January 4, 2023

January 4, 2023

Author: Pastor Mark Bauer
January 04, 2023

“Oh God, you are my God! Earnestly, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because you're steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.”

Psalm 63:1-4

As I was reading this psalm and meditating upon it, I think we all see that the psalm begins with using the example of thirst. Thirst is something that I think everyone can relate to, is it not? We all know what it means to be thirsty. Perhaps we've been out on a hot day, maybe working or hiking, or maybe playing some type of sport, and as we're exerting effort and physical energy, our body starts to feel the effects of the heat and the physical exertion. At times you will notice your mouth starts to get dry, and your throat becomes dry, and you realize that you're thirsty. As time begins to pass, and if you're deprived of water, your thirst begins to increase in its intensity. Perhaps you begin to sense that your body is even becoming weary, even faint. And then suddenly all your focus is that all you want is to get relief, relief that can only be satisfied by a cold drink of water.

That water becomes your focus, it's your priority, you want to find water. And as you search for water, if you can't find it, then your desire for that water seems to even increase more and more. And so you begin to look even more with greater and greater intensity, seeking to find water.

Well this to me seems to be the picture that we have here of David. What David speaks of in this psalm, though, is not a physical thirsting for water, but what he's experiencing. David is speaking of his soul that is thirsting for God. He writes, “My soul, thirsts for you.” David is experiencing an intense desire and longing to be with God. As the title states, the psalm of David was written when he was in the wilderness. At that time he was not able to enter into the presence of the Lord.

You might remember in David's day, David would have to go into the sanctuary of God to experience that special presence of God, to be able to behold the power and the glory of God.

But when he was in the wilderness, David was deprived of that special presence of God. And like the physical thirst of a person who is deprived of water, increases and becomes more intense as time passes. It seems that David's desire and soul thirst for God increases and he's earnestly seeking after God. God is David's focus. God is David's priority.

Well then, as I read this and as I was meditating on this, I asked myself, “Do I have that same intense desire to be with God? Is God my priority? Are my desires focused upon God or do I allow myself to become more and more focused on other things? Am I seeking after physical comforts or ease, or whatever it might be?”

As I was thinking about that, I reminded myself that, if I don't have that same desire, that same thirst that David had, that same thirst to be with God, what I need to do is I need to pray. I need to pray to God that he would grant to me an increase in my desire and longing to be with him. If that is our struggle, we can be thankful that we can pray to God, and he will hear us, and he will answer our prayers, and he will increase in us and stir up in us that desire.

But then also as I was thinking about this, at times I do have that desire, right? I have that intense soul thirst for God and how thankful I am, and how thankful we can all be that we can know that that thirst for God can be quenched when we gather together as a church. Each Sunday we have the great privilege to be in the presence of God and to have that desire of being with the Lord, satisfied. Or on Wednesday night, even tonight, as we gather together to pray, we can have that sense, that privilege of being in the presence of God to behold his power and his glory.

As I would continue to reflect upon this, I have to confess I think at times I might become complacent. Because you know, it's not that difficult for me to be able to drive to church or to zoom in on a prayer meeting. But I should never lose sight of what an incredible privilege I have and we all have as God's people, to be able to enter into his presence. As I understand that privilege and as I appreciate it, I should lift up my voice in praise and thanksgiving to God.

So tonight many of us have spent a day in the world, have we not? I think some of us may feel as though we've been traveling through a dark wilderness devoid of anything spiritually refreshing or encouraging. We might sense an intense weariness even.

But as we come tonight, may we come thirsting for God. May we have a longing to return to the sanctuary, to be in the presence of God. And as we come, we know that God will remember his promises where two or three are gathered, and his presence is with us even now. And as we realize that truth, may God even quench that thirst of our souls, that desire to be in the presence of God.

May God stir up in us this night an earnest desire to come to him in prayer, and to praise him for who he is. As we pray, may God even hear our prayers, and send blessings of comfort and encouragement to each of us this night.