Pressing into God and finding strength in your wilderness experience

“O God of my life, I’m lovesick for you in this weary wilderness. I thirst with the deepest longings to love you more, with cravings in my heart that can’t be described. Such yearning grips my soul for you, my God! I’m energized every time I enter your heavenly sanctuary to seek more of your power and drink in more of your glory. For your tender mercies mean more to me than life itself. How I love and praise you, God! Daily I will worship you passionately and with all my heart. My arms will wave to you like banners of praise. I overflow with praise when I come before you, for the anointing of your presence satisfies me like nothing else. You are such a rich banquet of pleasure to my soul. I lie awake each night thinking of you and reflecting on how you help me like a father. I sing through the night under your splendor-shadow, offering up to you my songs of delight and joy! With passion I pursue and cling to you. Because I feel your grip on my life, I keep my soul close to your heart.”

Psalm 63:1- 8 TPT

The context of this snapshot of David’s life is at a time where he is being pursued by Saul; hunted like a criminal, running for his life. He is homeless, displaced; a refugee. He’s desperately seeking a way out of a very dry, bleak and desolate wilderness. He’s hard pressed on all sides and knows what it’s like to be in dire need.

Now you and I may not be in an actual desert, but we know exactly how David is feeling at this moment. Because like me, you have experienced, or even now experiencing, a tough spiritual season. You know what it’s like to feel dry and desolate; like you are in a desert place spiritually. You know what it’s like to feel you are all alone, to be at your wits-end!

David is at that place. He is tired, and he is desperate. But instead of running away from God or blaming God; instead of shaking his fist at God, giving up or having a tantrum; David presses into God and finds strength to carry on until breakthrough and deliverance comes.  Do you press into God when the going gets tough? Do you hunger and thirst for more of God during these moments? I would like to say I do, but there are times when I run in the opposite direction; withdraw from God and look at other things to help me through my wilderness moments. But even when I do, I always end up coming back to the one who has everything I need to get through my tough time – GOD!

In this account, we find David clinging to the only solution that would get him through those wilderness days. He made it quite clear that the answer to thirsty, dry and troubled lives, is God and God alone. So, what did David do in times of dryness and weariness? His answer and the solution are laid out for us in these eight verses of Psalm 63. So, when next you and I face a dry desert-like experience, let’s do the same. David did the following:

  • Crave and hunger for more of God. Be earnest in your search for God (vs.1) – he is with you even when it gets tough.
  • Thirst for God (vs.1) – drink from the unending fountain of who he is. He is all you need.
  • Press into the heavenly sanctuary to seek more of His power (vs.2)
  • Praise and worship God (vs.3,5) – even when you don’t feel like it. Thanksgiving creates the atmosphere for him to work in.
  • Lift your hands to God and reach out for Him (vs.4) This stance shows Him your desperate reliance upon Him.
  • Think and reflect upon God (vs.6) – when we know His nature we can trust Him. So, meditate on God and who He is. You let go when you truly know God.
  • Sing to God for joy (vs.7). This is a direct response to letting Go and letting God have ‘control’.
  • Passionately pursue and cling to God (vs.8). Continue to seek Him first and His Kingdom and then all these other things will be added to you (Matt 6:33).

During the times spent in the wilderness, David sought after and longed for more of God. He knew that God was the only one who could quench his thirst and sustain him as he walked through desert-times. He found encouragement and renewed courage in the time spent with his God.  My hope is that we will do the same.

When next you face a dry desert time, ask yourself two questions:

  • What will my soul thirst for – over, above and beyond all else?
  • What will I long for when I find myself in a "wilderness"?

David is a great role model whenever we go through wilderness experiences. He clung to God until his breakthrough came. Can we do the same; where we’ll be found singing our songs of joy and delight?