LONGING FOR GOD: HOW IT BENEFITS YOU
There’s a passage in Psalm 42 that captures the writer’s earnest longing for God.
“1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
“2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?”
This is actually how God wants all of us to feel about Him. But many (or even most of us) do not love God for Himself but for what we can get from Him.
Therein lies the root of a lot of our problems – misplaced priorities.
When we focus on the world and ourselves rather than God, we have outcomes like the following:
(Note that the opposite and more pleasant of these outcomes accrue to those who long for God and serve Him.)
***We become despondent because the world is full of evil. On the contrary, in the presence of God, there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
Compare the disposition of people who spend most of their time on traditional/social media and very little time reading their Bible and praying with that of those who do the opposite.
***We lack contentment because we decide what we should have based on our insatiable desires rather than God’s will.
As the Bible declares in James 4:3, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives.”
Most of the things we strive to get in life are things we do not need. In fact, some of them end up harming us, sometimes irreparably. But in the Lord, we have contentment and peace like Apostle Paul who testified as follows:
“12 … I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
***We live in fear because we are, to a great extent, oblivious of the omnipotent power of God working on our behalf. However, we can gain knowledge of this through the harrowing situations He brings us through when we walk with Him. And fear can no longer overwhelm us.
Remember how David killed the lion and bear that came after his family’s sheep. Notice that later when the occasion arose, he was the only one who wasn’t afraid of the giant Philistine warrior, Goliath, while King Saul and Israel’s army quivered in fear. And he killed Goliath although he was just a boy and the Philistine was a highly experienced and valiant soldier! (1 Samuel 17)
***We lack the level of confidence and self-esteem we need to triumph in life because we lack personal knowledge of how much God loves and values us.
But imagine how empowering the following scriptures are:
1“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 “When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.”
4″Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.” (Isaiah 43:1,2,4)
The Bible is full of similar verses that constantly affirm to us how much we mean to the Creator of the universe and this gives us tremendous self-worth.
When we don’t have the understanding they bring, we seek self-validation from other people and get tossed about by public opinion.
A lot of people are looking for approval from their friends and the public. So, they follow whatever is fashionable at the moment in the hopes of gaining public adulation and becoming successful.
But that is a treacherous path to success because public attention is fleeting. You will forever struggle to be in the limelight. Worse than that, the public can turn against you in a flash and you find yourself suffering ignominy, deservedly or not.
Do not let your affections be scattered. Take the advice of our Lord Jesus in Matthew 22:
37 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.”
May the Lord bless you splendidly as you do this in Jesus’ name.
You can watch a breath-taking performance of the song, “As the Deer,” with lyrics displayed via the link below:
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