In this text God commands us not to be spiritual fatalists. The word for long here is very simply the word desire — it’s a command to desire.
What this means is that if you feel stuck because you don’t have the kind of spiritual desires that you should, this text says, You do not need to be stuck!It says, Get them! Get the desires you don’t have. If you don’t desire the milk of the Word, start desiring it!
Now, that is amazing. A command to desire! A command to feel longings we do not feel. A command to feel desires we do not have. Is anything more contrary to spiritual fatalism than that? Fatalism says, I can’t just create desires. If they’re not there, they’re not there. If I don’t feel things the way the psalmists seem to feel things when they say, “;As a deer pants for the flowing streams so my soul pants for you, O God’ (Psalm 42:1) — if I don’t feel that way toward God, then that’s that. I just don’t. I’m not like the psalmists. That’s the dangerous voice of spiritual fatalism.
But God says, Desire the pure milk of the word! Now before you raise all kinds of objections, like, How can you command me to have a desire? What can I do to obey a command like that? How do I just produce a desire? You may as well tell a lame man to walk.
Can you imagine such a thing — commanding a lame man to walk? Who could do such a thing? We know. Let us ask God to create in us the miracle of longing for his word.