Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spiritual Health Check: Thirst

A few years ago I came across the book "Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health" by Donald Whitney.  While I'm often leery of such lists, I found these questions to be challenging and worthy of reflection.  What I particularly appreciated about them was that Whitney has phrased them in such a way that  demonstrates that the Christian life is a journey, and the healthy Christian journey is marked by forward momentum.  So whether you have been following Christ for one week or for 50 years these questions are equally helpful.

So here they are:

1. Do you thirst for God?
2. Are you governed increasingly by God's Word?
3. Are you more loving?
4. Are you more sensitive to God's presence?
5. Do you have a growing concern for the Spiritual and temporal needs of others?
6. Do you delight in the Bride of Christ?
7. Are the Spiritual Disciplines increasingly important to you?
8. Do you still grieve over sin?
9. Are you a quick forgiver?
10. Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?


It is probably helpful to take one of these at a time, for the temptation is to rush through them without a real and genuine searching of the soul.

So for today: Do you thirst for God?

The Psalmist wrote, As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul longs after you O God.

But, do I have that same thirst?  Often times, honestly no.  Perhaps in large part because I drink too deeply at the poisoned waters of what the world around me calls important and enticing.

Bill Thrasher a former professor of mine said, "Idolatry is that which we look to apart from God to meet the thirst and desires of our heart."  Maybe the reason why sometimes I do not thirst for God more readily is because I am foolishly trying to satisfy myself elsewhere.  Instead, may I like Paul in Philippians 3 declare that I count everything loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For his sake, I consider everything else as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.

Do I thirst for God? Yes, just not a deeply as I long to.  And so my prayer is that of A.W. Tozer,

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more.
I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace.  I am ashamed of my lack of desire.
O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made thirsty still.


I hope that you will join me in soberly reflecting on these questions, and seeking God for a greater thirst for Him.

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