The Seven Longings of the Human Heart
Introduction: Designed to live exhilarated in God
I will declare it [Father’s name], that the love with which You loved Me may be in them. (Jn. 17:26)
- God reveals God to the human spirit to awaken love in us. It takes God’s power to love God. There is nothing more pleasurable or exhilarating than loving God by the power of God. The Father’s love is supernaturally poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). Our desire for God is God’s gift to us. Our desire for God is an expression of His desire for us.
- God created the human spirit with seven longings that draw us to Him and reflect His glory in us. They are the longing for the assurance that we are enjoyed by God, the longing to be fascinated, the longing to be beautiful, the longing to be great, the longing for intimacy without shame, the longing to be wholehearted significance with lasting impact (passionate), and the longing for .
- Each longing is a reflection of God’s personality. We are made in His image; thus, we have these longings that enable us to walk with Jesus as His eternal companion. They give us insight into how God created our spirit. They reflect His creative genius in how He designed our spirit.
- These “designer cravings” will be in us forever. Thus, we have a great appetite for pleasure. Therefore, we cannot remove these longings by repenting of them. Rather, we repent of seeking to fulfill them outside of our relationship with Jesus. The tension of life is in seeking to satisfy these longings outside of God’s will. Each of these longings has a counterfeit.
- We have a God-shaped vacuum (gnawing emptiness) until we are touched by God. God created us with a great appetite for pleasure. The Spirit will answer these basic longings, knowing they will not be fully satisfied in this age.
- As we seek to answer these longings in our relationship with Jesus, we will experience the “superior pleasures” of the gospel. In this way, we can walk free from the dominion of the “inferior pleasures” of sin. The result is that we are empowered to love Jesus more. The essence of temptation is to seek to satisfy these longings outside of God’s will.
- As the Lord’s return draws nearer, many will walk in unprecedented measures of perversion and woundedness. There will be a great increase of murder, pornography, and the occult (Rev. 9:21).
21 They did not repent of their murders or sorceries or sexual immorality or thefts. (Rev. 9:21)
- Jesus will return for a prepared Bride. In the face of escalating sin, God will bring His people to victory. Only satisfied people who are happy in God will be equipped to stand in that hour. God empowers His people to live in the power of lovesickness that overcomes great darkness.
27 He might present her to Himself a glorious church…holy and without blemish. (Eph. 5:27)
longing #1: the longing for assurance of being enjoyed by God
9 As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you. (Jn. 15:9)
23 That the world may know that You [Father]…have loved them as You have loved Me. (Jn. 17:23)
- Every person was created with a craving in their heart to be pursued, delighted in, and enjoyed, first by God and then by family and friends. I believe the most prevailing stronghold of the mind is related to the fear of rejection and the trauma of shame. The feeling that we have gone too far in our sin to be forgiven creates great “emotional traffic” in us that drains our strength.
- Our longing to be enjoyed by God is fulfilled as we receive the revelation of God’s emotions (affections) as our Father and Bridegroom. This begins with understanding the finished work of the cross. As we understand what Jesus did on the cross, then we can understand why He did it.
- There is a difference between rebellion and spiritual immaturity in those who sincerely seek to obey God. God is angry about rebellion but feels affection for immature believers who love Him.
- It is not so difficult to believe that God enjoys and loves us in heaven or even on the earth after we are spiritually mature. However, God enjoys us even now, in our spiritual immaturity! Jesus described the Father and the angels rejoicing, or feeling joy, over repentant prodigals (Lk. 15:4-5, 8-10, 20). Our hearts are awakened in love by the assurance that God enjoys us.
20 He arose and came to his father. When he was still a great way off, his Father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (Lk. 15:20)
23 “Bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” And they began to be merry. (Lk. 15:23-24)
- Even when Jesus corrects us, He does not reject us. He corrects us because He so desires us.
12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.
longing #2: the longing to be fascinated
17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty… (Isa. 33:17)
- There is a craving in our spirit to be fascinated, to marvel and be awestruck and filled with wonder. The entertainment industry has identified this longing and made much profit from it. When God reveals God to the human spirit we experience “divine entertainment” at its highest.
- David’s heart was preoccupied with God while his hands were occupied with leading the nation. Without having a sense of awe, we live aimlessly and in boredom. A spiritually bored believer is weak and vulnerable to Satan. A fascinated believer is strong and equipped to face temptation.
4 One thing I desired…all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD. (Ps. 27:4)
longing #3: the longing to be beautiful
17 Let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us… (Ps. 90:17)
- Our beautiful God created us in such a way that we long to possess and feel His imparted beauty. The beauty that God possesses is the very beauty that He imparts to us through His salvation. His own beauty is transferable to humans through Jesus!
3 To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning. (Isa. 61:3)
- Our culture has an obsession with physical beauty and seeks to answer this legitimate longing in a wrong way. Many pursue beauty at great lengths, because they feel unsettled without it.
longing #4: The Longing to be great
26 Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave. (Mt. 20:26-27)
- The great God created us to be great. Therefore, we have a desire for greatness and success. We were made to be crowned with glory, honor, and nobility.
7 You have crowned him with glory and honor… (Heb. 2:7)
- Some misunderstand this God-given longing and repent of it, hoping to remove it. We cannot remove this God-given longing, but we can repent of pursuing it in an illegitimate way.
19 Whoever does and teaches them [God’s commands], he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:19)
- He meets our longing for greatness by giving us a position of authority with Him that surpasses the highest ranking angels. We will co-rule with Jesus (Rom. 8:17). Believers are at the pinnacle of power in the created order. The Church is part of the aristocracy or the ruling class in eternity.
21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne … (Rev. 3:21)
longing #5: we long for intimacy without shame
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (1 Cor 13:12)
- We long for intimacy without shame in knowing and being known by God. Intimacy involves a two-way knowing. God knows the secrets of our heart and entrusts the secrets of His heart to us. To be fully known without shame and to be free from the fear of being left alone is exhilarating.
14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him… (Ps. 25:14)
- He rejoices and celebrates with us as He shares our triumphs. He understands the secret aspects of our life that are unknown, unnoticed, and misunderstood by others.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice…weep with those who weep… (Rom. 12:15)
- He has intimacy with us related to our victory and prosperity. Only He knows the implications of our greatness and the heights of our nobility in redemption. He sees our painful struggle with sin. He understands our pain in failure and protects us by not disclosing the vast majority of our sin. He knows our shameful deeds, yet believes in us and treats us with honor. He sees our costly sacrifices as we walk in faith and obedience to love Him. He knows our heart passions and deepest dreams and intentions to do good. He knows the cries of our spirit in time and eternity.
longing #6: the longing to be wholehearted and passionate
37 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart… (Mt. 22:37)
- We long to give our deepest affection to God. Our passionate God empowers us to be passionate. We cannot function properly until we passionately give our heart to a Person and purpose beyond ourselves. If we don’t have something to die for, we have nothing to live for.
- The human heart does not work properly in half-heartedness. The passive heart is bored and, therefore, vulnerable to many destructive lusts. In order to be emotionally whole, we must live wholeheartedly. Walking in wholehearted love for Jesus frees us from the burnout of spiritual boredom. The “joy of lovesickness” is exhilarating. Moses prophesied that the first commandment would be fully restored to first place in the midst of God’s people (Deut. 30:6)
longing #7: The longing for significance: to make a lasting impact
10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. (Heb. 6:10)
- God designed us to long to make a difference in the lives of others and to have purpose that is significant to God. One that He esteems and remembers forever. This longing for relevance is satisfied by our small acts of service that make an eternal impact on His heart and others’ hearts.
42 Whoever gives…only a cup of cold water…he shall by no means lose his reward. (Mt. 10:42)
- This longing is satisfied in part by doing even small works that result in eternal rewards.
21 Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. (Mt. 25:21)
23 Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance… (Col. 3:22-25)
- We love to do and share things that cause others to be changed, helped, and filled with joy. Working together with Jesus to awaken other hearts in love is essential to our emotional health. Jesus calls us to work together with Him in the holy mandate that the Father gave Him to disciple the nations (Mt. 28:19).
4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 Jn. 4)