God: The Thirst-Quencher.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and stand before him?” – Psalms 42:1-2 NLT
We are spiritual beings, and as such, each of us has a soul that sometimes suffers from spiritual thirst. The heat of life can leave our souls dry and parched – in need of spiritual refreshment. Even those who have no relationship with Christ and don’t believe in God suffer from spiritual thirst. And when it happens they, like those of us who are Christ-followers, seek out a way to satisfy their thirst. But there do they turn? If the thirst is minimal they will probably turn to the things that tend to satisfy their tastes, not their thirst. It’s a lot like when you or I find ourselves a bit thirsty in the middle of the day. I’m talking about average thirst here, not your heat-of-the-summer-working-in-the-yard kind of thirst. When we are slightly thirsty, we probably think of grabbing a cold glass of our favorite soda or iced tea. In other words, we attempt to settle our thirst by satisfying our desires. But most of our choices don’t end up taking care of our real problem. They taste good for the moment, but they make lousy thirst-quenchers. But if we find ourselves really thirsty, like we can get after a hard workout or a day of yard work in ninety degree weather, we usually crave one thing and one thing only – a glass of cold water. Our bodies are wired that way. We seem to know that nothing else will satisfy. No other drink or beverage appeals to us like water does in those moments. We crave it. We have to have it. Like a man in the desert dying of thirst, we dream of satisfying our need with cold, refreshing, life-giving water.
There is a similar reaction wired into every human being when they face real spiritual thirst. We are all programmed to seek the one thing that will satisfy that need – God. But because of sin, we are prone to seek replacements. Our sin nature tempts us to find something else to meet our need. So we turn to sex, success, alcohol, popularity, or a thousand other God-replacements. Our desires tell us that these things will satisfy our thirst. But like an iced-cold Coke on a hot summer day, they only mask our real need. They temporarily seem to satisfy our thirst, but leave us craving more. And despite what Coke may tell us – when it comes to spiritual thirst – it is NOT the real thing. David seemed to know that there was one place and one place only for satisfying real spiritual thirst, and that was God. He described his soul as longing for God, like a deer that pants for a cool, clear stream of water. During the difficult days of life, when things seem to be going against him, David longed for God. He knew nothing else would satisfy what was really going on in his life. More power, more money, more sexual satisfaction, more of anything would prove to be a faulty substitute for God. Which is why he said, “Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!” (Psalms 42:11 NLT). When his soul became thirsty, he was going to seek out God as his thirst-quencher. But where do we turn when spiritual thirst hits us? What do we long for? Like David, we need to learn that nothing satisfies like God.
Father, spiritual thirst hits me on a regular basis. But at times I still tend to seek out things that satisfy my sinful desires rather than You. I allow the enemy to tempt me into believing that other things can satisfy the thirst of my soul, when only You can. Thank You for using the difficulties of life to remind me that there is only place to satisfy the thirst in my soul, and that is in You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men