Are you hungry? I don’t mean are you hungry for food, but are you hungry for God? There is a famine in our land for the Word of the Lord and we as biblical counselors must maintain a vital relationship with our Father, so that we have something to give to those in whom we invest.
Psalm 63 was written by David when he was out in the wilderness. He was hungry and thirsty for his God. David writes this beautiful Psalm and gives us nine wonderful keys that we would do well to pay attention to as we think about God being our all-consuming passion.
Psalm 63—“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You, In a dry and thirsty land, Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek my life, to destroy it, Shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword; They shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.”
9 Keys for Maintaining a Vital Relationship with God
There are nine keys for maintaining a vital relationship with God which I have put in the acrostic THIRSTING
Take time for Worship—Even though David was out in the wilderness, his desire was to be in the sanctuary as mentioned in verse 2. The temptation at times might be to omit worship on the Lord’s Day for other activities. As biblical counselors, our priority must be to worship with the local assembly. We must set an example for those who we would counsel. Is the gathering with the saints a priority for you?
Have a praise-worthy attitude—Is it noteworthy that even though David was not surrounded by things familiar as he was out in the wilderness, his desire was one of praising His God as seen in verse 3. Our counselees should see us praising our Lord even if we are in the middle of a desert. Do they?
If you’re up late, meditate on Him—David’s desire even when he is awake in the night watches is to be meditating on God. He ponders this thought in verse 6. Oh, that we would be like King David whose first thoughts are of God (early will I seek You—verse 1), and his last thoughts before sleep are of God. Is the Lord the first thought of your morning and your last thought at night?
Rejoice in the Lord—David says in verse 11 that he will rejoice in the Lord. We have a wonderful opportunity for our counselees to see us go through trials and yet retain our joy. Do those you counsel see the joy of the Lord in your life even when things are bleak?
Seek Him early—David begins this Psalm with “O Elohim, O God my Creator, early will I seek you.” Early is a word which means the early dawn. David says I will seek you diligently. God was number one on David’s agenda for His day. Is God your number one priority of your day?
Trust God with your strained relationships—David had many enemies in his life, and he refers to them in verses 9 and 10. We also make many enemies in this life, and so do those we counsel. David knew that ultimately God would take care of those who were desiring to bring him to ruin. Do you trust God with your difficult relationships?
Inquire of God to help you—David mentions that God has been his helper in verse 7. The Hebrew actually means “helpers.” God helped David numerous times throughout his pilgrimage. God is our helper as well, but we must ask Him to help us. We have not, because we do not ask. Do you inquire of God to help you as you counsel those He has placed in your path?
Never leave Him—David writes in verse 8 that he is following close behind God. He is sticking to God like glue. As biblical counselors, we must always be abiding in Him and He in us, or we will never be effective as counselors. Are you abiding in the Vine?
God must be your appetite, not your appetite your god!—David writes in verse 5 that his soul is satisfied with marrow and fatness, which are two Hebrew words which signify fat or rich food. David probably was not surrounded by much food in the wilderness, but his spiritual appetite was more on his mind than his physical appetite. David found that praising God was satisfying to his soul, just like the richest foods satisfied his body. Is God your appetite or is your appetite your god? He must be our all-consuming passion. Is He yours? Are you thirsting for God in this barren land?
May we drink deeply from the riches of our God and His Word so that we have spiritual nourishment to give to those we counsel. May we be ever so hungry and thirsty for our God, no matter what, that our counselees will follow us, ever hungering and ever thirsting for their God.