“Hard choice! The desire to break camp here and be with Christ is powerful. Some days I can think of nothing better.” (Phil 1:23 The Message)
When we were young we used to have an ardent desire for a better future. We were looking forward to a job that would make a difference, adventure, and a spouse that we would ardently love till the end of our days. What happened to us? Where did our desires go?
During our trek to the Purakaunui Falls in the Catlins in the southern South Island of New Zealand, we were mesmerized by the surrounding vegetation, especially what I called the giant tree palms. I had never seen anything like them! Locally these are called the Mamaku, or black tree fern. It generally grows up to 20 meters, with branches spreading up to 7 meters.
Why were these not mentioned in tourist books? And why did the other tourists zip through the forest without even noticing these giants?
Some friends we met from Singapore had a similar experience. The mother stopped to admire every Mamaku, while the young people, seeing nothing special, spent their time urging her to hurry on!
Have we lost our ability to notice the hidden beauties around us? Have we lost our sense of passion and desire?
I am shocked by the level of numbness that most of us have conditioned ourselves to live with. Have you noticed how many marriages have lost their passion, their hidden glory? We’ve learned to live with our spouse in such a way that we don’t get in each other’s nerves. Now it’s good to not get on your spouse’s nerves, but unfortunately, this often leads to the death of passion. What is even more scary is that we don’t do anything about it! Intimacy has been exchanged for an attitude of “let’s just get by”, and for some reason, we are satisfied with this!
Our dreams to transform the world into a better place have been replaced, along with our sense of adventure, with booze, overtaxed cancer sticks, or a career where our dreams of making a difference are transformed into rushing around, trying to shorten the “to do” list.
Friends, we were created in the image of God, and deep down we still carry that seed of desire: Desire for true intimacy, desire for real adventure. We won’t ever fulfill our dreams by just getting by. We won’t even fulfill them by treading on forbidden ground! Instead of a real vacation at the ocean, we have allowed ourselves for far too long to be satisfied with making mud pies in the back yard! We are so easily appeased by our mundane attitudes that we haven’t even noticed the clams of sin that have taken hold of our lives! It’s time we wake up! It’s time we restimulate our hunger for the real thing! It’s time we examine our motives, our goals, and our true purpose in life! This may be painful, but the reward will be out-of-this-world!
“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Eph 5:14 NIV)
All of our ardent desires can only be truly fulfilled by the One who willingly sacrificed Himself so that we can fulfill our wildest dream: Eternity! Real adventure and profound intimacy that will thrill us to the core await us. We can say “good-bye” to the dull life, “good riddance” to the addictions, and “Welcome” to the Kingdom of God!
“The thief (The evil one) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)
(To access the entire “Fearless Victory!” devotional series, please click here.)