I pray to you, O Lord, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. Psalm 18:1
Do you know what this prayer of desperation represents? A prayer from someone who knows that they have no strength besides God, no relationship more precious than the one with Him, and no treasure more valuable than Him. This is a prayer from someone who recognizes that just as food satisfies the stomach, only God satisfies the soul.
How often do we wake up yearning for God’s involvement in our lives?
When I don’t wake up in the morning with a heart that can utter the prayer of Psalm 18:1, I am not desperate. I know in my mind that God is my everything, but sometimes my heart is not living that truth. Are we so desperate that God is our first thought? Are we so needy that we give Him our day, along with all the people, tasks, and challenges? As we so desperate that as far as we are concerned, if God doesn’t go with us through the day, it is not even worth getting out of bed?
Desperate hearts have endurance.
This week I listened to a Nothing is Wasted podcast in which Beth Moore was being interviewed HERE as she promotes her memoir, Discovering God’s Faithfulness in our Knotted Up Lives. She spoke these words: If two or three days go by and I am not on fire for the Lord, I go face down on the carpet to ask Him to show up because I can’t live without Him. That certainly sounds like Psalm 18:1, doesn’t it?
How often do we cry out?
She then shared a principle she sees in Jeremiah, chapter two.
“What wrong did your fathers find in me
that they went far from me,
and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?
They did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?” (4b-6a)
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who handle the law did not know me; (8a)
Where is the Lord?
How rapidly do we cry out for the Lord? When is the last time we cried out when he seemed far away?And how long did it take to do so? A week? A month, or even a year?
Beth’s sentences reminded me of the famous quote from Jascha Heifetz that I repeat frequently. Heifetz, widely considered one of the greatest violinists of all time says, If I don’t practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it. It’s much the same with each of us. If we don’t connect our lives closely to God and invite Him to saturate our hearts and lives each day, we notice the effects on day one, don’t we? Our families notice on day two, and everyone knows God and we are not on good terms by day three. For those of us who think we can fool people, we can’t.
Sometimes we go after worthlessness
“What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless? (4b-5)
Of course I am inherently valuable as an image bearer of God and as His child, but when I have foolishly chased things like prestige, financial security, love and affection; when I have used things like movies and food to escape for a while, what I chased down not only did not satisfy, but led to harm or ruin. We become what we pursue. If we pursue Jesus, we will look more like Him every passing year.
Lord, I only want a close relationship with YOU. Only YOU. NOTHING else will satisfy and feed my soul. NOTHING else will keep me safe.
Fire in our hearts
I was at the hospital bedside of a loved one this week. A friend texted this Scripture: At each and every sunrise you will hear my voice as I prepare my sacrifice of prayer to you. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar and wait for your fire to fall upon my heart. (Psalm 5:3)
I have enjoyed the visual of laying out the pieces of my life on the altar first thing in the morning, much like dumping a jigsaw puzzle out on the table as a tangled mess of unmatched pieces turned every which way. If any of us dare to wait for God’s fire upon our hearts before we get up, our lives become an invitation. God shows up with His very own hand to make sense of the mysterious parts by connecting them together into a final product only He can see.
Oh, Lord, give us desperate hearts.
1. We walked into a restaurant not expecting to have our meal served like this! It was fun. 2. Beth’s memoir is a good book to read about how God is in all the pieces of a messy life. Perfect reading while my life is messy. 3. A visual of puzzle pieces all tangled up, along with the comfort that God knows what to do with each one.
For another post about a desperate heart, see HERE
Speaking of nurturing a heart that is desperate for God:
If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study in 2023, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and contact me by email. There are plans for an evening online study April 4-May 9. There are also plans for a face-to-face study this summer starting June 7. Let’s focus on things that count for eternity!
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