Summary: Have you ever really gone hard after something in your life? Was there ever something you wanted in life almost more than life itself?
Going Hard After God
Ps 63:1-8… O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. KJV
Ps 63:8… I follow close behind you; NLT
Have you ever really gone hard after something in your life? Was there ever something you wanted in life almost more than life itself? It could have been:
• a new job,
• a promotion,
• a spot on the starting team,
• a guy you really wanted to date,
• a car you always wanted,
• a contract that could make or break your company,
• a weight-loss goal.
What did you do to get what you wanted?
• Give it your best effort?
• Focus all your energies on it?
• Think about it day and night?
• Devise a plan or strategy to get it?
• Talk about it to anyone who would listen?
• Stick with it until you got it?
We all have these kinds of pursuits in life. They are what we live for. They make life worthwhile. They provide drive and give us a sense of purpose and accomplishment
What would happen if we gave that same kind of effort to going hard after God? What would happen to us as individuals, as families, as a church if we made this kind of all-out effort to pursue God until we really found Him?
What kinds of change such a pursuit would make in our lives?
• In our prayer life?
• In our priorities?
• In our use of time?
• In our spending habits?
• In our social life?
• In our church attendance?
• In our burden for the lost?
• In our missions commitment?
I can’t help but believe it would literally turn our lives, our homes our church, our community upside down.
Let me tell you where I am coming from in talking about this today. For some time I have felt a stirring in my heart for us as a church to move to a higher level in our relationship with God.
We have been enjoying the blessings and presence of God in our services. God has met with us in a powerful way. Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel that there is still something more, something deeper, higher, wider, longer that God has for us as a church.
I’m not sure if I can define it anymore specifically than that. I just know it’s out there and I want it.
A second theme that runs concurrent with this one in my heart is the strong feeling that we must do more to reach out to the lost of our community–to children and youth, to the up and out as well as the down and out.
What does it Means to Go Hard After God?
In Psalm 63 we find an explanation of what it means to go hard after God, along with an instructional manual on how to go about it. David sets forth three requirements or conditions that can be summed up in three words:
1. Reference - Know where we are
Joke… There was once an absent-minded professor who became so absorbed in his work that he forgot the simplest details. One morning his wife said, "Now Henry, remember, we are moving today. Here, I’m putting this note in your pocket. Don’t forget." The day passed by and the man came home to his house. He entered the front door, and found the place empty. Distraught, he walked out to the curb and sat down. A young boy walked up to him, and he asked him, "Little boy, do you know the people who used to live here?" The boy replied, "Sure, Dad, mother told me you’d forget."
The superscription at the beginning of the psalm tells us the setting in which David wrote this psalm - "When he was in the Desert of Judah."
David knew all too well where he was–in a desert place, a wilderness. In verse 1 he describes it as "a dry and weary land (a parched and thirsty land) where there is no water."