We Have to Want God

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

— Psalm 34

Here is an excerpt from this morning’s Lent Project devotional by Jessica Snell, based in part on Psalm 34:

“‘Come, you children,’ invites David, ‘I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life?’ You have to desire life. You have to want peace. Oh my soul, you have to actually want God!

And I don’t always. So often I turn my face from Him. It is easier to read Twitter. It is easier to watch TV. I know that sounds simplistic, oh my soul. I know you’ll just say, “yeah, yeah.”

But, it’s true. Oh my soul, you have to say no to some of the things that are eating up your time. Because you are finite. You just cannot pay attention to all the things. Oh my soul, you are not that BIG. You cannot say yes to time with God without saying no to time with something else.

And you have to actually want God, because there really isn’t life without Him—not life, not peace, not any good and green growing thing. No trees planted by streams of water, yielding their fruit in due season. Not without God. All of that is from Him, you see. He is the river where the water flows.”

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
––from The Book of Common Prayer

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