My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
My thirst has been so lacking lately. I praise God that today my love for him was fueled.
“Your mama’s a crier, your papa’s a crier…” Nels tells me far too frequently, usually after I’ve just gotten done sobbing and insist dogmatically, “I’m not a crier!” But it’s true. I am emotional. It’s ridiculous, really.
I can relate to William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace when he says “Can you dilute what I feel?” in many ways. Sometimes I’d like to disengage from the “way I feel,” and so often my emotional state has enormous sway over my spiritual life. To an extent, that is a given. Our psychological/physical/emotional/spiritual sides are all so intricately woven together – and although we are spiritual beings, we are also physical beings and much of how we know God is based in the physical realm. But at times in my “melancholy of heart” if you will, emotional “valley” or season of apathy perhaps, I lose interest in sitting still and reading or praying or journaling. I could care less about sitting through another sermon or waking up an hour early for Sunday school. I have no thirst. And I feel quite terrible about it. Thus begins the downward spiral. As my heart grows cooler and cooler and I waste a few more afternoons entertaining myself rather than soaking in God’s Word, I drift…and drift…and these words, although familiar, do not resonate in my heart, making it sing for joy:
Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
In boredom, however, I picked up John Piper’s “When I Don’t Desire God” which I had started months ago. The book is one of the most real and practical books that I have ever read. Much of it is about how to fight for joy. I need that. In all of Piper’s books a resounding theme is that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him – and “When I Don’ Desire God” is no different. God intends for us to have joy, just like the Philippians, irrespective to our circumstances, and based solely on the beauty, love grace and general AWESOMENESS that is Christ. These words are full of truth: “Oh, how sweet and how terrible to live so intimately with the greatest truth in the world!…I believe in the power of the indwelling Word of God to solve a thousand problems before they happen, and to heal a thousand wounds after they happen, and to kill a thousand sins in the moment of temptation, and to sweeten a thousand days with the “drippings of the honeycomb”…Meditation means reading the Bible and chewing on it to get the sweetness and the nourishment from it that God designs to give.”
I needed a reminder that God is so good, that his Word is so essential to my everyday life, and that my joy and relationship with him is precious to him. I long for him to “satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days,” (Psalm 90:14) and plead that the “taste buds of my soul be ever alive to the beauty of Christ.” My desires are insufficient, he must sustain me. This is now my prayer:
O to grace how great a debtor/Daily I’m constrained to be!/Let They goodness, like a fetter/Bind my wandering heart to Thee/Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it/Prone to leave the God I love/Here’s my heart, O take and seal it/Seal it for Thy courts above.
I have thought I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God and returning to God; just hovering over the great gulf, till a few moments hence I am no more seen. I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing, the way to heaven – how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way: for this very end he came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price give me the Book of God! I have it. Here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri [a man of one book]. – John Wesley
“Unite my heart to fear your name.” Psalm 86:11
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
It is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord, so that your blood is Bibline and the very essence of the Bible flows from you. – Charles Spurgeon
According to my judgment the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you, the Lord’s work may even have urgent claims upon your attention, but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself! Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. – George Mueller