Bible Study Devotional

Passion for God

1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
6 I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
7 Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.

Psalm 63:1-8 NLT

This is a psalm of David, probably written in the wilderness when his son Absalom tried to overtake the throne and was seeking to kill him.

Warren Wiersbe explains that David “didn’t look back in regret at the mistakes he had made as a father, nor did he look around in fear or complaint at the discomforts and dangers of the wilderness. Instead, he looked up to the Lord and reaffirmed his faith and love.”

What does your day-to-day relationship with God look like? Do you follow God from a safe distance, never getting close enough to risk exposing your heart to his searchlight of truth? Perhaps you want God to be there for you in a crisis, but you don’t want him to interfere in your every day life.

Do you want the warm, fuzzy feeling of fellowship with your church community, but not the fire of passion that changes your life and sets you free to serve wherever he calls?

The life God desires for you is so much more than a dull routine of working, playing, sleeping, eating, and watching TV. What a tragedy to come to the end of your life without ever experiencing the thrill of passionately pursuing God.

C. S. Lewis wrote, “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

David describes his passion for God this way:

* I earnestly search for you.
* My soul thirsts for you.
* My whole body longs for you.

Why did David have such a passion for God?

* I have seen you in your sanctuary.
* I have gazed upon your power and glory.
* Your unfailing love is better than life itself.
* You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
* You are my helper.
* Your strong right hand holds me securely.

What was David’s response to seeing God?

* I will praise you as long as I live.
* I will lift up my hands to you in prayer.
* I will praise you with songs of joy.
* I meditate on you through the night.
* I will sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
* I cling to you.

What about you? Have you caught a vision of God’s glory? When you get a taste of the lovingkindness and mercy of God, your soul will not be satisfied any longer with life’s junk food.

As you begin to enjoy sweet fellowship with fellow travelers, intimate conversations with a loving Father, and spiritual food from the Word, it won’t be long before you develop an overwhelming desire to know God more.

Once you’ve experienced the joy of following God closely, you’ll never want to move away from his presence. You may stumble a time or two along the way, but your soul and spirit will long to return to fellowship with him.

Of all the treasures you have in this life, are any of them more dazzling than the presence of God?

In his book, Les Miserables, Victor Hugo wrote about the Bishop’s ritual of going out into his garden at night, gazing up at the stars, and communing with God.

“He was out there alone with himself, composed, tranquil, adoring, comparing the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the skies, moved in the darkness by the visible splendors of the constellations, and the invisible splendor of God, opening his soul to the thoughts that fall from the Unknown. He felt something depart from him, and something descend upon him; mysterious exchanges of the depths of the soul with the depths of the universe.

“He contemplated the grandeur and the presence of God; the eternity of the future, that strange mystery; the eternity of the past, a stranger mystery; all the infinities hidden deep in every direction; and without trying to comprehend the incomprehensible, he saw it. He did not study God; he was dazzled by him.”

Our prayer for today is by A. W. Tozer:

“O God, I have tasted thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the triune God, I want to want thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me thy glory, I pray thee, so that I may know thee indeed.”

“Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.”

 

Copyright (c) 2017 Brenda Branson