"As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the the living God."
What is your souls foremost desire? What is it that you seek above all? What is your principle necessity for life?
With these words from the psalmists, we see that the Living God is both his chief desire and enjoyment, and also his primary necessity in order to go on in life. The psalmist did not desire respect, nor power, nor worldly comfort. His only comfort comes from communion with His God. And we see that communion with His God is his foremost enjoyment, and foremost necessity.
Yesterday was a blistering day in St. Louis. The high temperature got up to 100 degrees. You can imagine how hot it feels during football practice @ 3:00, on the field turf, with absolutely no cover from the sun. During the course of a 2.5 hour practice, the players are obviously going to build up quite a thirst. You should see the scene when a water break is called. Pure relief. To someone who is thirsty, there is no greater luxury that cold water. To a parched man, there is nothing sweeter than tasting the refreshing waters upon his tongue. He desires that water above all else. He will seek that water.
Furthermore, as Charles Spurgeon says about this verse, "He (the psalmist) viewed it (water) not merely as the sweetest of all luxuries but as an absolute necessity, like water to a stag." We all need water to live. The psalmist pants after God because it is a necessity in order for him to live. A day without God and he is destitute, gasping for life, lost. With God, his heart is content, his life is full, his soul satisfied. In the absence of God, life is not true life.
God is not a genie in a bottle where we come to him every once in a while when we have pressing supplications. God is the principle necessity of day to day life. Our life desire should be to be in communion with Him. Without communion with God, this entire life is worthless. The whole point of creation, both God creating us, and God creating the world, is for us to be in communion with Him, not as a mystical guy in the sky, but as the Living God. Our very life should be found in him. We need God as a deer needs water to survive. Likewise, we should desire and pant after him as such.
Have we experienced this kind of feeling? Does your soul pant for God, as a deer pants after water? Is communion with God your foremost enjoyment, and also you primary necessity to live? It's easy to become distracted in this world, putting God on the back burners. But, these verses remind us that God is the sweetest of all enjoyments. He is better than the enjoyments of the world. He gives true life. Further, God is what our hearts need. Without him, we are walking dead men.
Lastly, the good news is that God has sent a Savior, Jesus, in order that our thirsts may be quenched. God sent Jesus, who referred to himself as the Bread of Life, and as the water that will quench our thirsts. This water is free and for all. Jesus invites all who are thirsty, to come and taste, to come and be restored to life. He came to sinners, in order to give them the sweetest enjoyment, and the principle necessity. Why wait?
For myself, I pray that God gives me this thirst, that I would desire communion with Him above all else, and that God would become increasingly sweet to me.