Living with Eternity in Our Hearts

Gary Wilkerson

I believe in preaching against sin. I know my heart is prone to wander. I know I’m bent on backsliding, but there’s something more than just responding to an altar call. It’s not enough.

How many of you have been to the altar and repented and went back out and did the same things you were doing before? It can even get to the point where you begin to say to yourself, “Why go to the altar? I’m not going to change.” It can even get to the point where the enemy begins to attack you, saying, “God’s not really transforming you. You’re not changing.”

Here’s the problem: if you’re responding to God because you feel bad and want to obey the rules, your God is too small. He’s not holy; but when you see God, when you see the Shema and you understand the Shema, you understand what God is saying to his people. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, ESV).

As I continue to repent over particular sins, I find my repentance begins to change. I repent over the condition of my life, that I’m not whole, that I’m not holy or loving or walking in sync with God. I repent that my life is out of order. When your life is out of order, you’re not meant to be happy. You’re not meant to be bubbling with joy when sin is crippling your spiritual walk. God wants you to know that you’re not living as one with him.

The eternity that God set in our hearts (see Ecclesiastes 3:11) is not just a hunger for heaven; it’s to be one with God.

I want to walk with him and talk with him and be like him. In my heart, in my behavior, in my speech, I want to be holy. I don’t want to read my Bible just to get a sermon. I don’t want to pray just to see revival. I hunger for those things because God is the Lord of revival, joy and perfection, and I want to love and look like my Father. One day, in the twinkling of an eye, he will make it so!