Heart’s Cry 

Psalm 84:1-2
“How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”

Since we have been created by God, and in the image of God, it is natural for the heart to cry out for God. Every heart makes this cry. All over the world, and throughout time, people have been observing and realizing, there is more to life than what the eye can see. This has caused man to look up to the heavens and cry out for God.

Sometimes, the cry for God is magnified by the experiences of life. Even those who claim not to be religious, or to believe in God, will face tragedies that cause them to look up and cry out. We have all heard our hearts cry out in pain, confusion, anger, and frustration. However, the Psalmist is speaking of a different type of crying out to the Lord. It is not the cry of pain or confusion, but the cry of a longing heart. The Psalmist is hungry for more of the Lord. It is as though He has tasted of the goodness of the Lord and is longing for more.

Do you know the sound of a hungry heart, crying out for another drink of living water, or another touch from the Savior’s loving hand? Is it possible to develop a hungry heart? I believe it is. The Psalmist declares the fellowship he desires is not exclusive to him alone, “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.” Psalms 84:3

All of us are welcome before the altars of the Lord. As we spend time there, we will see a hunger for Him birthed within our hearts. This hunger, when fed with the Word and watered with worship, will increase to become a longing of the heart. As we daily spend time feeding upon the Lord, an interesting paradox develops within us. We find we long for other things less, and for the Lord a whole lot more. The appetite of our sinful nature decreases, as our appetite for the Lord increases. That is why we are encouraged to, “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). Spending time at the altars of God will not only develop a hunger within us for more of the Lord, it will also lead to the blessed life. The Psalmist continues, “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.” Psalms 84:4-5

The more we frequent the altars of God, the more we will find a hunger for Him develop within us. As we feed this hunger with the Word of God, we will find our life being transformed into what God has always intended it to become. It won’t be long before we are joining the Psalmist, declaring how our hearts cry out for more of the Living God.

Pastor Jim

 

Thirsty

Psalm 42:1-2
As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

This Psalm begins with the Psalmist describing his hunger for more of God. In a beautifully poetic fashion, he compares his desire for God to a deer panting for water. Thirst is one of our most basic drives, second only to the body’s need for oxygen. He is not only stating that he desires more of God in his life, but that he cannot live without Him. Psychologists have made lists of basic human needs for mental and emotional health. These lists often include things like companionship, communication, a good diet, human touch, self acceptance and proper rest. Unfortunately, they often neglect man’s greatest need; our need for God. Paul wrote:

Colossians 2:10 “You are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”

Man is made complete only when in a right relationship with God, through Christ. Someone aptly described man as created with a God shaped void. This void creates a longing within us to know God. Tragically, many failing to realize they need a personal relationship with God, attempt to fill this void with other things. It is common to see people trying to find satisfaction in relationship, experience, or even substance abuse, when the real solution will only be found in receiving and surrendering all to Jesus.

Perhaps the reason for this longing in the Psalmist is unveiled when he declares:

“For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.”

Notice he says, “I used to go.” Something has happened in his life that hindered his gathering with the people of God, and enjoying corporate fellowship with God. His longing for God may be due to his lack of fellowship with God. It seems that a relationship gone bad was the cause of his broken fellowship, and this broken fellowship created a thirst within him to get right with God. How about you? Are you hungering for God? Is there a longing for more of Him in your life? If so the answer is found in crying out to Him and regularly gathering with those who love Him in corporate worship. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being around the people of God, if we want to grow in Christ.

There is a condition much worse than being distant from God, and longing to get things right. That is, the condition of thinking that you are fine, just like you are. If that describes you, understand you are treading on very thin ice. The day is coming for all of us when we will appear before Him.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 42

  1. How does the Psalmist describe his desire for God?
  2. How would you describe yours?
  3. Jesus said that the blessed life came from hungering and thirsting for God, how can you increase your appetite for the things of God?
  4. What does David do to encourage himself in verses 5 – 8?