Sylvia Colville

Part 4 – What will satisfy the longing of Your heart my Lord?

Over the last four years we have been discussing the roadmap to glory.
We understand that the overarching theme from before the foundation of the earth to the conclusion of all things for us as mankind is Gen.1:26. The people in His image.

Eph. 1:3-5 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him (in Christ) before the foundation of the world, (and why did He choose us in Christ? For what reason?) that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons – by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

We have discussed the different parts of that roadmap, from the purpose of salvation – which is absolutely not just about stepping through the cross and being saved. Being saved is just the beginning for the work of transformation that God will do in us, through the Holy Spirit, so that Gen.1:26 can become a reality in our lives.

We have spoken about the importance of making sure that we have not lost our first love and that getting into the Secret Place of His Presence is where His will becomes a living truth in our lives.

So today, I want us to focus our attention on this ultra-important aspect – the heart of worship and the condition of our first love.

John 4:23 – But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking (looking intently) such to worship Him.

The longing of His heart is that we would worship Him in spirit and in truth.

There will come a time when we will all be gathered together in worship before His throne. And it will be absolutely glorious. We will see the Throne room and our God and our Saviour and Lord sitting upon those thrones. We will see the four living creatures and be amazed at them. We will see the myriads of angels. We will see the 24 Elders, casting their crowns before the Lamb. And we will be awestruck at everything we are witnessing – with our own eyes. Glory, glory, glory – majesty, majesty, might and power. Bowing down low will be our natural response.

Yet, here in the dressing room of this time that we have on earth, we must do all that we can to prepare to be ready as a bride – one who is passionately in love with Him and one who is longing and waiting for the coming of the Lord. Today is the day that you and I have.

We must learn how we can satisfy the longing of His heart. Now. Before we leave this earth.

It is all a matter of our heart.
Ask yourself the question, ‘Does He have my heart?

Upon reading this, some of us will answer, ‘Yes, I gave Him my heart when I got born again in 1983?’
But that is not what we are talking about here.
Then what are we talking about? What does ‘having my heart’ look like?

We are going to spend some time looking at the biographies of 4 men of God whose desire to know Him will help us to understand what that looks like.

Andrew Murray: (Andrew Murray: Christ’s anointed Minister to South Africa).

He was born in Graaff Reinet, South Africa in 1828 and he died at the age of 88 in Wellington in 1917.
He published 50 books and 190 tracts.
Books like Abiding in Christ.
Absolute surrender,
Be Perfect,
God’s Will; Our dwelling place,
Holy in Christ, Humility: The journey toward Holiness.

Can you hear his heart in these titles?
Murray’s life speaks deeply of abiding. Living in the conscious presence of God.

Some of his quotes:

  • Carelessness about the friendship of Christ, the crying sin of the Church.
  • But for the cultivation of such friendship, you need time. Everything we do needs time
    and most of all does the exercise of fellowship with God demand it.
  • I have learned to place myself before God every day as a vessel to be filled with the Spirit. If there is one lesson that I am learning day by day, it is this.
    That it is God who works all in all.
    Oh that I could help any brother or sister realize just this.
  • Let me believe that I am God’s child, and that the Father, in Christ, through the Holy Ghost has set His love upon me and that I may abide in His presence, not frequently, but unceasingly.
  • With the deepest feeling of my soul, I can say that I am satisfied with Jesus but there is also the consciousness of how much fuller the revelation can be of the exceeding abundance of His grace.
    Oh this is only the beginning

AB Simpson. (Wingspread – A study in Spiritual Altitude)

He was born in Canada in 1843 and he died in New York in 1919 at the age of 76 Wingspread is the Biography about AB Simpson – written by AW Tozer in 1943, himself an incredible man of God.

Some Quotes from the book:

  • After he experienced the Holy Spirit, he was for the rest of his days, an enraptured Christian.
    His enjoyment of the presence of the indwelling Christ almost literally transported him. His was a ravished heart which seemed to know no limit in its ardent devotion to the person of Jesus.
  • He had found the secret of sustained health. Taking physical strength from the Lord, day by day, as he took oxygen from the atmosphere.
  • He spoke of spiritual joys and ecstasies, high flights into the realms of love and bliss.
  • AW Tozer says of AB Simpson, ‘only John Wesley and Paul the apostle that he
    knows of, turned out more spiritual fruit than AB Simpson.

Leonard Ravenhill. (In the Light of Eternity)

Born in 1907 in Leeds, in the UK. He died in 1994 in Texas at the age 87.

Some quotes:

  • Much of our praying is only giving God advice. Our praying is discoloured with ambition, either for ourselves or for others but perish the thought, our goal must be God alone. It is His blessed Son who is ignored in the circus of social efforts.
  • Now in my final years, I have only one ambition, to get near to God. I am determined this year, more than ever, to get to know Jesus Christ in a new way than I have ever known Him before. I want to discover His majesty. I want to discover the glory that He had with the Father. There is a place of quiet rest near the heart of God.

Leonard Ravenhill did have one regret that he expressed in his last year.

  • If I had spent more time alone with God rather than preaching and planning how I was going to change the world, I would be a very different man.

AW Tozer (The life of AW Tozer: In Pursuit of God)

He was born in 1897 in Pennsylvania in the USA and died at the age of 66 in 1963 in Canada.

In 2000, Christianity Today, listed his book “In Pursuit of God” on the 100 greatest books of the Century”.

Quotes from his biography:

A man came to him and asked for advice and Tozer says, ‘My son, when you get to college you’re going to find that all the boys there will be gathered around in a room discussing theology. I’m going to tell you what to do. Go to your room and meet God and at the end of the four years you’ll be way down the line and they’ll still be where they started because greater minds than yours have wrestled with this problem and have not come up with a satisfactory conclusion. Instead come to know God.’

Whatever acclaim he earned as an eloquent preacher and an outstanding writer can accurately be attributed to his close relationship with God. Tozer preferred God’s presence to anyone else. The foundation of his Christian life was prayer. He not only preached prayer but he practised it.
Preaching was but a declaration of what he discovered in prayer.

His praying also affected his living. He often said, ‘As a man prays, so is he’. Everything he did, flowed out of communion with God.

Tozer literally practised the presence of God. Often he would withdraw from his family and his friends to spend time alone with God. It was not unusual for him to lose track of time in those meetings with God. He would lay prostrate on the floor with a piece of paper under his face to keep from breathing in the carpet dust.

A man talks about praying with him and Tozer says, ‘O God, we are before You,’ and with that there came a rush of God’s presence that filled the entire room. We worshiped in silent ecstasy.

Worship is a feeling in the heart. Most people are unwilling to give sufficient time to the cultivation of knowing God. We need plenty of time for the cultivation of the fruits of solitude and silence.

I guess the conclusion of all of these biographies is this, that no matter how wonderful these men were and how great the things that they accomplished were, they all came down to one conclusion – to know God by communion with Him, by experiencing His sweet presence and enjoying the person of Jesus Christ.

I pray that this would stir you to go away and be with Him. To shut the door and let your heart go up to Him in worship. To experience the sweetness and bliss of His person as a way of life.