Turn Lonely Hours into Worship Time
- Dr. John Barnett Discover the Book
- 2009 3 Mar
A life long personal pursuit of worshiping God is not only what God came seeking for (John 4), and what we will be doing forever as Revelation 4 onward teaches us—it is what we are to be now. The definition of true believers as worshipers is at the heart of the church. Look for a moment at
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
But with all that truth, reality is often much less, isn’t it? We often move deeper in our studies—but not closer to the Lord.
We often have more contact with the truth—but less touch with God’s power in our own personal lives.
We have more and more relationships at church, in groups, and in activities—but less and less depth.
And outside the church, the world is going faster, life is getting harder and spiritual lives need deepening. Could it be that the three thousand year old secret of David still works today?
DAVID SOUGHT GOD THROUGH HIS LONELINESS
We need a new generation of God hearted, Spirit empowered, Christ seeking worshipers.
Believers like David who used every tense of life to describe his pursuit of the Lord. He says this has been my past pursuit:
Psalm 63:2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.
And even in the hot, empty, lifelessness of the bleak and hostile desert seeking God was his present pursuit even as he was being chased by Absalom (most likely the context of this Psalm):
Psalm 63: v.1 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. v.3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. v. 6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. v.8 My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.
Then as David always looks ahead, he declares that desiring God will always be his future pursuit:
Psalm 63:1-11 v.1 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. v. 3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. v.4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. v.5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. v. 7 Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. v.11 But the king shall rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.
DAVID USES EVERY MEANS HE HAD TO PURSUE GOD
Even a quick glance at this Psalm in your English Bible shows an ancient Hebrew pattern; David uses seven different means to praise and worship God.
We are challenged by our culture to never stop learning to use a few extra percentage points through life; but in a vastly more strategic way, God is saying through David—why not start employing more and more of your capacity to worship God?
Regularly use your lips, your tongue, your hands, your will, your mouth, your mind, and your intellect to the max in seeking to offer worship to God.
ONLY GOD CAN SATISFY
One of the most fundamental truths from this Psalm is that God can satisfy us to the very core of our existence and being. That is David’s 3,000 year old testimony. He was as human as anyone can get.
David reflects every virtue and every vice. He struggles with fear, depression and lust; yet he sings with abandon, worships with a passion, and meditates into the very Throne Room of God. We can each identify with his struggles—and we can each learn from his pursuit of God.
When we stop and think about it, like we are at this moment—isn’t it hard to believe that we neglect and spend so little time cultivating something that is ‘better than life’—and spend the majority of all our time pursuing, protecting, and seeking to prolong what is a distant second?
God offers endless satisfaction, completion on a supreme level for each of us to enjoy and enlarge on a daily basis. Maybe this morning we need to pause and like David with our lips, tongue, mouth, mind and will express how much we want to just enjoy the Lord Himself right now.
One final note about this satisfying work of God’s grace is seen in verse 8. Notice what happens when you find something you never dreamed even existed; something too good to be true, and too good to lose.
Psalm 63:8 My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.
David not only experienced the supreme satisfaction God gives, and couldn’t stop singing and talking about it—he also clung to the Source, the Lord Himself. The Hebrew word cling is used of the bonding that comes when a husband truly loves his wife and their souls as well as bodies are ‘glued’ together.
In Genesis God describes marriage as a man and a woman that find that they complete each other so wonderfully that they become glued together. That is God’s design for marriage. That is also God’s attraction to our souls and spirits.
David became glued to God. That is exactly what v. 1 means. When you earnestly seek something you get glued to it. David wanted to stay as close as possible to the Lord. His heart, his mind, his will all had a target and that was the source of deepest satisfaction.
Now that again pauses us and makes us ask—if we are not clinging to the Lord, if our hearts and desires are less than glued upon Him, perhaps we are saying that we have not learned how to seek Him early enough, or earnestly enough, or completely enough to get satisfied. For once we get truly and deeply satisfied—we cling to Him. Are you clinging? Are you glued to God? Is He better than life? Or are you still clinging to what you are going to never be able to hold onto, and what you will lose sooner or later?
That is the message of Psalm 63—the God who supremely satisfies us and makes us long for unending, daily, moment-by-moment satisfaction!
EXPERIENCING GOD’S CLOSENESS ALL OUR YEARS
It is amazing but true according to researchers, that the most acute loneliness is thought to be felt by teenagers. Teens feel neither old nor young. They feel between both worlds and can’t seem to connect with either, so they desperately try to find the acceptance and approval of their fellow teens. Loneliness is unexpected by teens when it comes, they are taken off guard and are ill prepared for its fierceness. Unlike the elderly who have felt the sting of being alone often, teens often haven’t. So David’s testimony from his teen years is especially powerful.
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