A foundational revelation of God’s heart, one that takes us deeper in prayer, is knowing He desires deep friendship with us—even to the point of longing.
The God of the universe, the One who has everything, longs for you. He doesn’t just love you or like you. God longs for you with the most intense, infinite emotions and they are far beyond what you could imagine.
He’s an all-consuming fire of love, and He’s burning with desire for you.
In fact, God is love. Love and desire are His personality—the very DNA of His being. Everything from God flows out of His love.
Review: Jesus Longs for Friendship with You – Part 1
In Part 1-2, my goal is to introduce the truth of God’s longings and support it with biblical examples of God demonstrating His heart.
In Part 3, I want to build on these verses that reveal how intense God is and point us back to God’s longing for humanity in the creation story—Genesis 1:26 and the formation of the one image-bearer.
Psalm 139 – Jesus Searches Us Because He Longs for Us
Why does He long for you? What is God longing for in you? Psalm 139 gives us some answers.
O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.Psalm 139:1-2
Though God is sovereign and knows everything, He still “searches” us out. Why would the all-knowing God have to search us out? Doesn’t he know everything about us already? Doesn’t He know our very thoughts before we have them? After all, He’s the one that knit us together in our mother’s womb.
God knows everything about us (past, present, future) in His omniscience, but He doesn’t know us experientially—something that can only happen through present-tense conversation and relationship. He wants to know you and every thought, every movement of your emotions and responses.
God longs to know us experientially, so He searches us out all day, every day. In His desire, He watches us, interacts with our hearts, and discovers what we’re like in relationship with Him. God searches us out when we should be the ones searching Him out!
Psalm 139 is talking about the God who knows us in and out because He’s attentive and engaging, not just all-knowing. He’s like this because He longs for interaction and friendship with us. He’s a lover who’s discovering the hearts of His friends.
Did you know God thinks you’re worth searching out? God created you in His image and designed you for friendship. Even as you’re reading this, His heart is fully engaged and attentive to your heart.
Related Post: “What It Means to be an Image-Bearer of God“
Revelation 3:19-20 – Jesus Pursues Deeper Friendship with Us
Not only does Jesus search us out out of longing—He actively pursues deeper friendship with us, no matter the situation, and He always takes initiative. Jesus is always wanting to increase the depth of fellowship, so He’s always active in inviting us into more.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.Revelation 3:19-20
Revelation 3 has a lot of negative, confrontational truths in it, but within those Jesus is revealing His love and longing. First, Jesus came to those He loved, “As many as I love, I rebuke.”
Second, Jesus took the initiative to come to dull, compromising Christians. This shows that, even though they were not giving Him deep friendship, He still cared enough to pursue their hearts. God bypassed their lack of pursuit and revealed His desire for them.
Third, Jesus knocked on the door of their hearts because He wanted something. He wanted to dine and fellowship with them—in their hearts. Basically, Jesus was knocking on their door, saying, “I want more of you! I want deeper friendship with you, and I don’t have that right now.”
These Christians were NOT giving God everything within themselves, and Jesus zealously pursued their hearts as a husband pursues a bride. He was the Psalm 139 God in their midst, searching them out with His eyes, and looking for a response of love.
Now, the Christian with a wrong view of God will see Jesus calmly knocking on the door, (potentially unemotional) or see Him as being mostly angry.
But if you look at the context of what’s happening, you see that He’s motivated out of love for them and pursuing love from them.
I don’t see Him as angry in this passage. I see Jesus as a passionate husband, awakening His bride out of all the things that are getting in the way of her loving Him back. He’s jealous for her attention and affection, and He wants to sit at the table of her heart and talk!
You may not be spiritually dull or compromising like the Laodiceans, but Jesus is still knocking on the door of your heart—not for salvation, but for greater levels of present-tense friendship with you. Because He is longing for you, He is pursuing you.
And He’s not just pursuing other people. Jesus is pursuing you. You might feel unworthy or overlooked, but you’re the one He’s drawing near!
Jesus Reveals His Longings Through the Cross
God longs for a relationship with us with an intensity and capacity that only He could contain. Many of us instantly discount that thought because it sounds exaggerated. Remember what accusations I mentioned in Part 1?
- God is sovereign and 100% emotionally content within Himself. God can’t long for human relationship because that would mean He’s needy and discontent.
- God has emotions, but He doesn’t have intense emotions, to the point of longing and burning with desire.
- Some people struggle to even believe God has emotions at all, except for the emotion of anger.
- God might have intense emotions, but He can’t feel them towards me, especially in my weaknesses and sin struggles. Why would He long for me?
We think, “Yeah, if God does have intense longings, it’s only for the other guy, maybe. But I’m not that good or that special. How do I know that God is so passionate about me? Isn’t that a little bit exaggerated?”
The same passion and longing (intense emotions) that drove Jesus to the cross for us is the same passion and longing that was in His heart while He created image-bearers. It’s the same magnitude of passion and longing in His heart for us today.
This next statement is meant to confront any unworthy feelings you may be experiencing in your life.
Jesus was naked on a cross and crushed by the Father as the greatest display of selfless love the world has ever seen. He was humiliated in an undignified death and held nothing back, saying, “Here I am, this is My heart. This is who I am, and this is how far I will go in My love for you. I’ll lay bloody on a cross if I can have the bride that I fashioned for Myself.”
That was His display of passion on the cross, that was His passion in the beginning of creation, and that is His passion for us now.
I don’t think we even know the beginning of Jesus’ desire for us as His bride. He came into a human frame, lived for 30 years, died a violent death on the cross, was crushed by the Father bearing the weight of the sins of the world, and went through demonic warfare and suffering, all because He was longing for friendship with us.
Let the reality of the longing of the cross confront the lies that say He isn’t passionate for us or that we are unworthy of His love.
If this topic moves you, even a little, take a minute and respond to God. Ask Him to reveal His longing heart to you. Ask Him to show your heart the truths of what He is feeling for you.
For additional help, consider purchasing the Going Deeper Workbook(and optional video course) to go deeper in the topic of God’s Longing Heart. Chapters 5-8 are entirely focused on getting a right view of God as father and husband and us as priceless image-bearers. The workbook is set up to inspire you with a high vision for encounter and equip you to pursue Jesus through different forms of prayer.
Additionally, you can join our Facebook Group, “Cultivate Encountering Jesus” for more support and direct encouragement. Search for this group on Facebook and we’ll grant permission to join the group.
Join The Family
Join other subscribers who want more, and get the latest resource on growing in prayer delivered straight to your inbox.