This morning, I would like to “sum up” what we have learned from our Psalmist thus far in our study of Psalm 119. There are some common themes that run the entire length of this Psalm and recalling them can help to “cement” them in our memory.
David repeatedly refers to his desire to serve God with his entire being – following the course God sets out for him without any wavering. We have explored the truth that a desire is something that we long for or base our hope on. When we have a desire of heart, our heart is moved toward that which we desire with the hopes that we will find absolute fulfillment and enjoyment in what we are moving toward. We are looking for satisfaction of heart, thrill of our soul, or touch of our spirit. That desire “drives us” or gives us a conscious impulse to move in a particular direction.
Part of desire is the idea of hunger. Hunger is most often thought of as a craving for something that promises fulfillment. It carries the idea of urgency – if we don’t get something to satisfy the craving, we might not make it! Hunger differs from appetite. Our appetite is what we tend to “prefer” when we are given a choice. Hunger is a force that demands satisfaction. Many of us refer to our “hunger” as a “craving” – inward yearning for something that promises to meet that intense desire we have at that moment.
All of these terms are inter-related, yet expand upon the other, in describing our hunger, or desire, for the things of God. When we are following God with a determined heart, we have a re-centering of our desire. We begin to focus on different things in which we will find our satisfaction. The things that once brought us fulfillment may no longer seem appealing.
I want to provide an acrostic this morning to help us look at what God longs for our “desire” to be as Christians. He longs for us to have:
• Disciplined lives – a truly hungry Christian will desire training that corrects, or molds, his life. He will yearn for the instruction that gives correction of wrong attitudes, superficial motivations, or impure thoughts. The touch of the hand of the Creator will become the craving of our soul and spirit.
• Equipped lives – no longer settling for the “hand-me-downs” of what other Christians have learned or gleaned from God's Word, but the ability to be furnished with all that will make us fit for service and action in the Kingdom of God. In the pursuit of all that God graciously provides for our daily walk, we receive an equipping for service – learning to rightly divide the Word of God for ourselves, receiving revelation of God’s character in our lives from our times of study and meditation.
• Sanctified lives – not settling for the mediocre in our lives, but pursuing the best. David had learned the value of allowing God to point out the “marks” that sin had made in his life - those things that "scarred" him. He allowed God to show him where his life did not “add up” to things that really amounted to much in the sense of living a pure life. Then, he applied what God taught, embraced the grace God freely gave, and moved out in the God-provided strength to live free from the pull of sin in his life.
• Intimate lives – longing for close association with our Savior, craving contact with him - urgently needing to know him and to be known by him. Intimacy brings us to the idea of transparency – being real about how we feel, how we are interpreting what we are presently experiencing. Intimacy brings us into an awareness of each other that helps us to grow in our relationship. Without intimate sharing of our lives, there is no depth in our fellowship. God’s desire is for us to become so transparent with him in every facet of our lives that we are "comfortable" in his presence, being fully exposed without fear or an inability to trust him with our "exposure".
• Renewed lives – freshness in our walk that revives our inner being. Through times of intimate sharing, necessary discipline, and the embracing of the grace of God in our lives, we come to a place where we are made “vigorous” in our walk. Sin tears us down and saps us of our spiritual energy and excitement. God desires to revive us so that we are flourishing and prosperous in every area of our body, soul and spirit. As we are, we become “active” in our walk – pursuing with intensity, yearning to be satisfied like never before.
• Enlightened lives – not able to stay in the “dark” or to tolerate any darkness in any corners of our lives anymore. There is an intense craving / longing for illumination. When illumination comes, exposure is sure to follow. Enlightened lives are sanctified lives. Sanctified lives are disciplined lives. With enlightened spiritual eyes, we behold truths from God’s Word with a freshness that renews us and draws us closer to the Lover of our soul (Jesus). God holds back nothing when our desire is to be enlightened in every area of our lives – his movement is sensed, his gentle reminders are heard, and his tender nudging of our hearts is heeded.
DESIRE – deeply responding to the intense drive of our hearts to know and experience God at every turn of our day. That is the crux of the message of our Psalmist thus far. Learn to respond to the craving of your heart for more of God! It is a rewarding hunger.