Together in Christ: 'Satisfaction Is Found Only in Experiencing God!' — Psalm 63:1-5

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.

— Psalm 63:1-5 NLT

Key Thought

I fear that sometimes our practice of church-based religiosity — instead of the relational experience of God rooted in Jesus and the Holy Spirit — makes the language of this psalm of David feel overstated, hyperbolic, and out-of-step with our personal experiences. We have replaced knowing God with knowing about God through our church experiences. This leaves us with a "God-shaped vacuum" that we cannot fill with earthly "stuff" and "religious busy-ness"! [1]

David, the psalmist, was a man after God's own heart. [2] As he composed the psalm that gives us today's verses, he was on the run from King Saul who was trying to kill him. Saul's pursuit separated David from the life and people he loved, so he yearned for God to be near. So, David's words are no overstatement of his agonizing need for God! [3] His words also challenge us to rouse from our spiritual sloth. David's deeply personal words call us back to yearning for and seeking after God. We must never settle for merely knowing about God — just going through the religious motions. [4] God wants us to seek after, find, and know Him. [5]

God wants to be so real to us that life without Him loses its meaning and value. The opposite of this listless spiritual lack of meaning and value is the joy of experiencing God's presence and being caught up in the food, friendship, and joyous praise of genuine Christian fellowship. So, let's refuse to settle for routine church worship as a substitute experience for God's presence. Christian assembly and worship — when we seek the presence of God as our Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — can be invigorating and life-altering. Stretching to forgive others as we live in genuine Jesus-shaped relationships, compassionately caring for others in need, and making disciples by going, baptizing, and training them to follow Jesus open us to experience Immanuel, God with us. If, like me, you occasionally find yourself yearning for more of God in the ebb and flow of church life, then come back to Psalm 63 and let David's inspired words be our own. Let's yearn for more of God in our lives and less religiosity! Let's seek God because there is a vacuum, a hole, that only the presence of the King of Glory can fill!

[1] Blaise Pascal's statement could be summarized and applied to us this way: In the heart of every person, there is a God-shaped vacuum which no created thing can fill; only God, made known through Jesus Christ, can fill it. We try to cover over this hole with all sorts of false facades. Eventually, however, without Jesus, we see nothing but the endless abyss of our nothingness.
[2] 1 Samuel 13:13-14; Acts 13:23.
[3] 1 Samuel 19:1-31:13 shares this full story of Saul's pursuit of David with all its twists and turns.
[3] Thirteen chapters of 1 Samuel, beginning with 1 Samuel 19, share this full story of Saul's pursuit of David with all its twists and turns.
[4] Eternal life, genuine life that matters now and forever, is knowing and experiencing God and Jesus, the One Whom God sent to reveal Himself to us — Amos 5:4-6; John 1:1-18; 17:1-4.
[5] Acts 17:27.

Today's Prayer

O God, I seek You as Father, Son, and Spirit. My soul, heart, and life are empty without the experience of Your presence. I refuse, YHWH, the Eternal One the only God, to settle for a life without You. Please make Your presence known to me, in me, and through me so that I might honor You fully with my heart, soul, mind, and strength. As the Spirit intercedes for me and I pray in Jesus' name, I ask that You are pleased, dear Father. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 63:1-11
  • 1 Samuel 26:1-25

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Illustration

Illustration of Psalm 63:1-5 NLT — O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.