I Want to Want

Last week, I had the privilege of studying and preaching on repentance.

Bottom line, repentance is a gracious gift of God whereby he enlightens our minds, changes our hearts, and impacts our affections. When the Holy Spirit does his work, we find ourselves having greater love for God and his righteous ways. We also find ourselves with a growing distaste — even hatred — for Satan, his lies, our sin nature, our sins, and the hellish consequences.

Then, just as faith without works is dead, so too is repentance. True repentance — Holy Spirit gifted repentance — results in what the scriptures call the “fruit of repentance.” The same God who sovereignly impacts our head and affection, he also impacts our will, words, and hands. Consequently, the internal revival or reformation started by God results in our putting off, putting on, fleeing, and fighting.

This week, I have had the privilege of meditating, enjoying, and practicing repentance.

In doing so, my head continually goes to a famous Psalm that has become a famous song:

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. ….”

Psalm 42:1-2

This has led to a constant prayer, and I thought you might wish to pray it with me:

Father …

I thank you that you WANTED to create me in your image. That you wished for me to enjoy communion with you.

I also thank you that you WANTED to atone, regenerate, forgive, reconcile, adopt, and commune with me despite my sin nature and sordid transgressions.

I also thank you that you WANTED me to enjoy positional sanctification. That you have already made me Saint Joe and nothing can ever change that reality.

I also thank you that you WANT me to enjoy and experience progressive sanctification. You are causing me to grow in grace. Through your work I get to enjoy seeing the character of Christ and work of the Holy Spirit flow through my mind, heart, and hands. I thank you that, to some degree, I love you and your ways.

But now, I turn from thanksgiving to supplication.

I am aware that if you grow greater affection in my heart — if you increase my WANT TO — this will be a continuation of your grace. This will be fantastic!

If I WANT YOU MORE, I will pray more.

If I WANT YOU MORE, I will read the Word more.

If I WANT YOU MORE, I will more regularly attend worship services and enjoy God’s “means of grace.”

If I WANT YOU MORE, I will have a greater taste for righteousness and distaste for devilish counterfeits.

If I WANT YOU MORE, I will confess my sins more quickly to you and my brothers. Fellowship will be more meaningful.

If I WANT YOU MORE, I will love, serve, sacrifice, and evangelize more.

If I WANT YOU MORE, I will do what I WANT, and that will be what YOU WANT.

Therefore Father, I am thankful that today, in some way, I really do pant for you.

But Father, can’t you make me pant for you more? Can you make my soul thirstier for you? Can you do another fresh work of revival and reformation today?

With great love, your thirsty son who wants to thirst more,

Saint Joe

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