As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. -Psa. 42:1
One of my favorite devotionals of late is called Voices from the Past Edited by Richard Rushing. It is a compilation of puritan devotional readings for every day of the year. Every morning I wake up, I look forward to reading the next page from this book even though each excerpt is quite admonishing. It’s like taking a daily multivitamin. Each selection is thought provoking and offers me personal encouragement and teaching to meditate on all day from such old great favorite writers and preachers such as John Owen, John Flavel, Thomas Watson, Thomas Manton, John Bunyan and introduces me to the writings of several new ones who I had never heard of before.
I wanted to share with you one particular entry that I enjoyed reading from earlier this month, May 1st. It reminded me so much of something I had written back in January as one of my Morning Meds a devotional called Seeking His Presence. I love how the Lord emphasizes a truth to you by bringing out of the blue something very similar along the same lines of what you are learning or thinking about in your heart in order to draw your attention back to it and to increase your faith in it’s truthfulness and stability. So as the Lord has strengthened my faith by this particular devotional, I wanted to share it and strengthen yours. The truth that we must not give up easily in our pursuit of God, but must daily seek his presence, his company, his communion even when he seems difficult to find. He can be found and truth be known he is always present even when he seemingly hides himself from us. He is never far from each one of us for in him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:26-29) Below is Thomas Manton’s writing and encouragement on seeking the face of God.
[pullshow] Those who enjoy God are in pursuit of still more. They are always breathing after him, and desire to enjoy more communion with him. The wicked are always running from God and seek refuge away from his company. The whole tendency of our soul towards God is expressed by verbs of motion: running, our earnestness to enjoy God; and seeking, our diligence in the use of means. The great care of our souls is to find God, that he may direct, comfort, strengthen, sanctify and teach us to sweetly enjoy his grace. If we are to find him, we will find him where he is to be found: in his Word, prayer, and in the assembly of his people. Enjoying fellowship with Christ is the goal of all our effort. To serve God is one thing, but to seek him is another. To serve God is to make him the object of worship, to seek God is to make him the end of worship. [pullthis]There are many who hover about the palace that do not speak with the prince. A formal person goes from ordinance to ordinance, and is satisfied with the work. The godly man seeks to go away with God. [/pullthis] If God is not found in the ordinance, we must continue seeking that we find him in the next. Sometimes, God will not be found in public, that he might be found in private. In prayer, we come most directly to enjoy God. But if you cannot find God in prayer, look for him in the supper, or in the Word. If he is not comfortably present in the Word, seek him by meditation. When we have sought him in public worship, and he is silent, he might be found in the night as we meditate. We must follow on. It is great pride in carnal men, if God does not meet us presently, to throw it all away. We must keep seeking, like Jacob; ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me." (Gen. 32:26) – Thomas Manton, Psalm 119, 1:16-18