Links Daily Devotional

‘How Bad Do You Want It?’

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2, NIV)

It is an expression that seems to crop up about the time you start playing youth sports, formally or informally. Some coach, meaning well, suggests that victory comes to the individual or team who wants it more. It’s a theory that makes sense on the surface.

In coaching golf, I find that many of the typical coaching expressions don’t fit at all: “Go out there and try your hardest,” “Hit that ball with everything you’ve got in you,” “Power through.” Golf is simply too much of a balance between strength and finesse to use any of these expressions with correct effect. Please do not, with a putter in your hand, “hit that ball with everything you’ve got”!

God is inspiring the poets’ words because he wants us to recognize the depth of desire that can be possible.While determination is not fully measurable—can we really know which team wanted to win more, and why wouldn’t it be the team that stood the most unlikely chance of ever winning?—it is not a worthless practice. And we know this to be true even in our spiritual lives.

Standing strong in the annals of desirous language are the words of the sons of Korah in Psalm 84: My soul yearns, it faints, and my heart and flesh cry out for God. That’s an amazing expression of desire!

Problematically, it leaves me feeling a lack of interest in Jesus. You may feel the same. If the sons of Korah are a team and the team that wants it most wins, my side is going down.

But here is what I know to be true: God has not inserted passages in Scripture like this in order to discourage me, to make me feel like I can’t do what would really be best. Rather, God is inspiring the poets’ words because he wants us to recognize the depth of desire that can be possible.

So how do we get there? First, consider the character and actions of God. When I see the beauty in him and the wonders that he performs in faithful love, I can be motivated to seek him out all the more. This is not dissimilar to the love between a committed, loving couple. The more a man sees his wife’s excellencies (and vice versa), the more he desires her company and her friendship—and honors her with expressions of his love.

Second, simply ask God (over and over if you must) to increase your passion for him, in worship and prayer and service. Ask him to make you like those sons of Korah, with a heart ablaze for the Lord.

Jeff Hopper
May 2, 2016
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