Sometimes when I get out of the habit of being in the Word everyday, I think a new journal or new Bible will help me want to read again. I do actually think this works sometimes. In high school, I would take notes on hot pink paper, because I figured if I had to take notes, I might as well do it in a cute way. Sometimes buying new highlighters or a new tool can be helpful. But if our heart isn’t in the right place - nothing we purchase will fix our desire.
I want to walk through some Bible verses together that can help us understand the importance of desiring God.
“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
In the morning I lay my requests before you
And wait expectantly.”
He calls us to wait expectantly for His voice. I think many times we would like to skip over that word “wait” - but that’s what the psalmist said - not, “instantly God will speak to us” - but “wait expectantly” - expect that He will speak to you.
“In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
In all his thoughts there is no room for God.”
We are called to always make room for God - in our hearts and in our minds. The more we think on him, the more our desire for Him and His Word will grow.
Psalm 42 : 1-2 & 5-6
“As the deer pants for streams of water,
So my soul pants for you, my God
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God…
My soul is downcast within me;
Therefore I will remember you”.
First, I love how the psalmist goes from saying how much his soul desires God, then shifts to asking his soul “why are you downcast?” I think this shows that we can have both - we can want to desire God and thirst for Him, but sometimes our heart isn’t there yet.
Second, Charles Spurgeon comments on this chapter, “to search out the cause of our sorrow is often the best surgery for grief.” If the desire to be in the Word is gone, get alone with God and pray - ask Him what the cause of your sorrow is - why has your desire gone? Is there an unconfessed sin? Is there something you need to surrender to God?
“Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”
The truth is, there is nothing we should desire more than him. But, even though we know that we should desire Him, what if the desire just isn’t there?
1. Do it anyway. If our desire isn’t there - read your Bible anyway, continue to pray, expect Him to move. A.W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God, says “always, everywhere, God is present, and always He seeks to reveal Himself… Our pursuit of God is successful just because He is forever seeking to manifest Himself to us.” He wants us to come to Him. Therefore, come to Him expecting that He will bring a desire for His Word into your heart. Personally, whenever I haven’t had a deep desire to get into the Word, I do it anyway, and after a few days, my desire begins to grow and grow. I find that the more I read His Word, the more I want to read.
2. Make more room for Him. This might be different for every person - but I know sometimes I get caught up watching too much of The Office, when I should be choosing God’s Word instead. Set a specific time to meet with Him, and keep it!
3. Surrender. Psalm 42 talks about the psalmist’s soul being downcast - but He will remember God. Write out what you think is holding you back. Write a list of ways God has been faithful in your life lately.
God, give me an undivided heart (Psalm 86:11). Grow a desire for you and your Word in my heart today. Help me to eliminate distractions and fears that hold me back. Help me to make more room for you today - in the morning, in the car ride, while working, while doing dishes - during the mundane moments, grow my desire to speak to you, and speak your truth to myself.