Dear SanLo Community, an update for April 22, 2012…
Thank you to Pastor Eric Yata for the message from Psalm 63:1-11, “Starved!!!” For the next 10 weeks, we’ll be in the book of Psalms, the Essence of Prayer. The Psalms are a key for better understanding prayer and our relationship with our Lord and Savior. Have you ever felt starved or felt famished? Were you ever so thirsty you would do anything for a drink of water? Starvation is not something that we long for. Yet this is exactly the situation David is in. He is both physically and spiritually starved and hungry. David is in the dry and barren wilderness of Judea without water. Yet the deepest thirst of his life was for the Living Water. David’s soul yearned for God! David wasn’t just hungry for God, he was starved for God. As we consider the words David penned, we ask this very important question, “How can we increase our hunger for God?”
1) A ceaseless desire. In the heart of David there was a fire that never went out. There was an endless hunger and thirst for God. You can think of the psalms as the praise songs or hymns that we sing. Today they are so important, because they aren’t just nice music, but they also teach us something about God. 1 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. 2 So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory. 3 Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You. 4 So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift up my hands. David specifically identifies God as not just a god, but, “my God.” David doesn’t just believe that God exists but more importantly, God is personal to him. When David says my soul and my flesh, there is a totality of his entire being going after God. He pursues God with everything in him and he expresses his ceaseless efforts to be in the house of God. It was in those moments that David experienced the love of God. In Hebrew, steadfast love is called hesed, to bend or to bow oneself. The idea carries with it that God lowered Himself to David. As New Testament believers, we truly know this, because God lowered Himself through His Son coming down from Heaven. It reveals God’s kindness and grace. David would pursue God, because God had pursued him. In the same way, we pursue God, because He pursued us with His lavishing love through the creation, through the cross, and through new creation. Ask God to give you an unceasing desire for Him and to give you a hunger and thirst for Him. Ask God to give you unending longing for His love.
2) A content soul. As God builds and develops within us a deep hunger for Him and His Word, God then grows in us a satisfied soul. Our soul is at rest in God, it is content. 5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips, 6 when I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the watches of the night; 7 for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy. 8 My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. As David continues in his praise of God, he finds life sustaining satisfaction in God. David says – God, You are my portion, and not just my portion, but You are the one who satisfies my appetite. Lord, in You do I find great satisfaction and joy! Remember the woman at the well, Jesus said the same thing to her in John 4:13–14, 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” God guarantees satisfaction and He gives us an everlasting satisfaction in Him.
3) A confident believer. As you grow in your desire for God and as you grow in your satisfaction with God, God will grow in you assured faith in Him. Desire leads to satisfaction, and satisfaction leads to confidence. God will increase your confidence in Him as your Savior, Provider, and Protector above all things to become a confident believer. 9 But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; 10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. 11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by Him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped. There is this extraordinary confidence that David has in God. David’s confidence is revealed in two violent images. The first image is that his son, Absalom, and his army will be defeated. There will be no doubt about their defeat. The second image is even more violent, not only will they lose, but they will also be slaughtered. We can have confidence in God, because He is protector and provider for those who have faith in Christ. He promises to uphold us when we might feel like the enemy surrounds us. He will carry us through life’s toughest battles. We can have a strong assurance in God. We can be confident believers.
Lord, help us come to that place…that we might say as David said… 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.
Thank you to Todd Fong and Dennis Yata for sharing about the ongoing FACC/SLZJCC mission work in Chiba, Japan. This year’s team will include the Fong family, Haj Kanzaki, Dennis Yata, Gloria Kama and Ashley Hu. Mike Rodriguez and Elena Woo will serve from FACC. The mission will be this June 26-July 10 to support the Grace Coast Ichinomiya church plant.
Have a blessed week as you hunger and thirst for the Lord,
Stan, for SLZJCC