As I had the opportunity to examine my life over this Thanksgiving season, especially reasons to give praises to God for, I discovered that my passion for God is not all that exuberant.

I was not thinking of spiritual activities or busyness or rat-race religion, of how many ministries I am involved in.

Busyness, as Lazarus’ sister Martha found out in the gospel of John, is absolutely nothing to God. I was rather thinking about my passion for God.

Author Sinclair Ferguson spoke to this very issue in his book A Heart for God.

“What do you and I boast about? What subject of conversation most arouses us and fills our heart? Do we consider knowing God to be the greatest treasure in the world and by far our greatest privilege? If not, we are but spiritual pygmies in the world of the spirits – we have sold our Christian birthright for a mess of pottage and our true experience could be superficial, inadequate and tragically out of focus.”

That’s precisely the reason we as Christians don’t have the ‘success’ we are supposed to have.

We don’t have the peace of God that passes beyond all comprehension. It’s so very easy for us to fall into the trap of ritualistic religion, into dead orthodoxy.

We go to church because it’s Sunday, not because we desire and passionately want to worship God.

Until we as a church, until we as individuals, learn to cultivate our passion for God, cultivate our thirst for God, we would never experience the perfect peace of God that comes from a heart that’s full of God.

The Bible is pretty clear when it says: “Be anxious about nothing…” (Phil.4:6,7) – not just about a marriage that’s not doing well, or about the mortgage payment. We are not to be anxious for nothing.

Why do we worry, why do we strive, connive, and fight for our own way? Why do the tiny, little details of life consume our energies?

It’s because we do not have a passion for God, because we don’t long for God as the deer pants for the waterbrooks in the evenings.

Thankfully, God has given us instructions how to develop our thirst for Him in the Word of God.

Our example, one of our models there is King David.

He had a problem or two of his own, but David was also a man after God’s own heart.

Apart from Enoch, who walked with God and longed after God to the point that God took him home in a kind of mini-rapture, there is no other biblical character who longed for God like David did.

One of the songs that David wrote, Psalm 63, is not a song designed to give a drumbeat to busyness.

If we hunger for God, if He is far more than one-day-a-week escape for us, then we would understand Psalm 63 well.

But if God is simply a part of that dry routine religion that we practice once a week, then what we would read in the psalm would sound dry and dull and simplistic.

As we go through the song, let us remember everything a king would have to give up, being driven from his kingdom in the middle of the night.

I thought about the tremendous pain and agony he must have felt knowing his own son wanted desperately to kill him.

The situation was very unfair in that God made David the king. He did not desire it or ask for that position.

Now, he is fleeing for his very life in the wilderness.

Here is a principle that we can put to good use in similar circumstances in life: It is in the wilderness that we find the greatest potential for the sweetest communion with God.

David’s soul is dry, barren, because of the physical circumstances he found himself in. But he longs for that much more intimate, deep communion with his heavenly Father.

No matter what our circumstances are, no matter where we are physically located, if we are children of the King, we can trust our Father all through life.

Some aspects of quenching our thirst and reviving our passion for God from the great Psalm 63 that David taught me in Thanksgiving 2013 are: focus on God; praise Him; meditate on Him; depend on Him; and trust Him.

Narayan Mitra is the pastor of Merritt Baptist Church.