Thirsting For God

180909 Thirsting For God bw

We live in a thirsty world. A popular song by Bruce Springsteen said, everybody’s got a hungry heart. Everybody’s got a thirsty heart too. Spiritual thirst is a universal human condition. We are born with a thirst for something that this world just can’t ever seem to quench. 

In John 7 Jesus goes to the Feast of Booths and calls on anyone who is thirsty to come to him for living water: “if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

John 7:37-38

Jesus is inviting those who thirst to come to him where he promises to give us living water. Not stale, stagnant water but running, living water that will then bubble out of us and become a source of living water to others who are thirsty. Jesus not only satisfies our thirst, he wants to use us as channels to quench other people’s thirst. Jesus is what we thirst for. God is what we thirst for. Eternal life is what we thirst for. Jesus spoke about water to the Samaritan woman at the well and said:

 “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Jesus says “come.” He says, choose. Aim your thirst at Jesus and ask him to quench your thirst. This takes getting alone with the Lord. Psalm 42 is a very personal psalm – it’s a man pouring out his heart to his God one on one. If we’re always surrounded by noise and distractions we will find it hard to drink deeply of the Lord. Choose your thirst means setting time aside to consistently get alone with God and drink. When you do…

  1. Be honest with God about your thirst

The psalmist isn’t spouting out some religious cliché that he knows God wants to hear. He really is thirsting for God. I can’t always say that and you probably can’t either. The Sprite ad campaign got one thing right: image is nothing. God isn’t interested in our image; He’s interested in our honesty. This is soul talk – My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and see the face of God? Maybe that’s not true of your soul, maybe it’s not true of mine, but God wants to hear where my soul and your soul is honestly. Be honest with God about your thirst or lack of thirst.

  1. Ask God to give you a greater thirst for Him

The psalmist goes back and forth between praying to God and talking to his soul. He opens with a prayer: as a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. He’s praying about his thirst. That’s a good place for us to start too. Only God can give us a thirst for Him. Ask God to increase your thirst for Him. 

  1. Choose to do things that will increase your thirst for God

I mentioned that the psalmist goes back and forth – sometimes talking to God and sometimes talking to his soul. When he sees that his soul is depressed (cast down) he then talks to his soul – Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

We can choose to direct our souls towards God and do things that will increase our thirst for God. It might mean turning off the TV, putting down the paper, slowing down the schedule. Directing our thirst will include simple things like meditating on God’s word, taking a walk outside with God, listening to a message or spending time with other believers who will encourage you in your relationship with Christ. The more we drink of the fountain of God, the thirstier for Him we become!

We need God. Desperately. 

 

Psalm 42

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

 

Psalm 42 (NLT)