Thursday afternoon after lunch, we had separate sessions on various topics. The first one I chose to attend was one led by Donald Whitney called “Do you thirst for God?” The three kinds of thirst a person can experience are:
1. The thirst of the empty soul – a person may go from one thing to another looking for fulfillment and satisfaction – new job, new home, new car, etc – without ever being satisfied. This thirst is an eternal thirst that will only be met in the person of Christ.
2. The thirst of the dry soul – this may come through being emotionally, physically or mentally exhausted. Perhaps for some reason (such as sin), God has withdrawn the sense of His presence, leaving the Christian feeling dried up.
3. The thirst of the satisfied soul – this almost seems like an oxymoron – how can someone be thirsty, yet satisfied? Matt. 5:6 says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” The satisfaction found in Christ isn’t a one-time fill up, but rather keeps us coming back for more. We’ll never have enough of Christ.
The main takeaways from this session for me were the “practical steps for thirsting after the Thirst-Slaker.” Whitney mentioned three things:
1. Meditating on Scripture – not just reading, closing our Bibles, and forgetting what we just read, but rather spending time thinking over what we’ve read. If all the time we have is 10 minutes, take 5 minutes reading and 5 minutes thinking about what we’ve read.
2. Pray through Scripture – this is perhaps the one that helped me the most. Whenever I’ve heard people talking about praying through Scripture, I envisioned someone basically reading a psalm in a prayerful tone. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense. But Whitney used an example of praying through Psalm 23. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, etc.” Praying through this psalm might look like this: “Lord, be the Shepherd for my family. Lead us in the way you would have us go. May we not desire anything but you.” Or perhaps using Psalm 51, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity” might look like this: “Lord, forgive the sins of my family. Forgive my disciplining my son in anger. May I teach him to delight in your truth and help him to learn wisdom (v.6).”
3. Read thirst-making writers – read authors who lead us to see the greatness of God.