Psalm 42:1-3 – “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” NKJV
When I read passages like this and compare the heart cry of the Psalmist to the deep cries of my soul I am moved deeply. As I read these few verses, I cannot help but sense the incredible longing of the writer for God’s revealed and realized presence. He was comparing his hunger and thirst for God to that of a deer in the heat longing for water to be refreshed. He then adds that he has been so moved with a longing that the well of tears from within his being were like a never-ceasing fountain. His tears have consumed him rendering him unable to consume natural food due to his quest for God. He cries that his inner man continually asks, “Where is your God?”
I have experienced times of intense longing and am currently so hungry and thirsty for God that I find myself weeping on my bed in the night crying out for His presence in a more pronounced way. The intensity of His presence is not always a consuming passion in our lives and I’m not sure we could survive physically if it were. However, the consciousness of His presence is needed for us to overcome the assaults hurled at us by the enemy of our souls. It is by the strength of His presence that we are able to withstand the many twists and turns life hurls at us.
David was identified, by God, as a man after His own heart and when I read passages like this, usually attributed to David I understand how God could so describe him. He was clearly a man, a leader, a king, a warrior who had a passion for God. David instituted worship in the Tabernacle like never before experienced for he understood the importance of the presence of God. He understood that through worship and praise we enter God’s gate and courts. It is through our worship and praise that we invite His presence in a most powerful way. Additionally, we know through Scripture and the life of our Lord Jesus Christ the importance of prayer as a means of communication and communion with God.
I believe that appetites are cultivated in the natural and in the spiritual. It is as we ingest His word, pray, praise, and worship that we cultivate the appetite for Him, and in so doing we develop a hunger and thirst that motivates us to press into His presence. It is in His presence that we receive strength, renewal, and restoration enabling us to fulfill the purposes He has for our lives on planet earth.
If you are not hungry and thirsty for God, I suggest that you begin to develop a habit of prayer, reading the Bible, praise, and worship and I believe that the hunger and thirst will be a natural byproduct of those activities. As we engage in those activities our hearts become conditioned to receive His presence and our souls begin to long for His presence.
God bless you as you allow the Holy Spirit to make you hungry and thirsty for God. Blessings as you move to the next steps and phases of your life on planet earth.