Biblical Counseling for Today’s Christian Family
By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min., M.Th.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
– Psalms 42:1-2a
Fitness gyms are crammed with people who do not want to pay the cost of ignoring their bodies, but too often believers suffer from the opposite malady: an apparent unconcern with matters pertaining to spiritual health. In the final installment of the series on Temple Maintenance, the emphasis is placed on the importance of “Soul Care.”
In Psalms 42:1-2 the Psalmist used a simile comparing his thirst for God to a deer’s thirst for water. When a deer is thirsty, he will run at full speed until he eventually finds water. Deer realizes when he is thirsty; water is the only thing that will quench his thirst. When the deer finds the water, he will literally immerse himself into it. Deer will also run to the water when it sense it is in danger. Fear and the physical strain of running create a strong desire for water. The Psalmist is picturing himself like a deer that is on the run in desperate search of nourishment. As water is to a deer, so God’s presence should be for His people. When we are thirsty and our souls are in need of nourishment, we can go to God who is the only source that can satisfy our soul’s deepest thirst. Even when the enemy [Satan] pursues as a predator, we can immerse ourselves in God’s presence and find protection. Just as the deer can’t wait to quench its thirst, the soul of the believer should be yearning “for the living God” (v. 2a).
The following are four spiritual habits to adopt during private devotions to assist you in experiencing a deeper level of knowing God and to satisfy spiritual hunger.
Quiet Time – Psalms 46:10. There are some that enjoy the mornings to have quiet time with the Lord. Others may find that time of silence in the evenings. Carve out time in your daily schedule for regular and consistent time with God.
Scriptural Meditation – Psalms 1:2. Scriptural meditation differs from bible study in that you meditate on God’s Word by reading fewer verses. Thus you can close your eyes and invite God to speak to you personally from those verses for a personal application.
Prayer – Withdraw to commune with God in prayer. Even Jesus with people yet coming to Him, withdrew to be with His Father. The first object of prayer is not so much to speak to God as to listen to Him. During private devotions, pray and also listen. By listening God will speak His thoughts to your thoughts. When God speaks, He is clear and always consis tent with Scripture. (1 Corinthians 14:33).
Journaling – Journaling is a record of how faithful He is. Write down your spiritual journey with God and the daily examples of His providence. Also record your prayer requests and the answers God gives you.
Beloved, the bottom line is only the living God can quench the thirst of the human heart. Just as the deer knows intuitively where to find water when it is thirsty, so too we must seek Him with everything we got. Does your soul pant for God? When there is no hunger for the presence of God, it is an indicator that something is wrong spiritually.
The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.