This evening I came across a blog entry by my friend Steve Gallagher posted on the Ellerslie website. Steve’s words touched and convicted my heart. I thought you may enjoy his simple profundity.
By Steve Gallagher
“O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)
This world is a dry and weary land. Nothing will deaden a person’s spiritual appetite like the spirit of this world. Even believers with the best of intentions find that their passion for God wanes in the spiritually polluted atmosphere around us. And the more immersed we become in it, the more dry and weary become our souls. Every minute we spend watching television, listening to secular radio, surfing the Net, playing video games, reading newspapers & magazines, strolling through the mall—and a thousand other activities which beckon us—the more barren we become spiritually.
The deception of it all is in the innocuous nature of these different pastimes. While many TV shows could have a clearly detrimental effect on me spiritually, watching a segment of news is not going to drive me away from God. Reading the Sports page—in itself—is not going to make me spiritually dull. The problem is often more a matter of the amount of accumulated time people spend in these different pursuits than the evil nature of the programming.
Most believers understand from past experience that the more time they spend in worldly activities, the more difficult it will be to break into the presence of God during their devotions the following morning. They will have to fight through that fog Jesus called “dissipation:” the spiritual hangover that comes from being drunk with the things of this world. It is simply a fact that the world deadens spiritual sensitivity.
One would think that spending time in the world would create a great thirst for the rivers of life, but actually it has the very opposite effect. The things of this world give a person a false sense of fulfillment. It’s like filling up on soda pop when the body needs pure water. The more cola a believer drinks, the less thirst he will feel for the real thing.
The believer who thirsts for God – like a deer pants for streams of water – limits his time in this world. He rises early and cries out, “O God, Thou art my God!” There is a thirst for God and the things of God that cannot be quenched. He longs for “the Fountain of Living Waters,” and refuses to drink from the “broken cisterns” of this world.
To the Old Testament saints, the Lord cried out, “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:1-2) This should be a loud message to believers today who tend to look to the unsatisfying trinkets this world offers.
To New Testament believers Jesus exclaimed, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38) Those living waters are available for every believer.
Let us forsake the stale, dirty water offered by the world’s broken cisterns. They may temporarily wet the throat, but they can never quench the thirsting of our souls. Instead, let us keep going to the Fountain of Life—again and again and again—until we thirst no more.