There exists no such thing as a typical Christian life. Each life of faith tells a unique and profound story of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God draws on His endless creative ability and fashions a faith journey for each of His followers that’s as distinct as their DNA.
God intends for each of us to experience zestful, adventurous faith. And yet, we often settle for less. Many Christians live a safe faith, not knowing how to break out of status quo religion. That was our story. Maybe it’s yours, too.
My husband, Lou, and I changed our story when we answered God’s invitation for a deeper, more profound relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit awakened in us a holy longing to move beyond boundaries of safe faith, to break through barriers of familiarity so we could embrace everything God purposed for us.
At times on our Christian journey, God calls us out of our routine, so He can move us from limiting habits into deeper depths of intimacy with Him. Holy discontent is a gift He gives. Holy longing is His gift, too.
God always takes the initiative in a relationship with Him. Apostle Paul explains in Romans 3:11, “…there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.”
Do you hear what Paul is saying? We do not have within ourselves the understanding to reach out to God. No one seeks God on their own initiative. When we sense a longing in our heart to know Him, it’s always a response to His invitation. He is the One who allures and beckons. He begins, and He finishes. He authors and perfects. He knocks. We open. He woos. We choose.
Perhaps you sense a holy longing in your heart. You’re dissatisfied with your spiritual progress. You yearn for more. Your heart’s desire is for God to accomplish something extraordinary in your life through your life.
If embracing an adventure in faith with God burns in your soul, if your heart echoes with your cry to know him better, then you are responding to what God already intends to do for you. He authors every prayer you pray to know Him more. The desire that pounds in your heart to follow hard after Him is His idea. The psalmist wrote, “Lord, when you said to me, ‘Seek my face,’ my inner being responded: I’m seeking your face with all my heart” (Psalm 27:8, TPT).
Holy longing requires us to wholly surrender, so we can break the bonds of safe faith and move into the adventure God planned for us. That’s what happened to us. Our restless discontent caused a holy longing, a yearning for an all-out, nothing-held-back, everything-left-on-the-field, poured-out-like-a-drink-offering type of relationship with God. More of Him. Less of me.
Rebecca Shirey is a writer and frequent speaker at conferences and retreats. She is passionate about encouraging others to relentlessly pursue the abundant life Jesus offers. She and her husband, Lou, a retired Army chaplain, live in the Oklahoma City area.