When I read some of the Psalms that say things like “as the deer pants after the water brooks so my soul pants after you”1 or like “God you are my God, early will I seek you, my soul thirsts for you and my flesh longs for you like it was a dry and thirsty land where no water was”.2 I realize I still have not arrived at that level. I love God’s ways, His Word and His work. But when I compare my desire to know Him more and what I read in these Psalms, frankly I am light-years away.
When I gave my life to the Lord, what I wanted was that “intimate and personal relationship” with Him. The joy that I felt in getting to know Him, and being able to hear Him, was incredible. For the first time in my life I was really happy. I finally experienced gladness and peace.
But more than anything else, what I felt was joy, an unspeakable joy.3
But some things came up that started to take Jesus’ place in my life. They were good things, like His ways, His work, or His Word. But they became goals to achieve rather than tools or fruit of being in love with Him with all my heart soul, mind and strength.
My Christian life had become more and more difficult and my joy faded.
I know God.4 I feel Him in my life. He speaks to me. This relationship is an incredible part of my life every day.
But when I see those verses in Psalms 42 or 63 and I compare the desire that the Psalmists felt and the desire I feel (and remember they had not even been born again, they had not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, they did not have access to the New Testament — they didn’t even have the Psalms to read, they were writing them!) I see that I really don’t measure up to them in desire.
When the psalmist talks about thirsting in a dry and thirsty land, he is talking about a constant felt need. When you are out in the desert for several hours without water, you don’t think of anything else except quenching your thirst.
So, I am asking God to give me that which I do not have — this hunger and thirst. I need Him more. I live to see Him. I am dying to see Him. I could ask to know Him more and He would give it to me. But I want something a bit more consistent. So I am asking for hunger; a deep, deep hunger, and for thirst; thirst like a man in the desert. I want this desire to fill my thoughts.
I’ll let you know how it’s going.
1- Psalm 42:1 2- Psalm 63:1 3- 1 Peter 1:8 4- John 1:18