Thirsting For God


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This morning as I was reading Psalm 42 I remembered hearing a great sermon 10 years ago while attending a conference in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico. I was at a spiritually dry time in my life. I can’t remember the reasons, but I knew something was missing in my love and passion for Christ. I knew something was lacking when I worshipped. I could see passionate worship in others, but it wasn’t in me. It was through the words of this servant of God and this particular Psalm that God spoke to me. The Psalmist wrote: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” I was thirsty and I was desperate and I wanted to be filled.

In that sermon, the pastor told a powerful story of a young man who was going into the ministry. Like most young ministers, he wanted to know the key to a powerful ministry. He knew of a godly older minister whose ministry had been amazingly powerful and fruitful. He sought him out to seek his wisdom. He had to find out the secret! The older minister asked, “Are you sure you want to know?” “Yes, I do,” the young man proclaimed! The older man then took the younger one to a horse tank full of murky slimy water. Without warning, he grabbed and plunged  the young man’s head down into the murky water. He held it there even though the young man struggled mightily. He finally released his vice-grip hold and raised him out of the water. The young man took in a huge gasp of air. It was a wonderful, deep freeing breath. The older man said, “When you’re as desperate for God as you were for that next breath, you will have the power of God.”

That night we sang a song that will always be one of my favorites that is taken from Psalm 42.

As the deer panteth for the water

So my soul longeth after thee

You alone are my heart’s desire

And I long to worship thee

You alone are my strength, my shield

To you alone may my spirit yield

You alone are my heart’s desire

And I long to worship thee.

I want you more than gold or silver,

Only You can satisfy.

You alone are the real joygiver

And the apple of my eye.

I know joy in worship returned for me that night. I was grieved that my love and worship for God had become lukewarm. I asked God to forgive me and I know He did. I expressed to Him how much I loved Him and that I wanted joy restored more than I wanted anything else. He knew my heart. He heard my cry. He responded. That’s the kind of God I know, I’ve experienced, and want to live for. Restore to me the joy of your salvation. And give me a willing spirit to obey you. Psalm 51:12




3 thoughts on “Thirsting For God

  1. Absolutely beautiful!!! It was during a time of desperation in my life when my soul became incredibly thirsty for Him. He is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). Now, close to Him is where I always want to be!!! Thank you, Kristi for penning it so beautifully.

  2. I have always loved that song…now I wonder just how often my soul really pants and thirsts for God. The illustration you shared really brings to light that just as we would be gasping for air after being held under water, our soul should be gasping for God’s presence and work in our lives.
    Our busy lives so often get in the way.

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