When Paul was in Athens he responded to a society that was aesthetically beautiful and highly cultured, but it was also morally depraved and spiritually dead.
To this society and culture Paul passionately spoke the truth of and about God. This is something most of us fail to do as we become apathetic to the world around us.
To stop this apathy and ignite God’s holy fire within us we need to develop a passion for God.
The Psalmist reveals this passion.
“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?” (Psalm 42:1-2)
The Psalmist is describing how as a deer desires and needs water for life, and in the same way we need to desire the presence of God.
This needs to be an intense yearning and craving on our part. A deer will continue to look until it finds water to quench its thirsts. So just as a deer intensely longs for water and isn’t satisfied until it finds it, so should we be intensely longing for that close and intimate fellowship with God.
When the Psalmist wrote this Psalm, he was extremely depressed. His soul was crushed and with tears as he soaked his pillow at night. Why? Because he remembered what it was like to passionately desire God and how he had moved out from under that relationship.
Now it’s easy to point to Satan’s lure of the world and its temptations. This is what tripped up Demas. Paul said he departed because he loved the present world, 2 Timothy 4:10.
But there are other ways that are subtler, like loving the things of God more than God Himself, equating following the rules and traditions of the church with following Jesus, or when we compare ourselves to others.
Let’s be like the deer and passionately desire God for our lives. This week at our Sunday Morning service we’ll be looking at the topic of living intentionally, and then in our Sunday evening service will look at God’s sustaining grace.