God is a Spirit. In Charles Spurgeon’s catechism the fourth question is, “What is God?” The answer given is, “God is Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being.” God is not apprehended nor found with our five senses. He is found and known in the Word of God and in prayer. It is hard study and diligent, fervent prayer that really lays hold on the Lord. What did David mean when he said, “My soul followeth hard after God?” How did he follow hard after God? The words mean that he pursued God diligently; he tracked God like a hunter tracks his prey. How did David do this?
1. He Sought God Early in the Morning
In Psalm 63:1 David said, “Early will I seek thee.” While others were still sleeping David arose and read the law and the parts of the Word of God that he had. The Bible tells us “Love not sleep.”
E.M. Bounds, who wrote great books on prayer, said,
“A desire for God which cannot break the chains of sleep is a weak thing and will do but little good for God after it has indulged itself fully. The desire for God that keeps so far behind the devil and the world at the beginning of the day will never catch up.”
He who would pursue the Lord must, as all great saints, begin early in the morning.
2. He Sought God by Meditating on Him
David meditated on God in the night watches. He said, “When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches” (Psalm 63:6). The mind and heart must be wholly set on the Lord. Meditation is the hammer that breaks open the Word and applies it. To meditate we must read, study, and then muse on what we have read and studied. Meditation also involves memorization so that we can think upon Scripture in the night seasons. In Joshua 1:8, God promises success to those who meditate on Scripture.
This is all hard work which is why David said, “My soul followeth hard after thee.”
3. He Spoke of God and Praised Him
Praise itself brings the presence of God according to Psalm 22:3, “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” If our souls are set on finding that sweet presence of the Lord, then we will talk much of Him during our day. His name will enter our conversations as easily as our own children’s names. His praise will flow as naturally from our lips as a “thank you” does to someone who has just done something for us. If we are pursuing God fervently, as David was, His name will never be far from our minds or our lips.
Those who are set on knowing God cannot take this knowledge lightly. God is to be pursued with more diligence than a young man seeking his future bride or a hunter stalking his prey. God’s knowledge and presence should be the Christian’s chief delight. The Psalmist said in Psalm 73:25–26, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.”