Psalm 42:1-8 (KJV)

1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8 Yet the Lord will command his loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

Do you want to know who God is and what He cares about most in your life?

You may have stored up lots of intellectual information about the Bible; that is important, but it’s not the main issue. You may serve the Lord, which is also necessary. And you may give generously to the church—another significant aspect of Christian life. But what matters most is the depth of your personal relationship with the Lord.

Knowledge, service, and tithes can never replace intimacy with God.

The psalmist-king understood this truth, and it strengthened him in times of trouble. When his son Absalom tried to take over the throne, David fled to the desert, where he wrote these words: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps. 42:1-2). He knew that even in raging adversity, he could count on the Lord’s unfailing love being poured down on him (v. 8).

Throughout his psalms, we repeatedly see David’s hunger and thirst for the Lord.

It was that passion—not his brute strength, savvy charisma, or remarkable ability to command an army—that made him a great man. And even though he made several significant mistakes, the Bible describes him as a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14).

It’s not enough to read the Bible, volunteer your services, and give money to kingdom work. God wants to know you personally. While physical expressions of our devotion are important, they should be the result of a mature relationship with God.

When we seek to know Him first, the rest will follow.

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