“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” (Psalm 42:1-2)
Seriously. When’s the last time you ever thought, “I thirst for the living God?” or “As the deer pants for streams of water, my soul pants for you?”
The thing is, it’s not that I don’t know how to long for things. I absolutely know how to yearn and thirst for things.
- I long to travel. It’s been over a year since I’ve been anywhere.
- There are times when I crave a juicy cheeseburger. One with grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, little bit of mayo, catsup, and mustard. Yummm. My mouth is watering just thinking about this.
- I yearn to hang out with my friends. It’s been way too long since I’ve been with my friends.
- It would be great to worship with all of you.
What makes this worse is that my flesh knows how to long for sin and pleasures. It has no problem longing, thirsting, and yearning for sin and pleasure. I don’t even have to think about it. It just happens.
So, what is wrong with me? Why don’t I long for God in the same way?
If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re not alone.
Here’s good news. Change is absolutely possible. But here’s the thing: If you want things to change, then you have to change. You can’t change without changing.
It’s not that longing and thirsting for God is impossible. It just means making some changes. It will require re-wiring our brains and re-routing our heart’s desires. We have lived in and with sin for so long, our brains and hearts are wired to sin. We need to retrain and re-direct our brains and hearts.
So, when my flesh yearns and thirsts for sin, I literally tell myself, “Re-routing!” You know, the way your GPS does in your car when you stray off. When my thoughts stray, I literally re-route my thoughts so that I can re-wire my brain to yearn for God.
Try that. Say it. “Re-routing!”
Good. Now keep at it until our default mode becomes longing and thirsting for God and his righteousness.