What Do We Long For?

Psalm 14:1-3 ESV

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is none who does good.

“The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.

“They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.”

Such is the character of our sinful nature. In our sinful flesh, we do not acknowledge God for the holy God that he is. We do not honor him as Lord. We do not give him true praise and the thanksgiving which he so deserves for who he is, and for all that he has done for us, the people of this earth.

In our sin nature, our righteousness is as filthy rags to God. We can’t do good, not as God defines good, because only God is truly good, and therefore all goodness comes from him (cf. Rom. 3).

In our sin nature we do not seek after God, either. Although God has revealed himself to all humankind, through his created works, those who are still living according to the flesh do not seek after God, they do not obey God, and thus they do what their corrupt hearts tell them to do (cf. Rom. 1).

Psalm 14:4-6 ESV

“Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread
and do not call upon the Lord?

“There they are in great terror,
for God is with the generation of the righteous.
You would shame the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is his refuge.”

These evildoers, though, who are they? Are they solely the people of this world who have not acknowledged Jesus Christ as Savior of their lives? Or, could they be many who profess faith in Jesus Christ? Could they even be some people who truly trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives, but who have since fallen away from that pure devotion to Christ to follow after the ways of their sinful flesh (examples in Revelation 2-3)?

For, there is a reason there are so many warnings to the church in the New Testament about not doing evil like they did before they believed in Jesus, if they did believe in Jesus. There is a reason the church is continually reminded of what they were saved from, and what they were saved to, and how they need to forsake particular sins which are weighing them down, and how they need to live holy lives, pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1-2; Heb. 12).

And, there is a reason that God warns the church throughout the New Testament that if they make these sins their practice, that they will not inherit eternal life with God, which they are anticipating receiving from God. But, instead, they will die in their sins because they will not die to their sins (Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; Rom. 8:1-17).

And, therefore, these persecutors of Christ’s true followers may well be many who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and perhaps even those who once walked by faith in Christ, but who then drifted away. They may even be pastors of churches, or church elders or deacons, or Bible teachers, etc.

For, many who profess faith in Jesus Christ have gone the way of the world and of business marketing schemes, and thus they are following man-made religion rather than God, and they are persecuting true Christ followers.

So, this is an encouragement to those who truly are walking by faith in Jesus Christ, who are holding fast to the testimony of Christ. God is with us, and he is our refuge, and he is our strength to help us through anything that our opposition might throw at us. And, he will see us through to the very end, and then he will take us home to be with him forever.

And, it is a warning to those who would oppose the Lord’s true servants and messengers, i.e. his righteous ones, that if they mess with the Lord’s saints, they are messing with God, for they are opposing God. For, God will judge them for how they treated his holy ones, and for how they treated HIM.

Psalm 14:7 ESV

“Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.”

The salvation that we should be looking for from God, though, should not be solely to be rescued from our physical enemies, and it should not be to have him return life to us as normal, either.

For, too much of today’s church has gone the way of the world, and they have become enemies of God in how they treat God, and in how they treat some of those who are following the Lord in all sincerity, too. So, we need to pray for revival!

But, the reality of the situation is that so many who call themselves Christians have been ignoring God for a long while. They have not been listening to what he says unless it agrees with how they want to live their lives. Thus, they are living in sin while claiming God’s grace covers it all, and some of them are actually teaching that God requires no repentance, no obedience, and no submission to him as Lord, but that they can still be assured of heaven for eternity.

The other reality of the situation is, as history has proven, that revival often comes through hard times, and times of persecution of the church. When people close their ears to God, and they continue in their sinful practices, despite his many warnings, and despite his many pleas for them to repent of their sins and to follow him in obedience, then God disciplines them in order to correct them, to prune them, and so they will share in his holiness.

So, if we truly want to see the adulterous and idolatrous church of today revived spiritually, walking with the Lord in obedience to his ways, then we have to be willing to have the Lord do what is necessary to bring his wandering church to her knees in humility and in repentance and in obedience to his commands.

And, we shouldn’t be looking to have our physical fortunes restored, but the fortune we should be looking to have restored is in human lives surrendered to Jesus Christ, following him in his ways, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world around them so that many can be saved before our Lord returns.

We should be seeking things above and not things on this earth, in other words. We should have our minds set on God’s eternal kingdom, rather than having our thoughts focused on the kingdoms of men on this earth. And, don’t look to humans to save us out of the situation we are in, either. Look to God to deliver people from their slavery to sin so that they can spend eternity with God in heaven. And, put this global crisis in God’s hands.

And, if you have a lot more free time on your hands because of this current global crisis, then pray and ask the Lord how He wants you to spend that time, and be talking with people about Jesus Christ, and share his gospel with others, and demonstrate the love of God by how you live your lives for the glory and praise of God. For, this is why we are here, isn’t it?

O Could I Speak the Matchless Worth

Author: Samuel Medley (1789)
Tune: ARIEL

O could I speak the matchless worth,
O could I sound the glories forth
Which in my Savior shine,
I’d soar, and touch the heav’nly strings,
and vie with Gabriel while he sings
in notes almost divine,
in notes almost divine.

I’d sing the precious blood he spilt,
my ransom from the dreadful guilt
of sin, and wrath divine:
I’d sing his glorious righteousness,
in which all perfect, heav’nly dress
my soul shall ever shine,
my soul shall ever shine.

I’d sing the characters he bears,
and all the forms of love he wears,
exalted on his throne:
in loftiest songs of sweetest praise,
I would to everlasting days
make all his glories known,
make all his glories known.

Well, the delightful day will come
when my dear Lord will bring me home,
and I shall see his face;
then with my Savior, Brother, Friend,
a blest eternity I’ll spend,
triumphant in his grace,
triumphant in his grace.

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3 thoughts on “What Do We Long For?

  1. “And, if you have a lot more free time on your hands because of this current global crisis, then pray and ask the Lord how He wants you to spend that time, ….” Absolutely. This should be a time well used for His glory

    Liked by 1 person

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