Something powerful happens when "I should pray" becomes "I must pray."
The subtle grammar change above is one of the first fruits that comes from immersing our hearts in the great pursuit of God's furious longing.
It is not "I should." The weight of obligation is lifted. It is replaced with something lighter, yet fiery as if a hot coal had been dropped into our spirits.
It becomes "I must." As in, "I long for this unceasingly until it becomes an ache in my soul. I desire it truly from the depths of my being. I need it and want it more than food or any earthly, temporary comfort or necessity. Desperately. Fervently. Constantly. Every day that quiet sting -- that spiritual hunger for the Great I Am -- pricks my spirit and drives me into a strange loneliness that is both heartbreaking and holy at the same time. It drives me to pursue God."
We don't always feel this way, of course, but it was never a matter of emotion. That is never our foundation. It is something deeper, something more mysterious that Peter touched on when he wrote about the "seed of Christ, incorruptible" within us. Even when we have flat days, the Spirit of Christ in our hearts is working and moving to reposition our spiritual appetite until it is once again looking at God with a lonely, fiery hunger and saying, "I must pursue You."
The late Brennan Manning (1934-2013) wrote a book, published in 2009, called The Furious Longing of God. This blog series will go through the book, meditate on selections from it, and give the reader an in-depth look into one of the most powerful Christian books of our time.