Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Fellowship, Not a Luxury

Fellowship with God is not just a luxury, a take-it-or-leave-it experience, that I can tack on to my life as a Christian if I wish.  It is as essential to my soul as water is to my body.  I must have His constant presence in my life, or I think I would die. I would have nothing for which to live. David had that desire for fellowship with God as he wrote Psalm 42. Would you take a few minutes to read it and meditate on it and then continue with this study?

When David wrote this Psalm he was removed from the public worship of God with the others.  Perhaps he was sick or perhaps he was running for his life from his enemies, chief of which was King Saul.

He starts out in verse 1 by likening his famished condition to a deer running through the fields panting for a drink of water from a stream.  To pant after God is to  desperately long for a life of holiness and constant fellowship with Him.  It is, as Jesus described in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:6, “To hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness” because we cannot bear to continue in a life of sin after we are saved.  His promise is that the one who hungers and thirsts after God’s righteousness will be given that desire of his heart.

No, we will never attain perfection in this life,  I John 1:8-10 teaches us. Nevertheless, we can long after it and spend much time in the Word of God, obeying whatever He teaches us and confessing any sin of which we are aware.

In verse 2 he further defines his desire to know God personally and intimately.   He desires to know the living God,  An objective, factual, academic knowledge of the Bible is important, but it is not enough.  Beyond that knowledge, he craves a life-changing personal relationship with God; a life-changing reality of daily walking with God, as Abraham and Enoch and other  Old Testament saints who were known for their walk with God. He refuses and we ought to refuse to settle for anything less that that.

Empty religion can never satisfy; whether it be a formal worship experience or a highly-charged, emotional experience that majors on good feelings and minors on Bible knowledge.  Nor can we be satisfied with a mind-numbing,  euphoria of a “praise and worship experience” that blasts our ear drums and makes us feel good about ourselves because it is free of Bible preaching that confronts us with our sins and brings feelings of guilt. Only as God shows us our sins, can we confess our sins to God and find immediate cleansing and freedom from a guilty conscience.   I’ve made it a practice throughout my 68 years as a Christian to always confess my sins to God as soon as I am aware of them.  Because of that I live a guilt-free life.   You can do the same thing.

Verse three tells us that David was a man of tears:  not selfish tears because he could not have his own way;  but tears of sorrow for his sins. Jesus spoke of  the need of such sorrow in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Do you weep over your sins and over the mess you have made of your life and the pain you have caused others?   If  you come to God in such sorrow, He promises to bless and comfort you and turn your life around and make you a blessing to others; rather than a burden to others.

In verse 4 David recalls happier days of the past when he joined others in united worship of God.  How do you feel about going to church.  Are you glad for any excuse to miss church and the united worship of God’s people and hearing the preaching of God’s Word?   Or are you glad for every opportunity to join with others in worship?

Are you struggling today with discouragement and despair?  It’s not easy to worship God is such a state, is it?   But even in the midst of your despair, praise God that He’s going to bring you through this, as David said in Psalm 30:5  “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”   So David encourages us in Psalm 42:5, to hope in God for He is going to bring you through your difficult time.

David encourages himself by talking  to himself and to God  in the last six verses of this chapter, reminding himself of the blessings of the past and with hope for his future.

Wherever you are in your life’s journey, my prayer for you, my unknown friend and reader of these words,  is that God will pull you out of your spiritual slump and get you back on the road of God’s will for your life so you can bring glory to Him and God’s richest blessings on yourself; and through you, bring blessing to others.

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July 27, 2010 - Posted by | Fellowship

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