|I thirst for God, the living God|
It reminded me of something one of the psalmists wrote in a psalm about his spiritual longing and thirst for a relationship with God:
1 O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!
4 I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. Psalm 63:1-5 (NLT)
David knew what it was to experience a physical thirst. (I can imagine he was very thirsty in the wilderness, in the heat of the day.) Yet it was his spiritual thirst for God that was most important to him.
The relationship he already had with God was what created within him an even deeper thirst for God. He had experienced the blessing of being in God's presence and of God's unfailing love for him, which caused him to praise God. He knew that nothing and no one could satisfy him as fellowship with God would.
In these few verses we get a sense of how strong a need and desire David had for God. He "earnestly" searches for God, his soul "thirsts" for God, his "whole body longs" for God.
When I was hot and thirsty on holiday, I wasn't satisfied until I was able to get an ice cold drink.
But I wonder, am I like David? Do I have that same spiritual thirst for God? Do I long for God above everything else? Does my relationship with God satisfy me in a way that no other can? Does my thirst for God cause me to seek him out? Does it lead me to spontaneously lift up my praise and thanks to him?
For me, I've found that the more I determine to have time with God, whether it's alone or with a group of others, when I set out to seek his face, when I make space to hear his voice speaking through the words of my Bible, the more I thirst for him. These things create within me a deeper hunger and thirst for God. To really know him better and not just make do with a superficial relationship. To have a meaningful relationship with him. A relationship which grows closer and stronger over time. This is a hunger and thirst which can only be met in God.
However, I've also found the opposite to be true. My thirst for God decreases when I stop making the effort to be with him. When I cut down on my time with him. When I'm not interested in building a relationship with him. When I find other things to replace him with.
When I was thirsty on holiday, only an ice cold glass of water would satisfy, a luke-warm glass of water just wasn't good enough.
When I have a spiritual thirst nothing else can satisfy my soul as God can. I may try to find a substitution to meet my need - such as another relationship, work, money, possessions - but I find these are poor substitutes for the real thing. They may help for a short time, but it's not long until I realise that actually these things are meaningless, that they just don't reach deep enough to provide lasting satisfaction.
When you've had a taste of the real thing you never want to go back to any poor imitations which just don't live up to the promise as God does.
When Jesus walked this earth he gave out the following invitation to all who would listen to him. He is still giving out that same invitation today.
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. John 7:37 (ESV)
What is your response to such an invitation?
To Think About:
Have you tried in the past to meet your spiritual thirst in ways other than in God? What was the result of this?
Does your soul thirst for God as David's did? When you go to God to meet your spiritual thirst what difference does it make in your life?
What do you think would deepen your thirst for God?
If what you read was of interest to you, then you may like to know that my book "Dear Friend...52 Weekly Devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is available to buy from Amazon. (Its content is material adapted from previous blog posts.) To learn more, click on the link below: