Friday, 19 September 2014
Eagerly Desire: A Meditation and Application
Today’s post was written by Meredith Bowman. Thank you, Meredith!
I’m going to begin this post with a vocabulary quiz. (Don’t worry, it’s open book.)
Do you know the definition of “desire?”
– to want something very strongly: a wish, craving, or longing for something, a yearning, need, aspiration, plea, request, appeal, entreaty, petition.
Now how about the definition of “eagerly?”
– enthusiastic and excited about something and impatiently waiting to do or get it: gung-ho, hopped-up, hot, hungry, impatient, juiced, keen, nuts, pumped, raring, stoked, thirsty, voracious, wild, chomping at the bit.
Like waiting for Christmas. Now put the two together and what would it look like to “eagerly desire” something? The images it puts in my mind range from a kid being told to wait a little longer on Christmas morning before opening presents to a dog, drooling with crazy eyes after seeing his bone from across the room.
Then I read 1 Corinthians 14:1 “…eagerly desire spiritual gifts…” Whoa. Is that the posture of my heart when I think of the spiritual gifts? Am I craving to the point of impatience to have and use the spiritual gifts? Is my heart’s cry to God in prayer a voracious yearning and asking Him to give me spiritual gifts so that the church will be built up? Or do I say in my heart, “If God wanted me to have spiritual gifts He would have already given them to me.”
Talking myself out of it. This verse has challenged me repeatedly. My mind is regularly filled with arguments that set themselves against this command for us to eagerly desire–and express that desire by asking God to give us–spiritual gifts.
“Who am I to ask God for the gift of prophecy?” …eagerly desire…so that the church may be built up…
“I already have _____ gift. I don’t need to ask for another.” …eagerly desire…so that the church may be built up…
“I’m not mature enough.” …eagerly desire…so that the church may be built up…
“I prayed once and nothing happened.” …eagerly desire…so that the church may be built up…
And a biggie for me: “I just shared at the microphone last week, I shouldn’t ask for another word this week too.” …eagerly desire…so that the church may be built up…
His eagerness. We are the bride of Christ, His church. He wants us to be eagerly desiring the gifts because He is eagerly desiring to build up His bride. His desire is ongoing and continuous until the day that his bride is perfect.
This picture is bigger than you and me, but wonderfully includes you and me. We get to be part of the process as well as the end result. So you see, it’s not self-centered to ask for spiritual gifts when we know what they are for.
Our eagerness simply mirrors his.