These past few months I have been very intentional with my water drinking. Most people do not drink enough water, and even though I love water, it was clear I wasn’t drinking the recommended amount. Typically, we drink other liquids higher in a caloric intake, or we confuse thirst for hunger, and we end up eating and drinking a lot of calories to fill the void. For a healthier lifestyle, I recognized the need to drink deeply. As I have been tracking my intake and noticed a great increase from my daily due diligence, I have also noticed I’m even more thirsty for water. I am able to recognize that my body wants water, not a candy bar. I am seeing positive results from being intentional with my water drinking.
Today’s verse is one of those verses you can close your eyes and envision, especially if you live in Pennsylvania. I have seen deer crossing over to seek water. As it is essential to life, the deer make the journey to the streams that flow, because this is where the deer will have the necessary water to drink deep and be satisfied. Maybe you miss the awesomeness of this verse because you do not need to journey out for your water. When you work harder for something, you appreciate it more. I can imagine the deer are so happy when they get to partake of the water they sought.
What does this mean for us? Does your soul long for God? This is a tricky question. The truth is we are all longing for our Father God. We spend our lives seeking Him out. The problem is we can get sidetracked and replace God to worship something other than God. The truth is your soul is always longing for God—you may not realize it. As you are more intentional with seeking Him, you will find your thirst for Him increases. You will notice you true desire for Him. You will recognize when you are struggling because you lack time with Him. You will want nothing more than to drink deeply with God. Allow His power and His presence to move within you. You will be overwhelmed.
“I long to drink of you, O God, drinking deeply from the streams of pleasure flowing from your presence. My longings overwhelm me for more of you!” – Psalm 42:1 [TPT]
It is hard to be committed to something. In life, we must be committed to something. For those who are married, you should be committed to your marriage. For those who are employed, you should be committed to your work. If you have children, you should be committed to raising the children. When we look at commitments to God, we must look at a wholehearted commitment.
What does it mean to be wholeheartedly committed? It means that you are not waking up one day ready to serve Jesus and then serving yourself the next day. Wholehearted commitment is about consistency. It is about sacrifice. It is about being all in, without holding anything back.
Today, ask if you are wholeheartedly committed. Do you love God with all your heart? Do you love the God with all your soul? Do you love God with all your strength? Are you committed to the Lord? Are you holding something back? Could you just step away from serving Him tomorrow, like nothing would change? Are you blown from place to place without any roots, or are you wholeheartedly committed?
“And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.” – Deuteronomy 6:5-6 [NLT]
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.”
– Psalm 62:5 [NIV]
The beginning of a year always brings resolutions and as we near the end of the month, most of the resolutions no longer are fresh in our minds because they ended weeks ago. One resolution many Christians make is to devote more time to reading the Bible and more time for prayer. Some people may have decided to follow through with a daily devotional. It is very important to have some quiet time with God each day, time where you are able to wait on Him, read His Word, speak with Him, and hear what He has to say to you.
If you have made a resolution similar to this, but have fallen short of the goal already, do not be hard on yourself. Start where you left off and keep pressing forward. God is waiting. If you haven’t made a resolution, but you are considering spending more time with God now, consider finding a Daily Devotional that will help you with your daily reading. There are so many different options available, some which are delivered via email, are presented in a RSS feed, or can even be found on a smart phone app.
I can honestly say that Daily Devotional time has always been a struggle for me. I have to do it first thing in the morning or it doesn’t happen. Something I have just started recently however is to have afternoon and evening devotional time as well, because I find it is beneficial for my walk with Christ.
Here’s a list of twelve of the Daily Devotionals available online that I use daily and/or occasionally. Why twelve? I love that number. I recommend them all; however, if it is something you are considering, please look at each of them to see which one helps you the most. The purpose of a Daily Devotional is to have some time with God. It’s all about God and you – on the relationship that matters most!
Devotionals I Use /I’ve Used / I Recommend:
- My Utmost For His Highest (Oswald Chambers) – simply LOVE this devotional
- In Touch Ministries (Dr. Charles Stanley) – constantly gleaning from this devotional
- Joni & Friends (Joni Eareckson Tada) – always insightful & must read daily
- PD Daily Hope (Rick Warren) – simple, insightful, great devotional
- BGEA: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – nicely formatted, insightful
- Joyce Meyer – good daily devotional
- Our Daily Bread – nice devotional, possibly found in your church
- Daily Grace Inspirations (Joseph Prince) – nice devotional focused on God’s grace
- The Upper Room – nice devotional
- Spurgeon’s Daily Meditations (Charles Spurgeon) – insightful, available AM & PM
- Harvest (Greg Laurie) – good devotional
- Heartlight SpiritFire (Phil Ware) – good devotional
“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.”
– Psalm 42:1 [GW]
As a parent, a dog owner, and a former caretaker, I have made an observation. When there is something that may seem to be dangerous to a person or a pet, people and animals feel safer in the situation if there is someone between them and the danger. I can note that my best friend would most likely jokingly say that if I was between the danger, it gives her a chance to push me toward the danger and run. All joking aside, the truth is that we feel comfort knowing we are not alone with the situation, and there is this protective barrier that causes us to feel safe as well. My children were not so scared to approach the scary looking clown when they were little if I was standing on the side closest to the clown. It gave them security. They knew they were safe with mum.
We have a barrier of protection from God our Father. We are facing much more than scary looking clowns in this life, but God promises us that we are under His protective wing. “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge” (Psalm 91:4a NASB). The Bible says that “He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11 NASB). Isaiah 49:2 says that the shadow of God’s hand conceals us, and we can rest knowing that our walls are continually before Him (v.16).
God is between us and the world, protecting us from evil. This is not saying that evil will not come our way. It simply means that He will keep protection of our soul. When we are His children, we have the promise of victory in Christ. We have the promise of everlasting life with Him. There will be evil– bad things will come your way– but you can find comfort knowing that God is between you and the evil. He is your barrier of protection. You are able to seek Him at all times and at any location to help you walk by whatever is trying to break you down, cause you to fall, and disrupt your life. We never need to do life alone.
“The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.”
– Psalm 121:7-8 [NASB]