“Thirsty For God” 8.31.14 Sermon

THIRSTY FOR GOD

INTRODUCTION

     David was utterly devoted to God.  Beyond anything else, he loved God! Even though David had his faults and failures, he will still be forever honored in history as a man “after God’s own heart.”  What is the reason for this? David thirsted for God! Are we thirsty for God this morning? Is worshipping God our greatest heart’s desire? Let us pray that we can become hungry and thirsty for the presence of God!

PSALM 63 INTRODUCTION

In 2 Samuel 15, we see that Absalom would take the time to listen to the complaints of the people, but would even embrace and kiss them as they came to him for guidance and help.  In the study Bible named after him, popular preacher and pastor John MacArthur states in his notes that David possibly left political matters unresolved because of his advanced age and also perhaps because he was constantly going off to battle.  Absalom used his father’s failures as a political leader to his advantage. 

     Absalom acted as an advisor to the people for four years, until he became very influential.  Absalom was also tall, handsome and very charismatic.  After that four years was past, Absalom asked David if he could go to Hebron and make a sacrifice and vow to the Lord.  Remember, Hebron was where David was first anointed as king, and where Absalom was born.  But when he went to Hebron, Absalom actually declared himself to be king!   Ahithophel the Gilonite, who was formerly an advisor to David, went with Absalom to Hebron!  It goes back to 1 Samuel 8, verses 10-12, when Samuel warned the people that the kings would purchase chariots for themselves  and make the sons of the people their personal bodyguards and armorbearers, to escort the chariots. This is exactly what Absalom does in the first verse of chapter 15 of 2 Samuel!  Absalom declared himself king in Hebron.  David heard the news, and left Jerusalem right before Absalom reached Jerusalem.  Yet even as David was running from his own children, he ran back to God.

Psalm 63:1-8 (TNIV) 1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me……

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you…. 

[1] David believed in the power of God, not just his existence —– Many people can relate to this.  We believe God is real, but don’t believe that he actually can or will come through for us. But what does David say? You God, are MY God.  We need to be desperate for God like a person lost in the desert would be desperate for water.

I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you…..

[1a] David worshipped God with everything inside him —- Nothing inside David was held back from God. His dreams, his joy, his pain, God knew it all.  I mean, Jesus is way more powerful than Superman and Superman had X-ray vision.  Jesus Christ has X-ray vision for our hearts.  He is the cup of living, cool, refreshing spring water for the dry, hardened and parched places in our hearths where there is no water. 

in a dry and parched land where there is no water………….

[1b] There is only one source of living water —–  In the movie Noah, the entire earth was a barren wasteland.  Our world is not that different from the world Noah lived in.  Christ said that when he returns, the world will be much like it was in Noah’s time (Lk 17:26-30).  Let us be thirsty for God.  We have all seen him move in Neighborhood Church, haven’t we?

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory…………..

[1c] We must open our eyes to God’s power and glory in daily life — God is continuing to perform miracles.  He is continuing to display his power, majesty, beauty and grace every day. In fact, his love is better than life!  Let us be thirsty for God!

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you……………

[2]  Do we believe in a love that is better than life? Think about it. In life, we have husbands and wives that bring us joy. We have children that bring us joy. We have our careers, our homes, and our friends that bring us joy.  Yet following Christ is better than all of this.  It is better than being able to travel to exotic places, eat exotic foods, have all kinds of money, or having muscles like an Olympic athlete. Why? The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes calls everything meaningless, because we can’t take it with us when we die.  The only thing he values is a life of loving God.   Only Christ promises us life after death. So, we must praise God as long as we live. 

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands….

[2a] David was in it for the long haul —– He was committed, 100 and 10 percent!! David didn’t say he would praise God as long as God answered David’s prayers. David didn’t say he would praise God as long as God kept David on the throne, or in the palace, in Jerusalem.  David didn’t say he would praise God as long as God kept his end of the bargain, and life was good.  No! David said he would praise God as long as he lived.  As long as we live then, let us be thirsty for God! Let us be fully satisfied in him!

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you…….

[2b]  Are we fully satisfied in Christ alone? 2 Peter 1:3.  Not his hand, but his heart? Not his fingers moving to meet our demands, but in seeking his face? (Mary and Martha, Lk 10:38-42).

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him
John Piper

We know we are most satisfied in God when our thoughts are consumed mostly with himGive God your best.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. But he is also the same at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime.

On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night….

     Why not read a verse or listen to a short devotional just before bed. You don’t have to; it’s optional, but it’s worth a try! What about when we’re on vacation? Do we vacation from our Bible studies? Or even at work, we don’t ever have to stop talking to God. We don’t ever have to stop being thirsty for God.

 

[2c]  We don’t ever have to stop talking to God — 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says that we should pray continually in some translations, and that we should pray without ceasing in other translations.  In 1 Samuel, we read that Samuel’s mother Hannah was praying in her head.  She was silent, but her lips were moving, so the priest Eli thought she was drunk, but that’s another sermon! (1 Sam 1:1-16).  Christian meditation has gotten a bad wrap because of eastern religions, but all the ancient Christians used to do it.

     Rick Warren, in The Purpose Driven Life (Zondervan), describes meditation this way: “Meditation is focused thinking. It takes serious effort. You select a verse and reflect on it over and over in your mind…if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate” (190). Warren goes on to say, “No other habit can do more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on Scripture…If you look up all the times God speaks about meditation in the Bible, you will amazed at the benefits He has promised to those who take the time to reflect on His Word throughout the day.” We should meditate on Christ because he is our only source of supernatural help.  And because he is our help…

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings…..

 

[3] David’s life was overshadowed by the presence of God — We don’t know what the Holy Spirit looks like, but it’s safe to say David is just using this language to describe how God is protecting him in the desert.  The soul of David was clinging to God for dear life. 

I cling to you……………

[3a] We must cling to God for dear life in this day and age We must challenge ourselves to live surrendered, cross-centered lives.  Why? It’s only fair to exchange our lives for His, because Christ exchanged his life for ours.  Just like Yahweh, or God the Father upheld the righteous Israelites with his right hand, Christ upholds his church with his right hand.

Your right hand upholds me……………….

[3b]  God is holding our lives together.  Isaiah 49:16 says  Jerusalem is engraved on the palm of God’s hand, and I believe  Jesus loves the church that much as well.  In John ch. 10, Jesus says that no one can snatch his sheep out of his hand (Jn 10:28, 29).  I believe that to be true for us today.  I believe that God’s grace and mercy are sustaining us, and we need to fall upon the mercy of God each and every hour of each and every day. Let us be thirsty for his mercy. Let’s thirst for God’s power, his glory, his dominion, and his might.

 

[3c] We should always thirst for God.

CONCLUSION

Our desire for God should be the same as a person who is lost in the desert.  We have to understand that this earth is a wasteland, and we don’t belong here. The only way we can survive is to drink from the fountain of life known as Jesus Christ. He is the living water that can sustain us (Jn 4). 

 

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