Psalm 42:1-2 “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God?”
By: Chris Kipp, Planter & Pastor of Renaissance Church in Richmond, TX
June 5, 2019
Skim through the biographies of any great saint that was used of God in any awakening or revival and you’re bound to find ardent prayer. This seems to be the case in the book of Acts. Peter, while in Joppa, is waiting for a meal to be prepared so he slips away and prays himself into a “trance.” (Acts 10:10) You know the story, he sees a vision of a huge sheet coming down from heaven full of unkosher animals. A voice says, “What God has made clean do not call impure.” The vision occurs three times and, shortly thereafter, the Gentiles are awakened to the gospel.
Curious things happen in prayer. I think of Daniel praying and repenting for the sins of his people, Israel, because he understood the Scriptures concerning the desolation of Jerusalem. (Dan. 9:1-19) He got way more than he bargained for, didn’t he? It was in prayer five years ago that the Spirit whispered into my soul, “Plant a church.” Months later, in prayer He whispered again, “Richmond.” What an adventure that has been! I bet you have some stories like that, too. Perhaps God gave a needed word, a revelation of the Word, a strategic insight, a special vision, or an entirely new life direction. Prayer awakens us to God himself and, thereby, to a whole world of wonderful purposes and possibilities.
I love how A.W. Tozer describes this prayerful relationship of the awakened soul to God: “The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the spirit of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion.” “The throbbing heart,” the white-hot center of our present, spiritual reality is that Jesus opened a way for you and I to confidently enter the Holy of Holies. (Heb. 10:19-22) The sign on the Most Holy Place reads, “Now Open.” This is utterly astounding! Here, in this sacred, secret abiding we offer and receive, we fast and feast, we seek and we find.
The question I want to pose in light of this is, “What do you want?” Do you want to go in? Do you long for God like “the deer longs for flowing streams?” Do you thirst for the Living God? Are you raring to come before Him? Do you really want revival and awakening? Sadly, it seems the answer of scores of too-easily-satisfied, busy, distracted Christians is, “Not really.” But, I do hope for a different answer from you: “Yes!!!” Oh, may we go ardently in... again and again and again! May we be awakened. May we be children of the burning heart. For, as Tozer famously wrote, “He waits to be wanted.”
Father, I hunger, I thirst, I long for You. I hunger to hunger more. I thirst to thirst more. I long to be filled with greater longing for You. I want You, and I want to want you more. Spirit, we receive the renewal, revival and awakening that only You can bring. In Jesus’ victorious name, AMEN!