Thirsting After God
Tuesday, April 30 2019
Quite a few years ago now, but for some reason only in Spanish, I wrote a series of reflections based on one of the best books I have ever read. From the Reflexiones Para Vivir “trunk”, but now in English, let's rescue eight reflections on how our arid and miserly lives can be transformed into abundant springs as we bask in the presence of the King, and what the five distinctive marks that characterize those who are "thirsting after God” are…
Many years ago now I had the immense privilege of listening to, first by cassette (don't even think what you're thinking!) and then in real-life, a great man of God whose teachings and words marked the early years of my Christian life: Dr. Keith Price. He was an illustrious Canadian who lived from 1929 to 2001; and who, while alive, was the Founder and Director of Christian Direction in Montreal, the pastor of several Christian congregations, and General Director of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. In his youth, he was an apprentice of the famous A.W. Tozer. Dr. Price learned much from him, and when he died he left behind an impressive legacy as an expository preacher and as a discipler and mentor of Christian youth. It was Dr. Price's love for the Word of God, and his gift in preaching and teaching it with passion and freshness and joy, that inspired me with an insatiable thirst for seeking and knowing Jesus in my own initial walk as a Christian.
Before he died, Dr. Price wrote a book entitled "Thirsting After God". In the Preface to his book, he wrote: "For six years after Dr. Tozer’s death, I pondered just what he had meant when he frequently talked about thirsting after God. The term I understood, but the depth of longing he spoke of was something beyond me. I had been preaching for 17 years before I understood experimentally... that my thirst for the written Word, valuable though it was, needed to be surpassed by my thirst after God Himself. But when it hit me, it gripped me for life!" In the Introduction to his book, he wrote: Dr. Tozer "taught me to be a man of only one Book... he showed me how to walk against the tide, how to go against my generation"; from Dr. Tozer, "I learned how to renew that holy flame in my heart and in the heart of others... he inspired me... he was my model and my example... he profoundly influenced my life and I will be eternally grateful."
"O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory."
"As a deer pants for flowing streams,
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?"
Dear friend: how are you today? Are you thirsty for God, as was the psalmist, and as were Drs. Tozer and Price? As the famous rabbi and Jewish-American theologian Abraham Heschel once said: "He who is satisfied has never truly craved" God - because to drink from the ocean of God simply intensifies our thirst. Blaise Pascal, a French philosopher who lived over 300 years ago, said that "there is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man" - and only God can fill it.
"For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken...
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him."
(Psalm 62:1-2, 5)
In the dryness and aridity of our lives here in this world, let's seek God together - let's long and crave and "pant" together to know the living God, to see His power and His glory.
Friend: walk with me in these next days and weeks - and together, we will walk with Dr. Keith Price through the words of Isaiah 35, as reflected upon and written about in his book "Thirsting After God". God Himself declared through the prophet Jeremiah: "You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart." (29:13)
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