Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Question one: Do you thirst for God?

This is the first question (from 10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Don Whitney) in a series of posts that I described a few days ago.


A few Scriptures...
  • Paul expressed a desire to know Christ (Philippians 3:10)
  • The psalmist wrote comparing his thirst for God as a deer panting for water (Psalm 42:1-2)

Don Whitney tells us that there are three types of spiritual thirst:
  1. The thirst of the empty soul: the soul that is devoid of God who is seeking things to satisfy, but ignoring the real need
  2. The thirst of the dry soul: someone who has experienced the satisfaction of God, but has left it for various reasons
  3. The thirst of the satisfied soul: the one thirsting for God precisely because he is satisfied with God.
These are extremely helpful to search the soul with. I find myself in category #2 far too often. This happens because I can be satisfied with other things that end up depriving me of spiritual satisfaction. I also find myself there when I am fatigued or stressed out.

He also gives some practical steps for 'thirsting after God.'
  1. Meditate on Scripture - not simply read, but think through a particular verse, phrase or word
  2. Pray through Scripture - use the thoughts and language of Scripture (particularly the Psalms) to speak to God with
  3. Read thirst-making writers - He recommends writers such as John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, as well as some old books such as Pilgrim's Progress and The Valley of Vision.

I think that overall, I am most convicted of a few things. (1) I seek satisfaction in small stuff (i.e. my day going well, my kids behaving, ESPN, reading a book, good weather, etc.) not in 'God-stuff.' (2) I don't do enough to cultivate my thirst for God. (3) There are things in my life that can be used in the pursuit of passionately following God, and there are things which detract from it. (4) I don't search my heart enough to see whether I am thirsting for God.

Father, I am too easily satisfied with too little.
Too often, I stop short of my pursuit of you.
Too often I care more about news or sports (or this and that) than you.
Forgive my sinful heart, and restore to me a joy in you and you alone.

I want to be satisfied only when you are glorified
I want to be joyful in the greatest things
Change my heart

Thank you God for meeting my needs, satisfying my heart, and loving my soul
Thank you for pouring out an inexhaustible supply of good things for us
Thank you for being the living water that NEVER fails to quench our deepest thirst

May Jesus Christ, our only sufficient source of satisfaction, be praised! Amen.