Pleasant Run Baptist Church
Psalm 42:1-3 As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for
the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have
been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, "Where is
How much do we love God? All too often we serve God when it becomes
convenient to us. IF we take the convenience out of it, we would never
go to church the way we should and never read our Bible the way we should.
David says, "My soul thirsts for God." In other words he is saying,
"My relationship with God is the most important thing in my life." Can
we say that? I doubt it. If we were to be honest, I wonder just
how much we would willingly say that we thirst for God. The problem is
that people are not willing to go out for God. We just want to know we
are saved, that our sins are forgiven and that we will just limp through
life. That is not the relationship God desires with His children.
Jesus said, "Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst for righteousness
for they shall be filled." If you are hungry and thirsty enough, you
will not let anything stop you from being filled. Are we so thirsty
for God that we would do whatever it takes to serve Him, even if it costs us
our lives? Honestly, I am not sure I can raise my hand and say that I
would. You say, "But you are a preacher." Yes, I am a preacher
and I love it that I have a nice home and a loving family and church family.
I love it that I have a nice car to drive." But what if things were
different. If I didn't have all these nice things, would I serve God
the way I serve Him now.
The point I am trying to make is that if you do not have a thirst for God,
you will not be filled to the overflow for God, no matter what your
circumstances may be. If we are so content in serving Him when it is
convenient to us, rather than serving Him when it is the most important
thing in our lives, our priorities are all wrong. Some of us want God
close enough that we have Him to call on when we need Him, but far enough
away that we don't have to put up with Him. Sadly, that is the
attitude of the average believer. We want Him to stay far enough away
that we don't have Him looking over our shoulder.
David says, "I desire the Lord; my soul thirst after God. As the deer
panteth after the water brooks, so my soul panteth after God."
What if our country became like China and we could not openly serve God the
way we do now. What if our country becomes like the Middle East
countries where practicing Christianity would cost you your life. What
would the average church service be like? I hope and pray I will not
see that in my lifetime. However, I am afraid that is going to happen.
Our country is slipping more everyday into this kind of treatment for
I am talking to you Christians today. Is your salvation the most
cherished thing in your life? If God is not the most important thing
in your life your priorities are out of whack. God must be first.
He will never be second or third. I am not content to stay as I am.
I am not satisfied to maintain the status quo. I want to be closer to
Him. I want my mind to be closer to Him. I want my life to be
fully surrendered to Him. That should be what every Christian wants
his life to be -- to be more like Jesus. There are those with problems
in their family and they will not get those problems fixed until they fall
head-over-heels in love with God. Let me tell you just how I thing God
There was a rich young ruler who came to Jesus one time and asked this
question, "Good Master, what must I do to inherit the kingdom of God?"
Jesus answered, "Lay everything down that you have and come, follow me."
The young ruler would not do that and he walked away from Jesus. As
much as he wanted to walk with Jesus, he left very sad because he could not
give up his wealth. The point is, God is not going to demand
everything you have in order to follow Him. He only wants to know that
you are willing to surrender all that you have for Him.
Abraham and Sarah prayed for a child for many years. God promised them
a son and eventually He gave Isaac to them. God told Abraham to take
Isaac to the mountain and offer him as a sacrifice. Abraham did what
God commanded him to do. He prepared the fire and brought the water.
"Where is the sacrifice, father," Isaac said. "God will supply one, my
son," Abraham answered. Just as Abraham laid Isaac on the altar and
brought up the knife to take his son's life, the angel of God said, "Do him
no harm." God merely wanted to see how far Abraham would go with Him.
Most of us would never have gone up on the mountain in the first place.
And most of us would never have laid our child on the altar. But
because Abraham was willing to do what God asked of him, God blessed Abraham
and He blessed Isaac.
We must serve God with all our strength, all our heart, all our mind and all
our soul. Can we say that today?
Why would David shed tears? Because his life was a wreck!
Through his own disobedience his life was in turmoil. Each tear
represented this one thing -- where is God? I don't know what you are
dealing with today -- maybe a family situation or trouble on your job, maybe
spiritual or financial. I don't know, but let me say this to you,
"Bring God the ashes of your failed dreams." God allows us to be
broken sometimes so He can put us back together again. When all these
bad things happen, we may question, "Where is God?" But remember one
thing -- God is good. On the operating table God is good. God is
good when we are on our sickbed. God is good when our spouse
walks out on us. God is good when our children are in trouble.
God is good all the time. God is good in spite of us.
Don't be like the rich young ruler. Don't leave here thinking you
cannot serve God because there are some things you are not willing to give
up. "I cannot give up my fun, my good times; I am not ready to stop
sowing my wild oats." I say to you, "You are going to stop
sowing wild oats eventually. So if I were you, I would go ahead and
lay them down. Give it all to God."
I surrender all; I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior; I surrender all.
Pastor JR Fields
August 22, 2010