Become a Fan
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living
God. When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long,
'Where is your God?'"
Have you ever seen a thirsty dog after he has been running around the yard? His breath is fast paced and his tongue wags from the intensity of his desire for water. But that is just physical thirst,
imagine then what it is like for the soul to thirst for spiritual water.
Such intense consuming thirst will plague and torment the soul day and night. As the psalmist wrote in Psalm 42, "My tears have been my food day and night" and he remains unsatisfied, unaddressed, incomplete. The throat of his soul is like cracked parched land hungry for the downpour of cool refreshing rain.
Spiritual thirst cannot be initiated by the world, it comes from God. God draws man to His Presence and the spirit of man responds by becoming "thirsty". The most eloquent and forceful preaching cannot commence that invisible thirst in man, only the Power of God at work in that man will accomplish it.
The Apostle Paul summarized it well in
I Corinthians 2:4 - "My message and my preaching were not in wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom. but on God's power."
The thirst is God's power at work in a man's heart. It cannot be explained, it can only be perceived spiritually but it is there, surely.
The first stage of that unusual thirst is often anger. The person so touched by the Word of God will experience a disruption of his human spirit, for always the Self will assert its own righteousness and deny the need for God. The human reason will deny it has any wrongdoing and by its own standards declare it is "acceptable" because of tons of religion and head knowledge. Most will argue that they have kept almost all of the Ten Commandments, and have little sins like lying and stealing for fun, or cheating income tax returns, just a little bit. By human standards, that is alright and they are not considered grossly evil or vile.
The Bible says that God is a Holy God and His standard of holiness is perfection. Who then can meet His standards? Certainly not one of us, no matter how holy we strive to be.
In Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
All have sinned. A little sin is still sin. The definition of sin is "missing the mark" , of falling short, failing.
This truth makes a man angry. In my experience in sharing the gospel, most people react adversely to this first proposition that we are all sinners and we were born sinners. And their reaction intensifies when they hear the verse from Romans 6:23- "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus."
The "death" here is spiritual death.
Unless a man responds to the gospel
(good news that Jesus Christ died for his sins on the Cross) and repents, and accepts this "gift" of eternal life,
he remains spiritually dead. He may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, quote from it and even memorize it, but unless he speaks audibly that he is giving his life to our Lord Jesus Christ BECAUSE he has sinned and cannot save himself by his good works, he has none of the Spirit of God, and cannot understand the Word of God. "That if you confess with your mouth. 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air (Evil), the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. (No exception).
Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
But because of His great love for us, God Who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved."
The declaration "we were objects of wrath" means our sins merit our eternal rejection by God, an eternal separation from Him, the Source of all refreshing Life.
Titus says it completely in chapter 3 verses 3-7 :
"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.
We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy."
This work of God on the heart of a man does not nullify human free will.
Every man has a choice to accept this gift, and he decides for himself.
Notice the word "accept" -that is responding to the gospel- the knocking of Jesus Christ on the door of his heart. A true Gentleman that He is,
the Lord does not force His way in to the human heart, He knocks.
Revelation 3:20 says- "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come to him and eat with him, and he with me."
The door of one's heart can be opened only by a personal decision to let Christ in. No one can decide for us.
We can never quench the thirst for God by seeking Him in religion and rituals, and doing acts of charity and good works. To "earn" God's favor, how much good work do you think you need to do to earn His holiness? Big question.
Ephesians 2:8-9 answers that: "For it is by grace you have been saved, not by works, so that no one can boast."
Apostle Paul mentioned it twice in this chapter "it is by grace you have been saved."
Grace is God withholding the punishment we deserve and giving us forgiveness and new life. Faith is believing what you do not see but believing because the Word of God says it is so. Faith is an organ of knowledge, while Love is the result of experience.
Faith is required to believe and accept this gift of eternal life. "For without faith it is impossible to please God, for all who come to Him must believe that He exists."
Jesus Christ came to us in incarnation, as a ransom for us, for our salvation.
We cannot pay the price for our sins, so He shed His blood on the Cross as our payment. Those who continue to pay the gift of life by religion and works defy the the truth of the Cross.
A.W. Tozer in his book "The Knowledge of the Holy" stated thus far:
"Love and Faith are at home in the mystery of the Godhead. Let Reason
kneel in reverence outside."
Have you felt this disturbance in your spirit? Do you feel a need for something in your life but you cannot seem to define just what it is, yet you know you "lack" it? That emptiness of soul, that thirst, that inner longing, can only be filled by the God who created you and loved you. The God Who formed you in your mother's womb and KNEW you.
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
"Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him drink of the free gift of the Water of Life."
Enter the second stage of that thirst,
REPENTANCE. Admit you have sinned and ask God to forgive you. No ifs.
Repentance means a 360 degree turn-around from sin, a commitment to follow Jesus and obey Him, and His great love will compel you to obey. God is not looking for self-righteous people, He wants repentant sinners.
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
Come and give up your thirst, Jesus will not ask you questions, He will take you just as you are and forgive you, and you will not thirst again.
"Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." (Hebrews 4:7)
"...but whoever drinks of the Water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I give him will become for him a spring of water welling up to