Psalms 42:1-2 ESV
“As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?”
Do you know that this is what our relationship with God should be like? We should thirst for our Lord like we thirst for water when our throats are parched. We should hunger after him and his righteousness. Our desire should be for him to do his will. We should long for him and for our times of intimate fellowship with him. And we should want to obey him.
We shouldn’t be like, “I don’t have to repent of my sins. I don’t have to obey the Lord. Jesus did it all for me, so I don’t have to do anything. He forgave me of my sins so my sins no longer matter to God. I can sin as much and as often as I want and I am still saved from my sins and heaven is still my eternal destiny.”
Not only is that morally wrong, and biblically wrong, but it shows a total lack of respect, honor and love for our Lord who gave it all up for us on that cross to deliver us out of our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. It is like a slap in the face to God for all he did for us so that we could be freed from the control of sin over our lives.
Yet, that is the attitude of so many people today professing faith in Jesus Christ. They believe they can live in gross immorality, and that they can deliberately and habitually engage in what is wicked, evil, and immoral, and that they can still be in relationship with the Lord and that they are still saved and bound for heaven.
“Repentance,” to many of those who even believe in that at all, is a mere confession of sin, but not in the sense of agreeing with God about their sin, which includes agreeing with him about the solution for their sin, but it is just admitting that what they did was wrong. But they may minimize the sin and lessen the offense to something like “I messed up.”
So, they refuse to see themselves as living in addiction to sin, and they will then convince themselves that each offense is covered by the blood of Jesus and that all they have to do is admit they sinned and then on they go repeating the same sinful practices over and over again.
So, am I saying that we have to live in absolute sinless perfection? No! For, if we could, Jesus would not have had to die for our sins on that cross. But the Scriptures are very clear on why Jesus died for us and what that should result in and that if our lives don’t bear those results that we are not “in Christ,” and we don’t know him, and we will not inherit eternal life.
If we are truly “in Christ,” by God-given faith in him, we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin that we might live to God and to his righteousness. We should have forsaken our lives of sin to now walk with our Lord in obedience to his commands. Our desire should no longer be to fulfill the lusts of our flesh, but our desire should be for the Lord, to please Him.
We should want the Lord Jesus to be ruler of our lives, and for us to submit to him and to his will and purposes. We should delight in obeying his commands (New Covenant). And we should want to go where he sends us and to do what he has called us to do, even if it costs us friendships and family members, and even if we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2]
Psalms 42:3 ESV
“My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
‘Where is your God?’”
The Scriptures teach that the Christian life is a life of suffering for the sake of the name of Jesus and for the sake of righteousness and for the sake of the gospel of our salvation. For, we are to share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, becoming like him in his death on that cross. And that death was him putting sin to death so we would die with him to sin and live for him.
When we hunger and thirst after the Lord Jesus and after his righteousness, and we walk in fellowship with him, and in obedience to his commands, and our goal now is to please him in all that we do, we are going to be persecuted. We are going to be opposed. We are going to have people, even professing Christians, fighting against us.
Especially if we are sharing publicly the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are standing opposed to sinful practices and to false teachings and false gospels, and we are exposing the lies, and we are proclaiming the truth, Satan is going to come against us, and he will use other humans to do his dirty work, perhaps even some people who are very close to us.
We will be mocked, made fun of, called names, thought crazy, and falsely accused. And the devil will try to lay traps for us to try to trip us up so that he will have cause to accuse us in hopes that he can discredit us or in hopes that he can frighten us into giving up and to backing away. For, his goal is to destroy us and to stop us from sharing the gospel.
Sometimes this kind of persecution is not frequent and fierce, and other times it is. When the devil pours it on through his willing messengers it can get very trying, which then can result in us crying, probably most especially us females, but that may not be true of every female.
But having people opposing us and attacking us and using wicked schemes against us to try to trip us up or to try to get us to retreat can be very difficult, at times, especially at times when we are physically or emotionally weak because of sickness or because of other things going on in our lives.
But this is where we turn to the Lord. If Satan is throwing his lies at us to try to confuse us, or if he is using Scripture against us in an unbiblical way to try to trap us or to try to trick us into some kind of compromise of convictions, this is where we must put on that Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and we must fight off Satan’s lies against us.
We must know what the Scriptures teach so that we can use them accurately and biblically to fight off Satan’s lies against us. So, when we are under attack, we need to go to the Scriptures, and we need to seek the Lord, and call on the Lord for help and for answers, and he will help us if we are willing to listen to Him and to do what he says to do.
Our Lord Jesus, who is God, is the one we are to run to when we are in distress, and when we are going through difficulties, and when the enemy of our souls is attacking us even through other humans. And we need to see that we belong to Him. And he must always be our first love, the one we desire above all else. He must be in first place in our lives.
When he is in first place, and we are hungering and thirsting after him and his righteousness, and when our lives are surrendered to him, and we are committed to doing his will, that shows how much we love him. For, to love God is to obey him and to serve him and to do his will.
A love song to our Lord Jesus
You’re still the one I run to
The one that I belong to
You’re still the one I want for life
You’re still the one that I love
The only one I dream of…
Ain’t nothin’ better
[Lyrics taken from a secular song called “You’re Still the One” by Robert John Lange and Shania Twain]