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 a deer battling the eat, longing for water to be refreshed. He then adds that a longing has so moved him that the well of tears from within his being was 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 consuming in our lives, and I am not sure we could survive physically if it were. However, the consciousness of His presence is needed to overcome the assaults hurled at us by the enemy of our souls. By the strength of His presence, we can withstand the many twists and turns life hurls at us.
God identified David 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 a man, a leader, a king, and 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 we enter God’s gates and courts through worship and praise. We invite His presence most powerfully through our worship and praise. Additionally, through Scripture and the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, we know 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. As we ingest His word, pray, praise, and worship, we cultivate the appetite for Him, and in so doing, we develop a hunger and thirst that motivates us to press into His presence. In His presence, we receive strength, renewal, and restoration, enabling us to fulfill His purposes for our lives on planet earth.
If you are not hungry and thirsty for God, I suggest you develop a habit of prayer, reading the Bible, praise, and worship. 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.