Dying of thirst beside a mountain stream

I want you to imagine that you’re going on a hiking excursion. This is something that you’ve been looking forward to for a long time. From the time that you were a little child you were taught to love the outdoors. Your parents raised you to enjoy nature and to glorify God while taking in the beautiful vistas of the mountains and valleys.  However, your parents also taught you that there is dysentery in the mountain streams. They raised you to only drink bottled water while hiking.  All of your life, as far back as you can remember, you enjoyed the outdoors and carried your own water.

Finding refreshment

There is no human way possible for you to carry enough water for a long excursion- believe me… I’ve tried. I’ve been in the desert with US Army Rangers, carrying more than 30 pounds of water on my back, only to run out within a matter of days. It’s humanly impossible to bring enough water for a long journey in the mountains. The first challenge you’re going to have in this hiking excursion is where to find water.  I don’t need to remind you that water is essential for life. You will die in this long journey if you don’t find water suitable to drink.

God made the human soul to need him like the body needs water to survive.  This is the imagery of the warrior Prophet David when he was thirsty and on the run in the desert (Psalm 63:1).   David is in danger. Notice, that he doesn’t ask God to protect him from danger. Rather he longs for more of God’s presence. David says he is thirsty for more of God the way a body thirsts for water.

Longing for more

Only God’s Holy Spirit refreshes the human soul. No one and nothing else can meet the deepest longings of humanity because you were created for a relationship with God. God built you to desire him. The highest good that you can ever desire is God himself. Nothing can satisfy you like being satisfied in Jesus Christ. This is what David is trying to communicate in Psalm 63:5.

God constructed the original human beings in the Garden of Eden for a relationship with himself. It is part of the fabric of the human soul to long to be intimate with your Creator. That’s why no one and nothing can satisfy the deepest longings of the human soul except Jesus Christ.

Looking in the wrong places

Take an objective look at the people around you. They are all longing for something. Most people have no idea how to find real satisfaction because they have never been satisfied in Christ. Perhaps Mick Jagger was on to something spiritual when he said, I can’t get no satisfaction.

Most men look for satisfaction in all the wrong places. They pour their time and energy into sports thinking that will make them feel better as a man. They buy guns and boats to hunt and fish with their spare time, believing that the big buck or the prize bass will make them happy.   Truth is, there’s nothing wrong with hunting, fishing or sports.  The danger is when you start to expect those things to satisfy you deep on the inside. You’re simply looking in the wrong place for something to satisfy your soul.

God loves it when his people long for more of him

God alone satisfies the deepest longings of the human heart. Nothing else compares to experiencing real intimacy with your Creator.   This is what the Bible has in mind in Psalm 34:8.   God is so good that he satisfies the human soul in the deepest ways. God is so great that nothing else compares to tasting his greatness.

I think it blesses God when his people long for more of his presence. I think God is pleased when his children want to experience more of their Heavenly Father’s glory.  This is what you see in Exodus 33:18.   Moses has been with God on the mountain. Moses has heard God’s voice and spoke with God face to face. Yet he wants more of God’s presence. He longs to see more of God’s glory. When Moses asks for more, God graciously and generously gives Moses more of himself.   God stands ready to give more of himself to those who long for him. The question is what are you looking for in order to satisfy your deepest longings?

Let’s go back to that hiking excursion for just a moment.   How foolish would it be to sit by the side of a crystal-clear mountain stream dying of thirst because your water bottle is empty?  How tragic to long for a drink of water while sitting next to an unlimited source of refreshment. This is what people are doing every day! They walk down the streets longing for something to satisfy the deepest recesses of their soul. No matter how hard they look they fail to find real satisfaction. All the while God is willing to satisfy them and their deepest longings, if they will only turn to him. Don’t make the fatal mistake of looking for satisfaction in the wrong places. When you long for Jesus he will meet your deepest needs. The more you know Jesus the deeper your love for him becomes. When your love becomes deeper, the more you long for Jesus and the cycle of satisfaction continues for all eternity.

Further reading

A modern Harriot Tubman

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