Thursday, July 26, 2018

God's Promise To Spiritually Desperate People

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God." Psalm 42:1

You have been there. So have I.

On a hot summer day after exercising or working in the yard, you feel like you are dying of thirst. You can't get to the 'fridge fast enough to crack open a bottle of water or a sports drink. And when you do - ahhh, the relief! The cool feel of the liquid down your parched throat and on your tongue is immediately refreshing. You thirst is slaked and your strength returns.

The Psalmist parallels that physical experience to a spiritual need. He says that he has the same desperate thirst for God as when he longs for a refreshing drink of cold water. His soul "pants" for God.

He was in the heat of a spiritual battle. He was opposed on every side. The heat from the battle was exhausting him and he was about to faint. His need was critical to the point of desperation.

When was the last time you were that desperate for God?

Jesus said, "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."

God promises to respond to spiritually desperate people.

And I want you to notice that the Psalmist was not just talking about a drink of water, he was talking about "streams" of water. That is significant for several reasons.

First, a stream flows from a source. It always flows down from a source that is higher than us.

Second, since a stream flows, it is constantly fresh. Unlike a pool or a pond where water collects and stands, a stream continually refreshes itself.

Third, a stream is a steady and reliable source of refreshment.

Fourth, it is an unlimited supply of fresh cool water.

Are you getting thirsty?

Science says that about 60% of our bodies are made of water. So God built us with a big need to be hydrated with water.

Spiritually, the same is true. Our spiritual life and growth are highly dependent on His living water. You can say that we need to be hydrated or "high-drated" - or "He-drated".

Are you desperate for God? Is your soul panting for Him? What are you thirsting for?

When you have the thirst, He has the stream.

July 26, 2018

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." Psalm 46:10-11

Here's a pop quiz: "I have learned more about life through: (A) Listening (B) Talking.

Yea, me, too.

Maybe God was giving us a hint when He created us with two ears and one mouth. Unfortunately, listening doesn't come naturally to us - talking does.

I think that what the Psalmist is telling you is the same thing my Mom and my Kindergarten teacher taught you - "be quiet, pay attention and keep your hands to yourself". Great advice!

Apply that advice to this Psalm and I think it works pretty well. "Be still" means essentially that. Be quiet before the Lord, look at His Word and listen to His Spirit, and keep your hands off of what you want God to do. That sounds like it might work!

Here's what's in it for you if you can take the advice you got from God, Mom and Miss Jenny:

You will "know that He is God".

It is one thing to know that in your head and quite another to know it in your heart and spirit. Nothing gives you more confidence and boldness than knowing that God is real in your life.

You will see Him exalted in your life and in the world. In other words, when you confidently know Who God is and He becomes real TO - He becomes real THROUGH you. That is how He exalts Himself through you. When He exalts Himself through you He begins to become real to others through your life!

You will know that the "Almighty" is with you.

How great is it to know that God is with you! And as Romans tells us,"If God be for us, who can be against us?"

You will know that He is your "Fortress".

I like the sound of that, don't you? He is a FORTRESS - that's strong! He's strong!

Be quiet before God! Pay attention to God! Keep your hands to yourself! He will make it worth it!