecture that God has created a God-shaped hole in the human heart that only He can fill. God has purposefully created an emptiness in our souls that He alone can satisfy, and the dissatisfaction we daily feel is actually a gift from God, a calling to pursue Him passionately.


The chasm in our longing hearts is greater and vaster than the Grand Canyon, and nothing in this world can satiate the thirst we feel in our souls. We cannot stuff enough of this world into our hearts to satisfy the eternal cravings we feel, and even if we could fill the Grand Canyon-like hole in our hearts with whatever we desire, we would be left seeking for more.


grand-canyon

Many people try to fill the Grand Canyon of their hearts with endless possibilities and diversions. Some turn to outright immoral or illicit vices and sins while many Christians turn to more “respectable” options such as the ardent pursuit of money, pleasure, vacations, power, prestige, and the list goes on and on.


Some people in this life seem to have it all: they have the lucrative job, the palatial home, and the prestige that often comes with such trappings. Yet, if they are not pursuing God and setting their affection on Him, even their hearts are empty.


Some may have simpler ambitions and look to “average” diversions to satisfy the heart. Shopping, friends, social media, and other seemingly innocent outlets can capture our attention and divert our focus from pursuing God.


Recently I have found myself often looking at my phone hoping for the next comment on my YouTube channel or this blog. A dear friend challenged me several months ago to quit looking at “likes” on my posts and not to look to other’s approval as my own personal approval and worth.


In a quiet moment sitting on my back patio with coffee in hand, God reminded me that “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). Do I believe that this blog has value? Yes! That’s why I work so hard to write and encourage others.


Yet the success of even a good thing cannot fulfill the longings of my heart. I am doing what I believe God wants me to do in writing this blog, and the ultimate success or failure of it is not up to me but up to Him. Even if this blog became wildly popular overnight, I cannot find my joy in it; my joy must be in God, not my circumstances.

grand-canyon

What we attain in this life will not ultimately make us happy. Only a vibrant, daily walk in genuine fellowship with God Himself will satisfy the longings in our souls. That same teacher I mentioned earlier would say “There needs to be much going on between us and God!” As I listen to God by reading His Word and then share my heart in prayer with Him, my heart is quieted like a nursing child who has been fed and now rests on his mother’s lap (Psalm 131:2).

 

I’d like to share a few passages of scripture that have recently blessed me and quieted my longing heart, and I hope that they are a blessing to you as well.


Colossians 3:1-2


If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.


Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.


What this world has to offer is fleeting at best, and though the things of this world may bring me moments of happiness, I cannot set my steadfast gaze on this world and its trinkets. I must steadfastly set my gaze on Christ and the eternal hope that He gives and eagerly await for the future glory!


Psalm 145:9 and 19


The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.


He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.


One of my children’s bible memory cards had Psalm 145:9 written on it, and in a moment of self-pity, God brought this verse to my mind. God instantly reminded me that He is always good and He is always good to ME, not just to everyone else BUT me. As I thought about this verse card, my appetite was whet to read the whole psalm, and in an evening reading before bed one night, God illumined my heart with blazing clarity as to His goodness and ability to satisfy my heart.


Verse 19 of Psalm 145 stood out like a glorious mountain peak in my mind, “He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”


grand-canyon

God promises to fulfil or satisfy my longings if I am walking in the fear of the Lord which means to have a desire to obey Him and hate sin. What a promise that God will satisfy my heart if I am walking rightly with Him! I personally believe that one could look at Psalm 145:19, at least in a devotional sense, and understand that He (God Himself) is the actual satisfaction of our hearts. God Himself is the One Who can satisfy the longings of my soul. God Himself can fulfil the desires of my gaping heart.

 

I hope and pray that this post has been an encouragement to your heart! Am I always perfectly satisfied with God and walk around with a joyous smile on my face at every moment? No! I’m not perfect, and just like a faithful Shepherd, God calls me, His wandering lamb, back to Him. Spending time with God is sweet, and my heart is refreshed.


-Ashley


Special thanks to my brother, Jon, for sharing these photos with me from his trip to the Grand Canyon!

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