Devotional: ‘Longing for God’

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(A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.) Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. NKJV

Scripture teaches us that David had more than one experience in the wilderness. Early in his life, he spent time in the wilderness when King Saul was hunting for his life. Later in his life, he spent time in the wilderness again when his son Absalom rebelled against him and tried to take the throne. Though David’s wilderness experiences were painful for him, they were also profitable. It was while in the wilderness that all the superficial things of this life were stripped away and the one thing that mattered the most to him was his relationship with God. Notice how David expressed his need for God: “my soul thirsts for You” “my flesh longs for You…” If you have ever been in the wilderness, then you know how important it is to feel God’s presence. Even though others may try to comfort you, what you need most is to be close to God to know that He is close to you. Consider the three ways David longed for God:

1) DAVID LONGED TO SEE GOD’S POWER

Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power… 

In verse 9 David refers to those who ‘seek my life to destroy it…’ For David, his enemy was a physical enemy like Saul or Absalom. For us, our enemy may be sickness, financial ruin, family disputes, or even some troublesome sin. During our times in the wilderness, we need to see God’s power being demonstrated on our behalf.  

2) DAVID LONGED TO EXPRESS GOD’S PRAISE

Psalm 63:2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 

David was a musician and many of his psalms were songs he wrote to God. David loved to worship God and during this time of dryness in his soul, he desperately needed the refreshment that comes from worship. Perhaps David was thinking, “Lord, I have been able to praise You in the past; please let me praise You again. Let me experience the goodness of Your glory!” 

3) DAVID LONGED TO FEEL GOD’S PRESENCE

Perhaps most of all David longed for God’s presence.

Ps 63:3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. 

For David, life without God was hopeless and meaningless. As long as he could feel God’s presence, he could endure anything. But without God’s presence, there was no use in living.

Perhaps you are longing to feel God’s presence in your life today. If so, I leave you with this word of hope for today – “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV) God’s lovingkindness will always be with us. 

God bless you brethren.

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