Don Goulding - Blog


As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God! I thirst for God, for the living God. I say, “When will I be able to go and appear in Godʼs presence?” (Psalms 42:1-2)

I need my Creator God. Without him my deflated body lies shriveled, without so much as a pulse. My vacant mind rattles with thought fragments that amount to nothing the instant they pass. My spirit wrestles blindfolded against a menace named, Despair. Without God, this brief life is as good as it gets, before my soul molders in hell without end.

I am parched for Jesus, I hunger for his Father, I crave his Spirit. Without them, it would be better if I didn’t exist, or that I was insentient so I wouldn’t have to know what I’m lacking. As it is, I realize what’s missing, and it leaves me wild-eyed.

I need God more than a newborn needs his mother. I need him more than war needs peace. I need him, I want him, I strain for him. I’m addicted to the Source of life. I’ve had tiny doses, hints of his splendor, and they only serve to intensify my need. Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I’ll take one or all, whatever will satiate this longing. I can’t get fully to them and I am desperate.

The world holds out the wine of distraction, but what is that when sparkling pure life is offered? I spit out the gall, because I’d rather die of thirst while awaiting the true quenching.

Wilderness survivalists are taught to suck on an oval stone while they search for water. It eases their thirst until a real spring is found. The promise of union with the triune God has not satisfied my thirst, but it is a pacifying stone in my mouth. I’ll suck hard on his promise until the day it melts into the sweet artesian gush of God himself.

Prayer: Completing God, come to me soon.


Spiritual Muscle

But a time is coming- and now is here- when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24)

“No way. How do you do that? That is so amazing.” 

Patrick was the envy of the kids on our elementary school playground. He’d taught himself to wiggle his ears. The rest of us clamped our jaws and pretended there was movement, but only Patrick demonstrated real twitches.

The Apostle John said God looks for worshipers who engage him in their spirits. I feel my spirit resembles the muscle used to wiggle my ears. I know it’s there, but I can’t quite get it working.

I inherited weak spiritual muscles from Adam and Eve. In the beginning their spirits were robust and they freely conversed with God, who is Spirit. Then they spiritually died when they sinned, and the blessed fellowship between God and mankind was severed for millennia.

Since the time of Jesus, his work on the cross cleanses me and allows God to reestablish fellowship. The potential for divine friendship is restored. Herein lies the great purpose of my days on earth—walking in communion with my Father in spirit and truth.

My spirit and soul should be primary and my body secondary. Spiritual infant that I am, I operate in the reverse order with physical needs taking the lead.

I must learn to quiet my demanding body, and even my restless mind, so the Holy Spirit can get a word in edgewise. I need to discipline myself to inquire of the Lord before acting, then shush my body and mind while I wait for his answer. Like Patrick, I have to show at least a tiny bit of movement in my hidden muscle.

Prayer: Patient Holy Spirit, strengthen me to worship you in spirit and truth.


Packing Up

And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. (Romans 13:11)

A pile of Bibles, clothes, hypodermic needles, and twenty pounds of vitamins lay heaped in our living room. On our trips abroad, Dani and I minimize personal gear so we can courier supplies to the mission stations. For weeks, we toss everything we hope to bring into the corner of the room. Before we fly, we pack our suitcases and jettison everything over the weight limit.

Now I’m sorting through my pile of messy living. What will go with me into eternity and what gets left behind? I can’t gamble to have time to pack for eternity later. Rare is the person who goes on the big trip when they expect to go.

In Romans 14:17 Paul says, “For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” So temporal activities will be ditched, while righteousness, peace, and joy get to come along. Those are the commodities I’ll be keenly glad to have with me in eternity.

My heap of life is so mixed and my flight might leave any moment. I’m frantic to organize what fills my days. I’ve got to stuff in some right living while there’s still time.

Daily quiet times go into the travel bag, wasted hours are left behind. Teaching children about Jesus goes with, dropping quarters in a slot machine, not so much. What about that service day for the elderly? Did it add to righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirt? No, it only made me look good to others. Toss it and move on. Time is short.

Prayer: Lord of departures, please help me pack before it’s too late.


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