Archive for July, 2010

Exploring Core Longings in “a God Moment”

July 24, 2010

This past week during a lull at work, I “happened to notice” that a co-worker was reviewing some notes from a counseling manual when I spotted the term “Core Longings” along with a list of their specific attributes.  I was not familiar with the term, but I readily recognized the importance of these inner desires in my own life and disastrous consequences if these essential elements are missing.  Ron Ovitt in his blog “Our Deepest Longings” mentions what Anne Halley speaks of [as] our “Core longings for love, security, understanding, purpose, significance and belonging.” As the conversation continued, and my friend explained in greater detail the meaning of the concept and shared personal experiences, I was enlightened in a most profound manner. The rivers of understanding flooded my soul in that seemingly casual exchange which profoundly impacted me. As the tears began to flow, I excused myself in order to get away and reflect more deeply upon the words I had just read and the conversation that followed.

Later as I continued to marvel at what had transpired, my friend commented that I had experienced a “God moment,” a term which Jerry Schmoyer in Time Out, student ministry publication, describes as, “. . . a special time when it is clear that God has intervened and shown Himself in an exceptional way.” I have recognized such moments in my life and refer to them as epiphanies or “golden moments.”  In fact, in one of my articles I discuss the term and its personal application:

Derived from a Greek verb meaning “to reveal,” an epiphany, in a general sense, is a sudden intuitive realization or comprehension of the essence or meaning of something. This revelatory manifestation of a divine being is also described as a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something; a comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization:  

In looking up the above definition, I came across this sentence which gives an example of how the word is used: “I experienced an epiphany, a spiritual flash that would change the way I viewed myself” (Frank Maier).

Epiphanies can come at the most unlikely times; in the most unlikely manner and in some of the most unlikely places. After an epiphany, one is enlightened to the point that one comes “to know for one’s self” or one comes to know a new reality in a deeper personal way. This kind of “knowing” corresponds to the Greek word ginosko, translated “to know” in the New Testament. E.W. Bullinger translates the verb:

“To perceive, observe, obtain knowledge of or insight into. It denotes a personal and true relationship between the person knowing and the object known, i.e. to be influenced by one’s knowledge of the object, to suffer one’s self to be determined thereby.” 

Once you “see yourself for yourself” you will never be the same. May this New Year provide an ongoing series of life-changing experiences for each person who desires for God to reveal Himself. May we all experience the love of God in a vibrant new way as 2010 continues to unfold in beauty. 

Now I recognize that the occurrence with my co-worker was really an answer to the prayer at the end of the article published at the beginning of the New Year. Once again I am reminded to “be careful what you pray for because you might just receive it.” Later during the same week, as the concept of “core longing” continued to resonate in my soul, I was inspired to write the following poem which also brought to mind the two music videos which accompany it: “I Miss My Time with You,” one of my favorite songs rendered by Larnelle Harris, who because of the similarity of our first  names I have been occasionally been mistaken for, but I can by no means sing as powerfully well as this good brother, and the other is “Fill My Cup” offered by the Nashville String Machine.


Core Longings

There’s a longing in my heart

to be more than just a part of you.

It’s true.

I miss my time with you.

Larnelle Harris


“. . . Persons are made for relationship;

therefore, they long for it. Without this

longing fulfilled, we are empty cups.

These core longings are the ultimate

explanation for human feelings and behavior.” 


 Edward T. Welch


In the glory of Your presence I am secure

In the place where the will of heaven touches the earth

To find a dwelling place in a heart that is pure,

As You always reinforce my personal worth.

Overwhelmed by Your goodness, as a favorite son,

You supply all my need far beyond basic care.

I follow the pathway to perfect communion:

Beyond all description is sublime joy we share.

As a son connects with his father, I relate.

No power in heaven or on earth can tear us apart.

Neither death nor life can ever separate

These core longings transfused from heart to heart.

God reveals His unique purpose prepared for me

And displays the man of faith I was destined to be.

                   Lonnell E. Johnson

                      July 24, 2010

For a more extensive discussion of core longings and other related topics, click here to read Edward T. Welch’s “Who Are We? Needs, Longings, and the Image of God in Man.”

Your “God Moment” :

          Do you recall a “God Moment”?

         What did God say or do?

         What was your response?  What did you say or do?

         Would you share one of your “God Moments”?