You are not willing to come to Me so that you may have life.—John 5:40
In Psalm 42:1, the psalmist states, “As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.” Why do most Christians not long for God in this way? Because to long for God means we must get in touch with the deep thirst that is at the center of our being and acknowledge our basic helplessness—a feeling which our fallen human nature deeply dislikes.
Most of us instinctively draw back from dealing with this stubborn commitment to independence, pretending we are all right as we are. It is much easier to pretend we are thirsting after God than it is to face the challenge of giving up our commitment to independence.
I am conscious that the challenge I am putting before you is one I want to deny in my own life. There is something in me that would like to think—and would like you to think—that I have a heart that thirsts for God. But I know that if I stop short of identifying my independent strategies for finding life on my own and giving them up, I will never get in touch with the deep thirst for God that exists at the core of my being.
What is the answer? I must ask God to search my heart, expose my self-centered motivations, and help me see just where it is that I stop short of panting after Him.
You see, the more deeply we sense our thirst, the more passionately we will pursue water. But we will never sense that thirst until we are willing to face the fact that we may be drinking more from our own self-constructed wells than from the wells of God.
Father, I tremble as I recognize this tendency within me to walk right past the fountain of living water and drink from a well of my own making. But help me to recognize it for what it really is—not just a terrible tendency, but a terrible sin. Amen.