Friday, July 8, 2016

Pastor's Desktop Article for July 2016

“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.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.  My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.  On my bed I remember you, I think of you through the watches of the night.  Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.  My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.“
(Psalm 63:1-8)
            When was the last time we could honestly say that we earnestly sought God, thirsted for God, or longed for God?  I don’t mean that you asked Him for something in prayer, I mean just longed to be near Him, to sense His presence and feel His love.  For many of us, if not most of us, it’s probably been a long time, if we’ve ever had that experience.  The psalmist above captures that sentiment beautifully, indicating an utter dependence on the Lord, that he “thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
            Do we really recognize how utterly dependent we are on the Lord?  The next breath we breathe is there because it is given to us by the Lord.  The food we have, the clothing, shelter, the very fact that we live where we do on a planet that can sustain life is from the Lord.  That’s all true, but do we recognize the love that the Lord has for us, and what that means for us?  He is there for us to sustain us through the easy times as well as the most difficult times.  When we spiritually feel like we are in a dry and weary land where there is no water, we can remember that even there, the Lord is right there with us, and will sustain us with living water without cost, and without end.
            A.W. Tozer, in his book The Pursuit of God, writes about how even that refreshing from the Lord in those times of His sustaining us leave us more thirsty still, because we want still more of that sense of being refreshed and sustained by the Lord.  From the psalm above, “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods…” 
            When we rely on the world, its pleasures, its pursuits and its preoccupations cannot satisfy the deep longings in our soul.  We can only truly find our satisfaction in Jesus Christ, and in living to bring glory and praise to Him.  When we find ourselves holding fast and staying close to Him, the offerings of the world, and even the temporal concerns of this life are put into better perspective.  The words of the beloved hymn by Helen H. Lemmel, “O soul, are you wearied and troubled?  No light in the darkness you see?  There’s light for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant and free!  Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

I hope you’ll “turn your eyes upon Jesus”, and find your hope and rest in Him.

By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen