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We may know the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts—by having true desires after God. By the beating of this pulse—we conclude there is life.
A true desire after God is sincere. We desire God for Himself, for His intrinsic excellencies. The savor of the ointment of Christ's graces draws the virgins' desires after Him. Canticles 1:3. A true saint desires Him not only for what God has—but for what He is; not only for His rewards—but for His holiness. No hypocrite can thus desire God. He may desire Him for His jewels—but not for His beauty!
A true desire after God is insatiable. It cannot be satisfied without God; let the world heap her honors and riches—they will not satisfy. No flowers or music will content him who is thirsty. Just so, nothing will quench the soul's thirst—but the blood of Christ! He faints away, his heart breaks with longing for God. Psalm 84:2; Psalm 119:20.
A true desire after God is active. It flourishes into endeavor. "With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early." Isaiah 26:9. A soul that desires aright says, "I must have Christ! I must have grace! I must have heaven, though I take it by storm!"
A true desire after God is supreme. We desire Christ, not only more than the world—but more than heaven! "Whom have I in heaven but Thee?" Psalm 73:25. Heaven itself would not satisfy—without Christ. Christ is the diamond in the ring of glory!
A true desire after God is increasing. A little of God will not satisfy—but the pious soul desires still more. A drop of water is not enough for the thirsty traveler. Though a Christian is thankful for the least degree of grace—yet he is not satisfied with the greatest degree of grace. He still thirsts for more of Christ, and His Spirit. A saint would have more knowledge, more sanctity, more of Christ's presence. A glimpse of Christ through the lattice of an ordinance is sweet; but the soul will never stop longing—until it sees Him face to face! It desires to have grace perfected in glory! It desires to be wholly plunged into the sweetness of God. We would be swallowed up in God, and be forever bathing ourselves in those perfumed waters of pleasure, which run at His right hand!
Surely this sincere desire after God is a blessed sign that the kingdom of grace has come into our hearts. The beating of this pulse shows life! "Desires for God—are from God." If iron moves upwards contrary to its nature—it is a sign some magnet has been drawing it. Just so, if the soul moves towards God in sincere desires—it is a sign the magnet of the Spirit has been drawing it!
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