Monday, October 5, 2015

In a Dry and Desert Land

There are days when I wake to have my quiet time with God and I feel nothing.  Maybe you’ve experienced this too.  I know I should be knocked-over with awe at his majesty and humbled by his mercy, but I go through the action of “quiet-time” without feeling much at all. I don’t know about you, but this experience is somewhat troubling – a feeling I think King David in the Old Testament also experienced.

When David writes Psalm 63, he’s living out in the desert.  He’s no doubt thirsty, hungry, and in need of provision.  Even though his body is deprived of nourishment, he acknowledges it’s his soul that is in the greatest need of satisfaction:

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” (Ps 63.1)

These words comment on my experience of going numbly through my quiet time.  This numbness I’m feeling is really thirst, this apathy is really hunger.  My appetite at this moment is to know and be known by God.

But it seems I often come to God looking for some nebulous feeling of “fullness” or encouragement.  David’s words correct and remind me: I need to go to God for God.  I must seek Him because He’s worthy and pursue Him in order to praise Him. 

Over the next 10 verses of Psalm 63, David reminds us we’re satisfied by God when we seek God. We go to Him to worship and to adore Him.  And when we do, He often chooses to satisfy us with Himself. Or as David puts it, “as with the richest of foods” (Ps 63.5). 

So how do we do this?  David’s next words are helpful.  He states, “I have seen you in your sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you” (Ps 63.2-3).  He remembers his times of worship and knows he has experienced the incredible love of God.  Because of this David determines: I will praise God.

The next time you set into your quiet time and you feel dry and empty, forget about obtaining some feeling or sensation. Set your heart on God.  Remember His love in your life and recall his acts of faithfulness to you. Meditate on Scriptures that talk about God’s character and reflect on God’s story of faithfulness in your life. This is worship. And when we do this, the God of all the Universe with reward you with Himself.  

~ Ben Vaught

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