Psalm 63:1, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.”
There is a vast difference between religion and relationship with Father God. Here’s what religion is like: religion is like trudging through the desert (that dry and thirsty land like David spoke of) and seeing a mirage in the distance. It looks refreshing. It looks like water. But the closer you get, you are let down…it was just a mirage…it was just religion. You see, in our pursuit of God, religion does not satisfy, only a deep, intimate relationship with our Father. From a distance religion may look good, feel good and sound good but it’s only a mirage of the real thing.
We CANNOT truly know God without a relationship with Him. Father NEVER intended for a one sided relationship with Him. Remember what Adam had in Garden of Eden? Walking and talking with His Father. They enjoyed sweet communion together until sin entered the picture. You see, our hearts were designed to live in Eden, enjoying sweet communion with Father. And anything less than that does not satisfy. So good hearted people on their journey to find the joy of knowing Father, “in a dry and thirsty land”, will many times settle for religion and not relationship. There is no lasting joy in religion in and of itself. Religion is supposed to point us to relationship not the other way around.
Here’s what relationship with Father is like: it’s like trudging through that same desert (life), you are hungry and thirsty. And in the distance you see what looks like an oasis. Could it be? The closer you get, joy begins to fill your heart…and it is just that…a beautiful oasis! You sit under the shade of the trees (Song of Songs 2:3) and enjoy the fruit. You are refreshed. Your heart is glad and satisfied. You feel such great peace. You have completely forgot about the difficult journey that it took to get there. You are lovesick. You feel His presence. You enjoy His fellowship. Love for Him grips your heart and your heart is wide open to receive Father’s great love for you. This is where you literally feel Father’s banner of love over you (Song of Songs 2:4) It’s where you experience sweet communion with the Father. Beloved, this is relationship.
We find this “oasis” of divine fellowship and communion throughout each day. Father longs for you to encounter Him in this way. He has so much to show you and share with you. He wants to talk to you about your past, present and future. He longs for you to receive and know the depths of His amazing love. Finding Father in desert places is one of the greatest experiences of living on this earth. Refuse anything less. Ask Father to remove all that hinders relationship. Whether it’s old religious thinking, sin, old hurt and wounds, etc. Come away and be with Father God. You are loved and He is pursuing you now. Enjoy Father’s fellowship today and every day!
Ryan Bruss, Director