“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?” (Psalm 42:1-2).
Do you long for God this way? Do you thirst for God? Do you love being in His presence? In another place, the psalmist prayed,
“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).
Fellowship with God is as necessary and satisfying as water to those who are thirsty. As thirst is ongoing, so passion for God is unquenchable. When I find joy in God’s presence, I am satisfied with an unsatisfied satisfaction. When I taste and see that the Lord is good (psalm 34:8), I realize I have only tasted of His goodness. I long for more.
The psalmist said to God, “You fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand?” (Psalm 16:11).
Think about it. Soon we will leave this world and enter the presence of God. Do you look forward to being with God? Will it be for you a continuation of the fellowship and joy you find with God in this life?
In this amazing journey of developing a heart for God, some have only recently discovered that it is possible to know God through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life no man comes to the father except through me” (John 17:3). His invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:27-28), has been answered by countless people.
We can know God the Father—but only through Jesus Christ, His Son. The Son, our savior, has made the way for our sins to be forgiven and for us to be restored to a right standing with God.
If you have recently turned Jesus Christ as your savior and confessed Him as Lord, it’s important to understand that the basis of your relationship with God will always be what Jesus did for you on the cross (see: Doomed without my Advocate).
Yet God desires to draw you into a deeper knowledge of Himself and a stronger love for Him. As His child, He wants you to be fully devoted to Him—in fact, He requires your undivided allegiance!
Full devotion and total surrender to God should be understood as (what Jesus called) the greatest commandment of the Law. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). It’s an all-consuming love for God and what God is producing in our hearts (Philippians 2:13).