O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you. And therein lies the problem. The truth is that we might seek God on occasion, and we may even seek him with some regularity. But the real question is, are we seeking him earnestly? And what does that even mean?
The word used here in Psalm 63:1 is shachar, which literally means at dawn, or early. It gives us the definite impression that David is calling himself, as well as each of us, to seek God before everything else, to seek him first. God is not to be one of many things, or people, that vie for our attention and our affection; he is to be the first thing. And everyone and everything else must fall in line behind him.
The question, then, that we all must answer is: Do we seek God first? Do we seek him before all else? Do we seek him before our own comfort and convenience? Do we seek him before our own plans and agendas? Do we seek him before our friends, families, and loved ones? Do we seek him before all of the other demands and expectations that are placed upon us on a daily basis? What are we earnestly seeking in our lives? What is first?
The truth is that most of us want God, and life with God, but we lack the will and the courage to make him the first priority in our lives. Oh, we might say that he is first, but the way we live our lives would seem to contradict that. In the words of Dallas Willard: “The general human failing is to want what is right and important, but at the same time not commit to the kind of life that will produce the action we know to be right and the condition we want to enjoy.”
I think that’s why the words of this ancient prayer are so important. They encourage us to constantly examine our lives, and to regularly recommit to a life (not just a desire) that seeks God first, above and before all else.
O God, give us the grace and the courage and the strength to seek you earnestly this day.