Study from God’s Word… Psalms 42, 53, 58, 81, and 101 … Passage for Reflection: Psalm 42: 1 – 2 … NIV As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
My Journal for Today: I’m afraid that F. LaGard Smith has nailed me in his devotional this morning as he asks, ”Am I content to merely sing about panting and thirsting when God calls me to pant for Him on a more desperate level?” Smith recognizes how often churches or Christians sing the words of today’s Psalmist from Psalm 42; but he wonders if there are any Christians who, possibly like the persecuted Christians in China or the Middle East, who desperately seek after a God Who must seem distant from them. But nonetheless they “pant after God,” having a faith which is hard for me to fathom, even seeking after my God as I sit here morning after morning, trying my best to know my God and seek His purposes for my life.
Yes, I do long for my God; but do I “pant after Him” as one might who is about to die from lack of water or someone who is gasping for air to live, not being able to get enough oxygen to support life? I’m afraid Dr. Smith’s intent with his devotional question has convicted this Christian to the core. I just don’t “pant” enough for my God.
My desire to know God, … to seek after His character, … or to pursue His purposes is more a head-level pursuit than a heart-level desire. But right now it’s all I can muster; and in this I once again recall the interaction between Jesus and Peter, documented in John 21: 15 – 20 where our Lord restored Peter who was totally despondent after having failed Christ so miserably.
And when we read Peter’s letter in 2nd Peter, we see how much this Apostle had been restored and renewed in his faith, to the point in 2nd Peter 1: 1 – 11 we read of a regenerated disciple exhorting other disciples – like me – to move forward and choose to follow Christ the way Peter had learned, after being restored by Christ, to witness for the Lord right up to the end of his life.
Well, maybe I don’t have a heart at this point which “pants” after my Lord. But I do have a love for Him [“phileo,” if not “agape”] which voluntarily seeks to know Him, to love Him, to obey Him, and to serve Him to the utmost of my heart/mind. And like Jesus charged Peter on that shore in Capernaum centuries ago [again see John 21: 15 – 20 - linked], I will go forth, following my Lord, to the extent of my ability to do so. And like Peter did, I will do so, desiring – if not panting – to be Christ’s disciple by following Him.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I follow You; I seek after You. If you create the need, I will “pant” after You. But now, know that I am Your disciple. Amen