I am desperate. It hit me sometime last week as I played Shekinah Glory’s How Deeply I Need You for about the eighth time that morning. I needed all of my thoughts to be consumed with Him. I needed my mind filled with the truth that I needed Him. I needed to enter into a place of worship and praise that shut out every other thing that sought to compete with Him. I needed to sit in the presence of the One who would keep me focused and centered, because much as I was trying, I kept veering off course. And that song is one of my go-to songs when I’m desperate for the Lord.
I’ve been noticing that desperation a lot lately. Maybe you have too. As we run in hot pursuit of Christ and Christ-likeness, the areas in which we fall short may seem magnified. Our sights are set on light and truth, on glory and majesty, on holiness and perfection. We can’t help but see the things in us that don’t measure up, and those things may be suddenly glowing like neon lights. Before, we were convicted when we spoke a harsh word to someone; now just the thought is convicting. That book, CD, or television program that brought enjoyment now raises a question—“Is this helping or hindering my pursuit?” Not having the faith to trust that God can move in the life of our children, our marriage, or in our employment situation might’ve been the status quo before. Now we’re being nudged to step out and believe, and it’s scary.
These are signs of growth. We want to become more and more sensitive to the nudging, promptings, and convictions of the Holy Spirit. We want to sense holy displeasure at the slightest movement toward sin. But at the same time, we have to guard against discouragement. We have to guard against the enemy’s whispers that we’ll never get it right. There you go again. You’ll never be able to run the race without stumbling. You can’t get through a single day with a right attitude. And you’ll never have faith to believe for anything. Who are you kidding? You don’t have what it takes.
Stop and think: Since you’ve started this study, have you been more aware of thoughts, attitudes, and actions that aren’t Christlike? Have you heard the whispers of the enemy? Have you wondered whether you can really run in hot pursuit?
How do we keep running in hot pursuit and keep reaching forward, even as we grow more and more aware that we have a long way to go before we’re where we need to be?
As we run in hot pursuit, we must stay desperate—desperate for Jesus and His abiding presence. By clinging to Him, we have all we need to keep pressing.
We can’t run this race on our own. We can’t fix all the shortcomings we see in ourselves. We can’t order our thoughts and our steps and our lives in a fashion that pleases God. We can’t get through a single hour, let alone a single day, week, or month trying to “get it right.” We can’t do anything worthy without Jesus. Jesus said:
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
David knew what it was like to be desperate. In Psalm 63:1, he said:
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
We will never be where we need to be—conformed to the likeness of Jesus—this side of heaven. And it’s actually a good thing to be ever aware of it. It means we’re not deceived. If we’re comparing ourselves to others around us, we might get a false sense of ourselves, even a pride in ourselves. Keeping our focus on Jesus keeps us humble. When we’re humble, God gives us grace (James 4:6).
Staying desperate keeps us before the throne, painfully aware that we need the Lord . . . and gloriously aware that He is there, ready to supply all we need.
Read these verses:
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
1 Thessalonians 5:6-18
What do you think of being desperate for Jesus? Does that seem weird to you? Do you consider yourself desperate for Him?
On my blog site our brothers and sisters have been posting links to great songs these past three weeks for our “In Hot Pursuit” soundtrack. I’ve got to add these two: