Creek Bottom Faith #4

Parched_land
For some reason, I still remember the sound of the radio voice.  It was summer in Kansas City (Missouri).  It was hot and humid.  I left the office about noon en route to Office Depot.  My car had been sitting in the sweltering sun all morning.  I was driving down  Oak Park Trafficway, listening to the radio, and pulled into the parking lot of the Office Depot.  Just as I turned into the lot, a commercial for a certain brand of ice tea came on.  The announcer talked about how wonderful this tea was and he poured it over ice.  I could hear the crackle of the ice through my speakers.  Then he sipped the tea and the next sound was:

 

Ahhhhhhhhhhh

 

Now that was the sound of relief, enjoyment, and satisfaction.   I almost immediately thought, "I have got to have something to drink!"

 

When the "creek is dry" (your life or mine), it is natural to want relief.  The question is, "What will satisfy?"  The Psalmist writes:

 

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 
(Ps. 63:1)

 

This writer is convinced God himself will satisfy.  In fact, he goes on to say "My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods…" (63:5)

 

OK.  Not so quick.  I don’t know that all of us are necessarily sure that God himself will deliver us from this dryness.  I’m not so sure all of us (I’m referring now to Christian people) are convinced that God himself satisfies.

 

Some of us are addicted to self.  "If I could just get what I want, then  I would find satisfaction."  Mark Galli writes,

 

We are addicted to self like some are addicted to alcohol.  One small drink leads to two, two leads to four, four can lead to drinking binges.  And with each drink, it is more and more difficult to get control of oneself; the alcohol skews one’s judgment and sabotages the will.  The more one drinks, the harder it is to stop, the harder it is to hear people telling you that you must stop.  Any alcoholic–anyone addicted to anything will tell you that.  How much more for those addicted to a self-centered existence. (Mark Galli, Jesus Mean and Wild, p. 97)

 

Some of us thirst not for God but for his gifts.  Some of us thirst not for God but for a feeling we would like to have.  Some of us thirst not for God but nevertheless desire to use to him to get what we want.  After all–we live a self-centered existence.

 

Stephen Charnock wrote in his 17th century class, The Existence and Attributes of God, the following (forgive the older English):

 

A heart quickly flitting from God makes not God his treasure; he slights the worship and therein affronts the object of worship.  All our thoughts ought to be ravished with God; bound up in him as
in a bundle of life; but when we start from him to gaze after every
feather, and run after every bubble, we disown a full and affecting
excellency, and a satisfying
sweetness in him.  When our thoughts run from God, it is a testimony we have no spiritual affection to God…

 

Bottom line–In God himself, there is a satisfaction that can be found nowhere else.  Maybe the question is, "Do I look to God with my thirst, trusting that he, himself, will satisfy?  Or, am I still focused on myself, thinking that if I could only have what I desire, then life would be good?"

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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12 thoughts on “Creek Bottom Faith #4

  1. Jim, You make some very good points. Ideally, as we mature in our faith, we come to the point of desiring God Himself rather than His gifts. I think, for most people, that is a process and not something that occurs quickly. For example, there is a verse in the Psalms that means something different to me now that it did when I was younger: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
    At one time, I thought that meant that God would give me whatever I wanted if I followed Him. And, of course, I could see that didn’t always happen! Of late, I have come to realize that’s not what that verse means at all. It means that, as I delight in Him, He will change my heart so that my desires are for spiritual things rather than carnal things. The verse is NOT promising fulfillment of my list of wishes – rather, it is promsing a change of heart as I walk with the Lord!

  2. I was teaching a class on prayer at Woodmont Hills this summer and said something that actually stunned me. It wasn’t in my notes. It just leapt out of my mouth before I could stop it.

    I asked, “Which would you choose: a blank check from God or to know God better than you do right now?”

    Then I said, “Your current prayer life reveals the truth.”

  3. Psalm 63 has been one of my favorites psalms for a long time. In recent years it has moved up the list of my favorite passages in the entire Bible. The reason for this has nothing to do with me at all. You see, this is the favorite passage of one of the most spiritually minded men I’ve ever met. Every time Ed reads from this passage (or any other, for that matter) it seems like the idea of being filled by God is a much more realistic possibility. Thank you for helping me to understand this more clearly.
    -bill

  4. Jim I am always refreshed when I stop by for my daily cup of java (a weakness of mine I suppose).

    BTW my wife’s favorite place is Panera Bread. I know that was a previous post but … thanks for coming by my blog. I really appreciate it.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  5. Bill,
    How interesting…I never thought about the impact of hearing a godly man or woman read a favorite text—of theirs.

    Yet, I do recall special devotionals at our house where my wife would read her favorite text.