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Monday, May 3, 2010

O That My Soul Would Thirst for God

The Psalmist says that he longs for God as a deer pants for water. Unfortunately, that's often not where I am. I am not thirsting for God. This, of course, explains a lot of other things in my life.

Sometimes I wrap myself in my own little world and am very pleased with that world. I am like the man who said he would build more barns and put all that he had in them so that he could live the rest of his life in leisure without really depending on God. I give God a tip of my hat but I don't long for Him.

It is only when I am in desperate need that I long for God. I cry out to Him when my life is out of control. I long for Him when I am losing my battles. I seek Him and all He is when my way of life is in danger. Then, I pant as a deer longs for water.

But let things go well, put plenty of money in the bank, let my business grow without struggles, when my children are doing good, my marriage is intact, my health is sound and my desire for God wanes. I speak of Him more than I speak to Him. I pray more at meals than any other time. I treat Him like the rich uncle that I must keep on good terms because of the inheritance but would really try to avoid if I can.

This ambivalence toward God gets me in trouble. My lukewarm nature puts me at odds with Him. He would rather I was hot or cold. I can have no part of Him in this condition. I am farther away from Him than I can imagine, yet I don't know it. I think everything is fine but I have drifted away.

Finally, I realize the loneliness in my soul. My soul knows it is empty. It knows there it is something wrong. It is empty. Sometimes I ignore this feeling as long as I can. Eventually, I know that there is only one solution. I must cry out again. The longing for God is natural.

He quenches my thirst. He fills my soul. He takes the loneliness away.

Psalm 42:1-2 (ESV)
1)As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2) My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

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