Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pining Away

                Do you remember your first crush? That moment when the butterflies took off in your stomach and your hands sweated every time he came near? The hope that he felt about you the same way you felt about him? The hours you would spend thinking about him, writing love poems and singing songs of love to the mirror, dreaming it was him and you? Oh the joy that you felt when he finally returned your love and kissed you for the first time. When I became a Christian, the Lord wooed me, He sang over me, He
romanced me; He brought me to a place where I fell helplessly and hopelessly in love with Him. He showed me how precious I was to Him, how greatly He desired me, and how much He wanted me for Himself. This caused me to seek Him, to constantly be in His presence. I wanted nothing but Him. I would go days without thinking about anything or anyone else but Him. We would spend hours together in His word, and in prayer with one another. I was a woman in love for the first time, I thirsted and I hungered for my God and my God alone.
                Where has this thirst gone? Where has that passionate love that we once shared gone to? I find that lately my love has waned, it is there, and there are moments when I feel His touch and His grace upon me, but there is no fire, no passion for His presence. Sisters, I want to encourage you to fall in love with Jesus, fall in love with Him, hopelessly and helplessly in love with your God. Do you thirst for God? Do you hunger for His presence? Do you seek Him or do you seek only what you need from Him?
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.”
Psalm 42:1
“O God, You are my God, early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You..”  
Psalm 63:1a
                The Psalmist writes that he pants for the Lord God, that he thirsts for God and that he longs for
God. Do we thirst, do we long for God in our lives? Psalm 42 was written by a man who was lamenting at his fall from God’s presence. He was crying out to be able to be in the presence of the Lord God. We have to remember that when this Psalm was written God dwelt in the temple at Jerusalem, God’s presence was not within us because the Holy Spirit had not yet come. The Psalmist was longing for God. He was pining away for God just as you would pine for your first love. He desired God, and he would be satisfied for nothing less.
                He writes that as the deer pants for the water, so he pants for God. The word pant means to long for; it expresses the cry of the deer that is searching for water in a dessert. When I read these words I picture a deer, lost and alone, wandering around; crying out with mourning. We are the deer. We too are living in a desert. There are promises of water but they do not satisfy. The more we seek, the more the desire for God begins to burn in us until we cry out for Him. To pant for God means that we have a deep desire to be in His presence, the deer wants water, we want God.
              
  In Psalm 63 the Psalmist writes that he too thirsts, that his very flesh longs for God. The very breath we breathe, the deepest most inward part of our souls cries out for the presence of God. Unlike the Psalmist, we have the presence of God dwelling in us. Yet, we do not cry out for Him, we do not seek Him, we do not desire Him, and we do not long for Him. Some of us go about our days without even thinking about Him. He is passionately pursuing you, are you passionately pursuing Him?
                Sometimes it seems like my days go by with little to no thought of God. Yet I have Him living on the inside of me. I have His presence with me always. Unlike the Psalmist who had to go to Jerusalem to be in His presence, I have Him, all of Him within my very being, seeking me and desiring for me to seek Him. Think about your relationship with God for a moment. How often do you spend time with Him, how often do you sit in His presence, and how much time do you give to His Word, His worship? We should be so immersed in His presence that when we leave, it causes us to mourn and to lament for Him.

                Matthew Henry writes, “Holy love thirsting, love upon the wing soaring upwards in holy desire towards the Lord and towards the remembrance of His name” (Commentary on the Whole Bible). It is a thirsting that cannot be satisfied, a thirst that seeks God and God alone. Nothing will quench it; nothing will satisfy the longing that is within except the very presence of God Himself. “Lamenting after God is sure evidence that we love Him…” (Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible) If we love God, we will thirst for Him, we will long for Him, and we will pine away in love for Him.

                We must get back to living and loving the presence of God in our lives. We have let so many other things take precedence over our hearts. We have allowed our families, our church, our friends, our jobs; our responsibilities overtake the passionate love for Christ in our lives. Just like the Shulamite who searched everywhere for her love, we too are to search everywhere for our God. (Song of Solomon ch. 3) When I find that I am waning in my thirst and longing for God, I go back to where it all started. I go back and read the scriptures that He wooed me with, that He romanced me with. If you too find yourself waning in your longing for His presence, may I encourage you to read these scriptures, and to find a quiet place where you and He can sit with one another and fall in love all over again? Make a date with your God; He is passionately pursing you today. Do not run from Him, but run to Him.
                I pray that whoever reads these words of mine today will hear the call of God as He calls out to all those who long for Him. He cries out to us to come and sit, to come and listen to the love that He has for us. In Jesus name, Amen and Amen.
Song of Solomon- the greatest love letter written to you from Jesus Christ Himself
Psalm 42
Psalm 63

Hosea 2:14-23