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Psalm 63:1 says, “O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
I read this verse the other day and in the margin of my Bible I found that I had written these words from a long ago message – “rising in immediate pursuit”. These words were directly across from the word earnestly. As I looked at the original language of this verse, I found that earnestly can mean not only rising in immediate pursuit, but also “early, diligently, seeking, to look early or diligently for”. Every time I came across this word, it referenced not just a diligent seeking, but an early seeking.
I thought about the children of Israel in Exodus 16:21. Every morning on their journey through the wilderness they woke up and gathered manna for the day. It says, “And they gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt.” If the Israelites did not gather in the morning, the manna for that day was gone. The day simply melted it away.
This makes me wonder how often I have left my daily bread laying in my study and tried to live through my day without the nourishment that the Lord has provided? How many times have I woke up only to decide that immediate pursuit was unnecessary? How often have I assumed that the same provision would be provided later in the day? If I were truly yearning for my Lord as the psalmist describes, wouldn’t I want the provision for the day to be immediate? If I realized what a dry and weary land I was being asked to wander through, wouldn’t I want to seek His sustenance quickly? As soon as possible?
More definitions of earnestly included: “look early, diligently for, look for dawn; do something betimes, enquire early, seek betimes, seek diligently early, in the morning…” Like I said, every time I looked, earnestly was connected with early. And not just early, but a seeking for the object , or person, over and over again, not just one time.
This is a great checkpoint for me. If I really want something, I wake up thinking about it. If I need something desperately, I don’t wait until I get around to it. If at all possible, I want it now! Christmas morning is a great example of this. I don’t know about you and your family, but my family wakes up earlier than the sun to rip open those presents. No waiting for us! That’s because we wake up earnestly seeking those gifts. We are continually thinking about them. We want them as soon as possible because we are excited about what they will provide for us. When we truly want something, we want it early. When we are excited and expectant about what God has for us, we get up early to seek it.
I also found it interesting that when I looked for other passages in the Bible with this same word, earnestly, it most often appeared in Job, the Psalms and Proverbs. These books tell us of two of the most desperate men in the Bible and the wisest. We need to be wise enough to be desperate for God. When we are desperate, we seek what we need as soon as possible.
Am I saying that if we don’t wake up immediately and seek our Lord that we are in sin? No. What I’m saying is that if we aren’t waking up desperate to be in God’s presence, desperate to spend alone time with Him as soon as possible we need to ask God to get us that way. The psalmist says, “my soul thirsts for Thee.” If my soul is not thirsty for God, I need to be asking why. The psalmist says, “my flesh yearns for Thee in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” If our flesh is not yearning for our Lord, we need to ask if we have forgotten that we are living in a dry and weary land. Have we forgotten that this is not our home? Our flesh yearns for more than what this world can offer because it knows only God can satisfy.
When we try to satiate our hunger and thirst in ways other than God, that’s when the real trouble begins. But, when we earnestly seek Him, as early as possible because we know we can’t make it without Him, we are refreshed, renewed and strengthened.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” When we seek God, it’s never a waste of time. It’s never a waste of energy. He always comes through to sustain, nourish and guide us through our day.
Let’s earnestly seek Him today.