An Action List for Altitude

Posted: January 28, 2009 in christian growth, Joy

Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where no water is. 5 My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

Here we find David, a thirsty man in a thirsty land. Anointed king, but running from Saul. Rightful owner of the palace, but living like a homeless guy in the wilderness. He is in the uncomfortable in-between. The miserable middle.  Searching for joy.

When I talk to people about joy right now, they say: “But how? Give me action steps!” And I understand because I’m also a list-loving girl. So, it’s cool because David totally does that – he gives us a list of exactly what to do to find wells of joy in the middle of a wilderness. Notice that all of these things require action on his part; action and movement in order to get some altitude in his thinking. He can’t just keep shouting at God to come to his frustration…he has to go to where God is. His thoughts have to pack their bags and get up off of the desert floor and move into the miracle-working, manifest presence of his Father. Here’s the route they take (from verses 1-8):

• Earnestly I will seek You
• My inner self will thirst for You (other thirsts have to bow to this one)
• My flesh will long for You (and not just an escape from the wilderness)
• I will go to the sanctuary and look at You
• My lips shall praise You (words have the power of life and death…words of worship produce life in us, even when they feel like a sacrifice)
• I will bless You (there’s no demand to make God prove Himself. “Didn’t You say I would be king? Why am I out here hiding in the wilderness?”)
• I will lift up my hands (Altitude! Hebrews 12:12&13)
• My whole being will be satisfied (oh – that’s a tough one, to choose to be satisfied? Wow. John 15:11)
• My mouth will joyfully praise You
• I will remember You when I’m falling asleep (at times of rest, when busyness is done, it’s sometimes hard to keep our thoughts close to His.)
• I will meditate on You all through the night (in dark or fearful times)
• I will be happy in the shadow of Your wings (the result of a life spent right up next to Him)
• I will follow hard after You
• I will cling closely to You (no lagging or wandering or “low-ness”)

Hmmm…I’m gonna print this list and keep it where I can see it.  I can’t wait to get started!

Taking off,


  1. ci says:

    Wow…what an instruction manual! I’m keeping this list where I can see it often.

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