“O God, You are my God; early will I seek You. My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is—to see Your Power and Your Glory, so as I have seen You in the sanctuary.”
Once we’ve experienced them, we never again are satisfied with substitutes.
“God’s Power and Glory.”
Was there a time in the past when your walk with the Lord was so sweet that it almost seemed like you could reach out and touch Heaven itself? And, during those moments of ecstasy, did you experience “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Pet. 1:8c)?
If so, then you can understand why David penned today’s Manna while on the run in the Judean wilderness.
We should not be obsessed with those spiritual mountaintop experiences—for, in reality, they are few-and-far between. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t long for them once more, especially if the Lord Jesus, not the experience, is what our “flesh longs for;” otherwise, like Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration (Lk. 9:33) and Jacob in his encounter with God at Beth-el (Gen. 28:16-19), we’ll be wanting to pitch a tent and stay there. And, in so doing, we’ll be more enthralled with the “place” (the experience) than the One Who meets us there (cf. Gen. 35:1-7).
True worship includes “soul-thirsting”—a deep longing for God, which causes us to “seek Him early.” Like the “deer with thirst-slaked throat that pants after the water brooks, so will our soul thirst for God, the living God” (Ps. 42:1-2a). Again, once we’ve tasted Jesus—the “living Water”—we’ll never thirst again, i.e., be satisfied with substitute (Jn. 4:10-14). And, if in a moment of discouragement, we turn our backs upon Him, we’ll soon discover our once full-of-faith, fruit lives will resemble a barren, forsaken, thorn-infested field, suitable only for cursing and burning (Heb. 6:1-8).
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to see “God’s Power and Glory as we’ve witnessed them in days gone by (cf. Ps. 42:4, 6-7);” neither is there anything wrong with us longing to see God’s “fire fall and His Glory fill” as it did that day when Solomon finished praying at the dedication of the new Temple (II Chron. 7:1-3). But, we must be careful that we don’t desire these visible manifestations of God’s Presence more than we do God Himself.
David knew God’s “lovingkindness is better than life, which causes our lips to praise Him and our lives to bless Him with uplifted hands” (Ps. 63:3-4). Even when we retire for the night, we still “remember how He’s blessed in the past and rejoice because He has been our help” (vv.6-7).
Why not take a few minutes right now and reflect on those times in the past when the Heavenly Father has touched you in a special way? Remember how it felt when He was as close as your next breath and give Him thanks. Then, be still and allow your thirsty, longing soul to rise up to Him in quiet praise and adoration—and see if you don’t feel Him “brush up against you” in a way that only He can.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated December 5, 2010