Thursdays With Spurgeon—The Proof In The Longing

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Charles Spurgeon. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Spurgeon” in the search box to read more entries.

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The Proof In The Longing

My soul is consumed with longing for Your laws at all times. (Psalm 119:20) 

     Can you say that your heart pines for God as the watcher through the midnight sighs for the dawn, or as the traveler over burning sand longs for the shadow of a great rock? Oh, then, though I would not have you rest in longings; indeed, I know you never can. Yet they are a proof that you are spiritually alive! Heart longings are far better tests than attendance at sacraments, for men who are dead in sin have dared to come both to baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Eager desires prove spiritual life much better than supposed attainments, for these supposed attainments may all be imaginary. But a heart breaking for the longing that it has for God’s Word is no fancy. It is a fact too painful to be denied! … 

     We have not reached perfection, but do not let us, therefore, be discouraged, for the apostle of the Gentiles said, ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect’ (Philippians 3:12). … When a man thinks himself so good that he cannot be better, he is probably so bad that he could not be worse. … 

     The fuller a man is of grace, the more he hungers for grace! Strange it is to say so, but the paradox is true—the more he drinks and the more he is satisfied and ceases to thirst in one sense, the more he is devoured with thirst after the living God! … This it is to be a true child of God: To always have a yearning soul toward God’s Word, to be eager after His commandments at all times. May the Holy Spirit keep us ever hungering and thirsting after God and His truth.

From Holy Longings

In a recent interview that I did, I was asked how someone should deal with the fact that they are struggling to be balanced in their leadership. My reply was, “The very fact that they are feeling the struggle should be a great encouragement to them. People who don’t feel the tension of wanting to get better are blinded to their deficiencies and never seek help.” 

The proof of our growing maturity is in our longing for growing maturity. 

The psalmist in this great chapter is thrilled with what God’s Word has already accomplished in his life, and yet he is still longing for the Holy Spirit to do an even greater work in his heart. This is the tension in which every maturing Christian should live. The devil would love to whisper to your heart, “Your longing for more proves that you are still immature.” This is an utter lie! As Spurgeon reminds us, the more of God we have, the more of God we will crave.

My friend, never be satisfied with what you have already attained. Be delighted with what God has done, but crave that He will continue to do more and more and more! These longings not only delight God but bring Him great glory.

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