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What Kind of a Deer Are You?

October 1, 2012

As a deer pants for flowing streams,

so pants my soul for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God,

for the living God.

When shall I come and appear before God?

Psalm 42:1-2

The first two verses of Psalm 42 are is our memory verse for the month of October in TrinKids. It is a startling image that many of us miss in our English translations. Literally, the picture of the deer in this Psalm is not one of those cute, cuddly ones that you see on the back of a hunting shirt frolicking in fields of wildflowers who goes to sip from the stream every once in a while. The image is much more stark. This deer is almost dead.

The deer Psalm 42 has in mind is one that will soon cease to exist without the nourishment of a stream of water. With this in mind, I have two questions:

1) How easily is your thirst satisfied? One of my favorite quotes is from John Piper, ““If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.” Many of us don’t feel thirsty because we have surrounded our self with false Gods instead of the true God we need to run to time and time again for our sustenance. I have found that I either fall into one of two traps. Either I behave like a drive-thru Christian who can get by with small investments in my relationship with the Lord or I can go to the wrong source for my satisfaction of my spiritual hunger. Notice that the deer needs not a small amount of water, but “flowing streams;” he needs not berries, or leaves, or money, or new homes to satisfy his longing…he needs one thing – water. But O! How many times have I settled for what is merely “enough” and not “flowing?” How many times have I looked to things, people, and approval for my deepest longing when only Jesus can daily satisfy me.

2) What kind of a deer are you? The world the deer lives in is one of treachery. He does not know when his next meal or drink will come. He does not know if today will be the day he is hunted by an animal larger than himself. I would imagine this deer, so near to death, is not fancying himself as the frolicking, flower-bounding, water sipping deer of hunting magazines. He is vulnerable. How safe do you feel as a Christian? How much do you need Jesus…really? Many of us are frolicking, flower-bounding, water sipping Christians. We are completely blind to the dangers around us, to the way the evil one wants to kill and destroy us, and to the persecution of the church worldwide. Let’s open our eyes and realize that we are at war and our only ammunition is the Lord! Satisfy yourself deeply in the flowing stream that is the Lord. He will never cease to satisfy your soul and you should never believe that you have had “enough!” The second you believe that lie, you will begin to pant and will run to the next thing that temporarily satisfies. Set up camp at the stream because you know it is the one thing you need.

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