When is the right time to become desperate for more — for all — of God? While it certainly is the right time to seek Him with absolute diligence when we face a trial of enormous potential consequence (cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, etc.), the most critical time for becoming desperate for God — for all of God — is when we do not feel like it. When we have become numb to the things of His Spirit and His Word, this is the most critical moment that requires a self-awakening and a self-discipline to stir up the fire within us before it goes out completely under the burdens of life.
The Psalmist describes for us a beautiful picture of being desperate for God:
“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?”
~ Psalm 42:1b-2
Picture with the Psalmist a deer that has spent its day in the heat and maybe even has run from a predator at one point, and nearing the end of the day it is more than ready for a deep drink of refreshing, cool, life-sustaining and life-restoring water from any of the number of brooks or streams available in its territory. Imagine the joy and the refreshment that the deer enjoys even as it approaches a water source, smelling the aroma of the fresh water even while still a mile away. Its anticipation begins to refresh it even before the first drink is taken in.
Our lives have their own challenges and predators. Sometimes we become so engaged in the battles of life that we forget to drink and hydrate our lives frequently throughout the day with the living streams of God. Without a steady inflow of the waters of His life our lives become parched, thirsty, and eventually even numb to the thirst that our souls so desperately need to have quenched.
In the second verse the Psalmist asks himself when will he “appear before God.” This reference includes the idea of appearing before God’s Face, a face-to-face meeting which brings to mind the kind of relationship that Moses had with God. Moses would meet with God face-to-face (so to speak) as a friend meets with a friend. Their relationship was very special. This is the kind of relational encounter the Psalmist is asking himself about, when will he drink deep of the waters of God and present himself before God with a loving desperation to know Him more, and for God to know him more in a relational way?
The bottom line is this: out of our love for God, let us all cultivate a loving desperation for God, not only a desperation to know about Him, but to know Him personally. Through the Cross of Christ we may approach our Heavenly Father with utmost confidence (Hebrews 4:15-16). As you anticipate approaching Him in the minutes or hours to come, can’t you already smell the aroma of the fresh streams of God’s living water that flows from His Presence? Like the deer anticipating its water, let us anticipate our time of face-to-face with God.
See you at the altar, my friends.