There is a story of a man who, in search of God, came to study at the feet of an old and wise teacher.
The teacher took this young man to a lake and led him out into the water until he was shoulder deep. Then putting his hands firmly around his pupil’s head, he promptly pushed him under the water and held him firmly there until his disciple, feeling he would surely drown, frantically began to repel the old man’s resistance.
In shock and confusion the young man fought desperately. Finally, he broke the firm grip and resurfaced.
He demanded, “What is the meaning of this?!”
His teacher looked him in the eye and said, “When you desire God, just as you desire air, you shall find Him.”
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
The Psalmist captures this same sentiment. The question he poses is not only one of desire, but of survival. We need Christ as a drowning man needs air and as a parched deer needs water.
The initial struggle in all our hearts, whether we acknowledge it or not, is, “How can I exist without knowing God?” And, once this discovery is made, the next phase of desperation demands, “How can I exist without abiding in the living Christ?”
For many, Christianity is simply the religion into which they were born. For others, although Jesus is their Savior, their relationship with Him is hardly more than a history lesson, a study of what He did in the past. However, for those who attain His Presence, Jesus Christ is Savior and a whole lot more: He is their very life!
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
When Jesus is your life, you can not go on without Him.
There are many obstacles that hinders us from finding the Lord.
All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him but did not find him. I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him.
Song of Solomon 3:1,2
We see the bride mourns and her first attempts at seeking her beloved proved fruitless, yet, unlike most of us, she does not stop or terminate her quest.
Another deterrent is the “effects” of drawing near to the Lord: the blessings of encouragement, new understanding of Scripture, or marvelous signs and wonders. We must guard against these signposts becoming our final destination. We must not be deterred by goose bumps or tears, edification or comfort. We must not stop our quest and be distracted by the signpost. We are searching for Jesus Himself!
Also understand, we will not find His fullness by seeking Him merely in convenient times and comfortable places. Being under water is not a comfortable place… being without air is not convenient.
Our quest is a determined, continual seeking which will not end until He is disclosed to us.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Let us look to the seeking bride once more:
The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. “Have you seen the one my heart loves?”
Song of Solomon 3:3
She asks others in her quest. Who else is left to help her find the one she seeks. Her desperation evident; like thrashing just beneath the water surface.
And then, the break through!
Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother’s house, to the room of the one who conceived me.
Song of Solomon 3:4
Have you found the Living Christ or do you sense that there is a distance that remains between you and the Presence of God? This distance is a test. Our call is to possess that love of God which reaches into eternity and brings the glory and the Person of Christ into your life.
Are you desperately seeking… are you out of breath yet?
Press on, be confident, for He has promised that:
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.