King David wrote, “So deep within me are these lovesick longings, desires and daydreams of living in union with you. When I’m near you my heart and my soul will sing and worship with my joyful songs of you, my true Source and Spring of life!” – Psalm 84:2 (The Passion Translation)
This sounds like a man who experienced something so transformative, satisfying, and beautiful that he became lovesick longing for more. How interesting and rare when we consider that he’s talking about the manifest presence of God.
Charles Spurgeon wrote about King David in Psalm 84 and said that David had a “holy lovesickness upon him, and was wasted with an inward consumption” because he was unable to worship God in the appointed place.
Wow! How few of us think of a relationship with God as something that brings you the kind of pleasure that leaves you longing for more.
As for me, although I grew up in church, it was decades before I experienced the intoxicating manifest presence of the Holy Spirit. In fact, I never even heard it existed growing up. We worshipped, but it wasn’t intoxicating—it was boring.
Now, now, before you get all upset with me, be honest, I’m not the only one.
Did you know that there are tons of scriptures and stories in the Bible and throughout church history that validate David’s obsession as the normal response of people who have encountered the true, manifest, tangible reality of God presence and glory? As someone who’s also experienced it, I can only describe it as this…
Once you have experienced God’s manifest presence, glory, and goodness for yourself, for reals, something happens to you. It’s like waking up for the first time in your life and realizing the true reason why you were created. You feel it in your breath, in your soul, and in the depths of your very being. Everything else, all other experiences, pursuits, and forms of pleasure are second, ninetieth, or one thousandth on your list in comparison. You begin to carry an awareness and consciousness of the very One who has always been and is all around. Spiritual desire is awakened and aroused. You want to know and experience more of Him. You have to know more. You become enthralled with getting to know Him, and like King David, you long to experience more of Him.
And so the cycle begins…
Longing, desire, seeking, finding, surprise, fascination, overwhelming love.
The immense intensity and immeasurableness of His love and goodness is eternal, infinite and inexhaustible. There’s always more to experience. There’s always more to know. And, the more you experience, the more you want to know and experience. Knowing Him becomes your obsession. Being with Him in a tangible, experiential way becomes your lifeline and your new requirement for living. Everything else without Him becomes flavorless and anything with Him is bliss.
Honestly, it’s probably very much like any other addiction. You must have Him to survive.
You must have Him to live. Every moment. Every day. This is the very essence of lovesickness. You cannot be separated for a moment. He is always on your mind and you are always in pursuit of knowing Him more.
So how do you enter into this cycle of obsession and pursuit? You might wonder. By grace and grace alone.
You don’t work for it, you desire it. Just let the desire to know God rise up in you. Become conscious of it. He’s already put it inside of you, so just acknowledge it, yield to it, and let it rise up within you. As it rises, begin to give voice to it. Speak to Him. He’s already there. Express your desire to Him. This is worship. This is communion. This is the atmosphere of encounter. This is how your union with Him is realized and experienced. He’s already there. He’s all around you. So just allow the desire for Him that He’s placed inside of you to surface.
Be like David; express your longing. He will respond. In fact, He’s been waiting and wanting your attention long before you became aware of it.