By Chelsea Vaughn
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God (Psalm 84:2).
What does it look like to have a soul that faints for the courts of the Lord? What does it look like to have a longing so deep that it causes shortness of breath, elation, and loss of control?
I have such wonder for the second part of this verse. Though our souls faint for the kingdom of God, we have beating hearts and a fighting flesh that sings for the living God. That’s a lot to unpack, and understand. Can humans maintain a longing for the kingdom and the fullness of God, and a daily life full of rejoicing in the Jesus that we know today? In other words, can we both faint (a sign of exhaustion or duress) and sing with all our might? And if we are not modeling this humble worship, why is that the case?
Before I can begin to dive into these questions, I have to address a significant issue. Many days, we grow numb to this desperate longing, and fail to reach the second part of this verse. We no longer lay ourselves down in humble adoration to the creator who fuels and fulfills this longing. Instead, we lay ourselves down to a constant roll of distractions. We ignore our call to submit our hearts to God. Rather, we submit to chaos and distraction. God’s kingship fades in our fickle minds, and we give our chaotic life the authority to run us into the ground where dirt lies and feet trample. We no longer live life, but we let life live us. The distraction of the fast pace causes us to start running in the wrong direction. We run towards life and end up getting tackled. Essentially, we have made ourselves too busy to faint, too busy to long for the courts of the Lord, and ultimately too busy to sing for joy in his goodness.
Our highest calling is at risk when we bow to the routine of our lives, instead of bowing to our Savior. Purpose is not determined by the infamous “to- do” list, but rather the scriptural call to love God and love others. Although routines are a healthy discipline, there is a greater calling than what is written in a planner. The call to love God and love others must be placed before an agenda.
A heart that is steadfastly pursuing the kingdom of Jesus, like this Psalm says, is one that does not submit to the authority of distraction. The truth is that Jesus Christ made a sacrifice for us to have life, in addition to an eternal home in his kingdom. Sin is crouching at our door anxiously waiting to steal away our submission to the God of this kingdom. Yet, we have power over it and scripture demands for us to rule over sin. The answer is found in Psalm 84:2. We must train our eyes to look to the kingdom of our loving God, and long deeply and desperately for his authority. His authority stirs affection for his presence because the distractions in our life grow weary and dim. Getting rid of these distractions brightens his face, which subsequently deepens the longing in our heart. His presence, though, is alive on earth and in us. It’s a gift from Jesus to then practice how to love him daily. It’s a gift to feel faint with longing, yet on fire to live with him; to walk with him. He came so that we may have life, and have it to the full. This short life is meant to expand the Kingdom, but it is lived on earth. So, we have grace to cry daily for the kingdom, whilst walking forward in humble adoration for a living God. He walks with us here, and he will warmly welcome us there.
Chelsea is a student, freelance writer, and a director for a non- profit called Initiative. She attends Dallas Baptist University and is working towards a degree in Communication Theory with a minor in Psychology. She’s spent more of her life overseas than in her home country, and has a heart to see the world. Her utmost passion is watching Jesus work past the boundaries of culture. She would love to use her gift for writing to reach the nations, regardless of location.
You can read more of her writing on her Blog.
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