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PANTING FOR GOD’S HEART

Date: 
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Psalm 42: 1-11

As the deer pants for the water brooks, so PANTS my soul FOR YOU, O GOD – Psalm 42:1

The phenomenon of seeking God is also referred to as PANTING FOR GOD’S HEART: As the deer pants for the water brooks, so PANTS my soul for YOU, O GOD. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psa.42: 1-2). The image here is not a domesticated deer hanging around the house; it’s a desert deer wandering the hills of Judea in the dry season, looking for a small creek bed where occasionally water runs. It is a creature desperate for water, because its survival depends on it. That is the psalmist’s cry: “like a deer in the desert, I am desperate for you, O God”! This is more than alertness or attentiveness; it is a thirst. It is an acknowledgement that we need God in our lives the same way we need water.

To seek or pant after is to long, yearn, or strive for something or someone prior to knowing. The word “seek” appears all through the Bible, often as a command to God’s people, such as: to “seek peace and pursue it,” “seek justice,” “seek righteousness.” However, about one out of four mentions instructs us to “seek God.” Being addressed to believers, this couldn’t mean that they had misplaced God and needed to go looking for Him, or that they never knew God at all. Rather, it means that although they were God’s people, the reality of His Presence was lost on them. They needed to refocus on God; to pursue Him in their life and worship. To seek God means to orient ourselves to God and pursue Him rather than other goals.

To pant after God is to look for more and more of the One we have tasted in Jesus Christ. We are hungry and thirsty for the reality of His Presence – for His Heart! The Lord says, “And you will SEEK ME and find Me, when you search for Me with ALL YOUR HEART” (Jer.29:13). That phrase “with all your heart” reminds one of the Great Commandment which Jews recite daily: to love God with every shred of our being. Love for God means not only obedience but desire for God – a yearning to know God, a longing to commune with God. Our Lord Jesus said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Mt.5:6). When we come to fellowshio and worship God in Church, do we arrive hungry and thirsty?

The strange thing about hunger for God is that once we taste God, we just get hungrier. Our appetite for God is never sated. No one ever pushed back from the table of God and said “I can’t eat another bite.” Panting for God is not something we do as unbelievers looking for God, and then don’t have to do anymore because our search ended in Jesus. He is not a piece of information, idea or plan we learn from a tract and that’s it; He is a Person we develop a relationship with, and our knowledge of Him is never complete. When we get a taste of God, we must have more; we can never have enough as we feed upon His Immensity which we cannot devour and yearn after His Infinity which we cannot attain!

Our Lord Jesus also says that we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mt.6:33). If we seek as top priority the Kingdom of God – the reality of His Presence in this world – and His righteousness, then the small stuff will take care of itself. When we know that the main thing is our relationship with God and awareness of what He is doing in the world, the everyday needs will be taken care of. We’ll spend much less mental and emotional energy seeking food, drink and clothes than seeking God! When we seek God with all our heart, He will let Himself be found, and when we find Him we become convinced that He was seeking us all along!

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Prayer: 
Lord, as the deer pants for the water brooks, let our PANTING for YOUR HEART lead us into the reality of Your Presence, in Jesus name.
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