What does it mean to desire God? This is the question we wrestled with at Desire, a retreat for the high school girls at Northside Christian Church in New Albany, Indiana. “Desire” is a bit of a buzz word in Christian circles today—everyone likes the sound of it, but few know what it really means! So this retreat was a great place to lay a foundation for what desiring God looks like in the life of a believer.
The sessions began as a dear friend of mine spoke of God’s great desire for us to be reconciled to Himself—this setting the foundation which makes it possible for us to pursue and desire Him. In her second sessions, she then traced the life of a disciple (the apostle Peter) who desired the Lord—giving us a portrait of a life devoted unto Jesus.
In my session, I spoke of desire in a practical, day-in, day-out sense, focusing on James 4:8: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Here we find a litmus test of sorts—desire for God leads us to draw near to Him (in prayer, through the Word, in worship, etc.), which results in God drawing near to us. Because God is holy, His presence will expose our sin-covered hands and sin-sick hearts. So desire will manifest itself through increasing holiness (through repentance, confession, and life-change by the power of the Spirit) in the life of a believer.
Even as part of the presenting team, I gained so much from the weekend! Being with these young women was energizing and exciting—I couldn’t help but wonder what God had in store for them in the course of their pursuit of Him. I chatted with just a few of these gals—my heart longs for them to know Jesus in a deep and steady way, one grounded in His unchanging beauty. And I hope that I might pursue the Lord as Peter did—an all out pursuit, getting up after falling, calling out to the Lord, and boldly proclaiming all that He is.