“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.” — Isaiah 30:18 (NASB95)
So, what is God’s heart like and what kind of relationship does He really want to have with us? So many people see God’s heart as demanding and cold. If we do what He wants, He loves us and if we don’t … He doesn’t love us. We tend to see the relationship He wants to have with us as one that is conditional and perfect. Better said this way, “Be perfect, or we don’t have a relationship.” Both of these descriptions of God are wrong because what we have done is impose our heart and our view of relationships upon Him. We are really the ones that are conditional. Our sinful nature wants what it wants and anything less will meet up with judgment and opposition. Remember, this is the inclination of our hearts, not God’s.
Even in this book of impending judgment upon the people of Judah, God was revealing His heart of grace and compassion. Isaiah said, “the Lord longs to be gracious to you.” Just stop for a minute. When was the last time that you saw God as a pursuer of your heart? We love to hear about the God who leaves the 99 to find the one who is lost, but we never put our name with the lost sheep. God loves you so much that He pursues you. Through your obedience and disobedience, He continues to long for a relationship with you. He provides His Word and the body of Christ around you to be His very presence in your life. And what does He seek in return? Perfection? No! He wants you and me to long for Him. In gratitude for all that He has done, He simply wants us to long for Him as we live our lives on this earth.
I pray that the God who longs for your heart captures it and moves your heart to reciprocate in longing for Him.