Where Are The Christians Who Are Doing This? 

Where, oh, where can we find saints of God who are hungering, thirsting, fainting, panting, or longing after God or the things of God? Are they in your church, prayer group, or Bible Study?  Are you one of them?  
This message has to do with the subject of "going after God." Are you presently obsessed with an earnest desire to seek after God until you find Him, or has the start of "the lazy days of summer" got you all caught up with thoughts of vacation and fun, fun, fun - mixed with making more money, money, money?
Who over this entire Internet can boldly declare -"I am on-fire for God! I am so filled with the Holy Spirit that I cannot help but eat, drink, and sleep Jesus. I am so in love with Him that I cannot help but tell the world about Him. I cannot stand for one minute to be without His Presence in my life. I cannot go one day without prayer or the study of His Word. All day long I find myself making melody in my heart to Him. Everything else must take second place to my time with Him. If anything will be pushed aside, it will be my appointments with men, but it definitely won't be my appointment with Him"
Read below some quotes from different sources dealing with the topic of longing for God -
"One of the best tests of a man's character will be found in his deepest and heartiest longings. As a man longeth in his heart, so is he." - Biblical Illustrator
"The desires of gracious men after holiness are intense, - they cause a wear of heart, a straining of the mind, till it feels ready to snap with the heavenly pull. A high value of the Lord's commandments leads to a pressing desire to know and to do it, and this so weighs upon the soul that it is ready to break in pieces under the crush of its own longings. What a blessing it is when all our desires are after the things of God. We may well long for such longings." - Charles Spurgeon
"As a rule where there is hunger, there is health. The soul that hungers for righteousness is not utterly diseased."
"Where the heart is breaking with desire there is life."
"The more full a man is of grace the more he hungers for grace."
- all three quotes are from The Biblical Illustrator
"How frequently do we find...the insatiable hunger after honor, a thirst for virtue, thirst after fame, and such like! - Adam Clarke
Did you catch some of the rich comments made like -  "...As a man longeth in his heart, so is he....The desires of gracious men after holiness are intense, - they cause a wear of heart, a straining of the mind, till it feels ready to snap with the heavenly pull...As a rule where there is hunger, there is health...Where the heart is breaking with desire there is life..." ?
So, what kind of person or Christian are you - based on your innermost desires? Are your desires for holiness so intense whereby you feel as though you are ready to snap with the heavenly pull? Based on your desires for God, would you be considered a healthy Christian or a sick one...a living one or a dead one?
In Psalm 143:6, David expressed his desire for God in this way - "I stretch forth my hands unto Thee: my soul thirsteth after Thee, as a thirsty land."
The picture presented here is that of a land that is severely parched due to a drought. It is weary with no vigor of growth. Being parched and burned by the hot sun, the soil is cracking, gaping, and yawning - opening its proverbial mouth - thirsting for one drop of rain.
This is exactly how David's soul broke with longings for the presence of the Lord in his life. His soul felt parched and dry. Consequently, he thirsted after God for His Word, grace, and the  knowledge of His ways. He needed Him. He craved for Him - being entirely and intently after Him.
The Psalmist in Psalm 119 expressed his desire in this way -
"My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgments at all times" (Psalm 119:20).
"I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for Thy commandments" (Psalm 119:131).
Imagine having such a desire to know more of the commandments of God where your strength actually becomes exhausted or is said to wear away little by little and the desire eventually overcomes you. The Psalmist expressed such an earnest desire for a sound knowledge of the Word and the practice of it. He wanted to become acquainted with all that was in the law of God. His longings were so intense that his heart broke and his soul fainted - due to the desire being delayed. It was as if his soul was crushed or broken in pieces by scrapings, rubbings, and gratings as a result of the delay. 
In another verse, he expressed his heartfelt desire for the Word in language signifying deep, deep emotion. As a traveler in a hot desert, he "panted" or thirsted after God's precepts. He had such an ardent desire for spiritual enlightenment...to be established in the right course...and to be delivered from the wicked. He longed for the entrance of God's Word into his soul. Like an animal exhausted after a chase, he panted after God - to know His commandments...obey them...be conformed to their spirit...and then to teach them to others. He set his face like a flint toward holiness.
In the Gospel Of Matthew, the Lord Jesus is recorded as saying - "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).
Hunger and thirst are the keenest of appetites. Hence, we  understand that these Christians are the ones who have the deepest cravings for spiritual blessings. They have a strong and intense desire to be holy.
Notice that the Lord did not say that they desired after the riches, honor, and pleasures of this world. No, they had a passionate hunger and thirst for righteousness - to be dead to all sin...renounce the world...deliberately choose God in all life's choices...conform to His will...and experience personal purity in their lives.
If a man is measured by his desires, then what can be said of the spirituality of the Church today? Or of your life?
Where, oh, where can we find saints of God who are hungering, thirsting, fainting, panting, or longing after God or the things of God? Are they in your church, prayer group, or Bible Study?  Are you one of them?
Sad but true - as we look around at the Christians in America, we see many who are in hot pursuit after the things of this world. Just arrange for a prayer meeting and a comedian to come to your church simultaneously, and see where the crowds gather.
Recently, we heard a story where a woman related how the leadership in her church were so spiritual. Their standards for holiness - as she saw them - were so high. The reason being is that they abided by the church restriction which said that they could not drink alcohol or get drunk in public. Rather, they must do it in the privacy of their homes. This particular "saint" of God felt as though her leadership were so godly because they abided by such limitations.
Brethren, you cannot get any sicker than this! Instead of thirsting and panting after God, His Word, and holiness - which is total separation from the world and sin - the church of 2009 is still thirsting after such rot-gut things like beer and alcohol and feels justified in doing so. And this is among the leadership!
We do not have people whose hearts are breaking through the longings that they have for God's Word. Instead, we have people who get upset with the Preacher if he preaches more than twenty minutes on Sunday, and we also have Devotional Bibles which are called "5 Minutes a Day with God" to cater to the busy folks who only have five minutes in their daily schedule for His Word.
Does that sound like intense desire to you - where there is "a wearing of the heart" or "a straining of the mind""until it feels ready to snap with the heavenly pull"? The only pull that we can see among so many is the pull toward the world and the flesh. And the people love to have it so!
The saying goes like this - "As a man longeth in his heart, so is he."
Let's be real here!
Based on your longings, just who or what are you, O Saint of God?
May God Bless His Word,

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.  (Isaiah 54:17)
┬ę COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved
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