HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord. – Jeremiah 29:13-14
O God, You are my God; I earnestly search for You. My soul thirsts for You; my whole body longs for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise You! — Psalm 63:1–3
And this God, the living God, your God, our God, is in me, is in you, lives in us, and we live and move and have our being in Him. And He is in us by virtue of the hunger, the longing, which we have for Him. He is Himself creating the longing for Himself.
We are born with an innate longing deep inside to connect to something or someone who understands us completely.
It’s a longing that began in the garden of Eden. When the perfect, intimate relationship that Adam and Eve shared with God broke, the longing began. Before that devastating moment, there was no longing because God walked with us in the cool of the evening. Life in fellowship with our Creator was as it was supposed to be. Our hearts had no gaping hole because God was everything to us. He walked with us. That distant memory still courses through our DNA.
There is a quotation that’s been ascribed to G. K. Chesterton, St. Francis, and St. Augustine, but the only documented source of this quotation I can find is in the book The World, The Flesh, and Father Smith by Bruce Marshall (1945). It reads, “The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.” The first time I heard a speaker share that quote, I thought, What a bunch of baloney! That’s just a nice way for a man to justify his lust by saying, “Yep, I saw the red light, but really, I was just looking for Jesus!” But the more I’ve sat with it, the more I believe it’s true. I believe we search for God with all our longings and all our lusts.
The woman who has a hundred pairs of shoes in her closet is longing for more than foot fashion.
The one who reaches for another drink until the day is obliterated is longing for more than just an alcohol-induced coma.
When you shove one more cookie into your mouth that no longer even tastes good, it’s not because you are hungry for cookies; you are hungering for more.
The one who takes another pain pill after the original pain is gone is trying to quiet a pain that will never permanently respond to medication. When one disappointing relationship leads to another and another, yet you keep moving on, perhaps it’s not that you haven’t met Mr Right yet, but the One you long for is above them all. Every longing that we try to satisfy apart from God will always fall short because, as Augustine of Hippo wrote, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.”
That almost seems a little sneaky of God. He placed us in a world surrounded by a million and one temptations, knowing that not one of them will ever fully satisfy us apart from Him. It’s either sneaky or the most radically beautiful love story ever told. Just as God in Christ pursued us through the mud and mire, the beatings and the bloody path up to a cross, He calls us now to pursue Him. Not only that: He promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him. So this is not a cruel joke. No, this is a promise written in the Lamb’s blood.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord. — Jeremiah 29:11–14
That’s a beautiful promise, and I believe it. It’s one thing to believe that something is true; it’s quite another to live, to stay, to remain in its truth. I have believed that what Augustine wrote is true for most of my adult life. I just haven’t known what to do with it. How do you rest in God? What does that even mean? Honestly, that’s what led to establishing this website http://www.mysticalorderinc.org. I know that underneath the rubble of the pages of my writings, the true longing of my heart is for God and Him alone.
I stand amazed knowing that the God in whom I serve and live will continue to do a work within me until that day when He calls me home, I will have done my task here on earth and leaving my footprints on the sands of times.