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The Shelter Of God's Encouragement


Psalm 42:1-3,6-8; 43:3-5
Bible Studies for Life, Dec. 28


Have you ever been so thirsty all you could think about was finding some water? Our physical bodies have a built-in trigger called thirst. Thirst happens when there is a deficiency of water within us. Humans require water to live. We must replenish the water we are constantly loosing or we die.

The benefit of water is multifaceted and necessary for our comfort and our survival. So also is the necessity to desire Godís living and active presence in our relationship with Him. A deep craving for Him is required for a real revival to take place within and around us. Strategy means nothing without a true longing and thirst for God.

We will never experience revival in our homes, in our communities, or in our nation until a thirst for God runs as deep as our physical bodies thirst for the necessity for water.


Psalm 42:1-3

When do we usually find ourselves longing for God like a deer looking for water in a drought? Unfortunately, we will look for God like never before when we find depression as our close companion. While life is good and blessed, we often do not long for God.

Life seems ambiguous until life itself has served despair. Then, our soul longs for refuge and help. The psalmist is brought to a place where the only relief and satisfaction he desires can be found in the nearness of God.

The place where the writer finds himself is not a bad position. Even though the psalmist finds himself lacking the nourishment of Godís presence, his suffering and the tears that flow feed him. They feed him to desire the nearness of God.

The attitude of longing for God in desperation is the best place to be. No greater thirst can be experienced than that of longing for God and no greater journey traveled than the one that consistently seeks God alone.

A spiritual break through or revival will not occur because you have a great strategy or team. Revival and the breaking of any spiritual barrier occur when our thirst for God supersedes our desire for revival. God alone must be our focus rather than the results we want.


Psalm 42:6-8

God can prepare us and use us when we are at our deepest moments of despair. The psalmist declares his soul is in deep anguish within him. When difficult circumstances overtake our souls, hope is abandoned. Hope had become a distant memory and no longer a present reality for the writer. Being depressed and down was his constant companion. However, he had a treasure that would breathe life into his soul.

In the midst of despair, the psalmist reflected on God. His circumstances and situation took his soul to the place of thirst that could only be satisfied by God alone. When God alone is all that will satisfy, then you are in a place where God alone will do something great in your life. Until He becomes the only thing, other things will hinder revival from happening.


Psalm 43:3-5

The writer lived during a time when God was worshipped in Jerusalem and His altar was in a specific place. Being exiled from Jerusalem, where the temple was and where he felt God was at, the psalmist felt as if he could not praise God fully where he was staying. He wanted God to lead him back to His presence at the temple in Jerusalem. He seems to believe that only there will his thirst be quenched.

Whatever his perception of satisfaction, he knew the source of his satisfaction could only be found in the nearness to God. For the writer, he had a place that would satisfy the experience. He had something tangible to focus upon.

He probably longed for that particular place because of his previous experience and he felt beliefs about God. Regardless, he was convinced that only the nearness to God would and could satisfy his soulís situation.


Three steps of action

The last thing we need for a spiritual break through or revival is another strategy. Strategy is vital, goals are a necessity, and preparation is a requirement. However, before any of these things can be realized, we must first have a hunger and thirst for God that supersedes all other things in our lives.

How do we cultivate that thirst?

First, resolve that only a deep and intimate relationship will satisfy. When we measure our hopes and dreams based on results and plans, we find hope shattered at the foot of circumstances beyond our control. However, as we intentionally turn our mind toward the right things, then we position ourselves for a life change.

Second, pray that Godís light and His truth will make you long for Him more. Involvement in Godís Word and time spent in prayer can increase your thirst for Him. One truth about thirsting for God is the more you taste, the thirstier you get. The more you read the more questions you will have which should birth the desire to spend more time reading the Bible and desiring Him.

Third, do not give up if you do not feel thirsty for God. Stick with it and continue to seek God. Keep in mind that your desire for God will determine the level of spiritual breakthrough or revival in your life. Be persistent and intentional in your prayers and Bible reading and you will find His presence refreshing and renewing every day.

Therefore, if you are thirsty for God as a deer would be for water in a drought, continue, but if you could handle a little more thirst in your life, then do the things to make you thirsty. Change your perspective from what you want to who you want, ask to be thirsty, and never give up in your pursuit.