Psalm 34.8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
I’m captivated by the idea of tasting the Lord. What does it mean to taste that the Lord is good? What does it say about the Lord when it encourages me to use my lips and tongue to experience his goodness?
(my favorite place to write also stimulates my taste buds)
Thinking has been my primary way of encountering God. I love to meditate and study the words of the Bible to understand more. When things are beyond my understanding, I often put them aside as unimportant or just for later study. Trouble is, God regularly challenges my mind with experiences I don’t have a grid for understanding. Sometimes I’ve been confronted with God speaking to me in ways that I know he doesn’t speak.
Maybe you too are a thinker like me. If it doesn’t make sense it can’t be right. If I can’t see it, it can’t be real. Many people get stuck in little boxes because they’ve put God in a box of things that he can and cannot do. Sadly, on many issues I stay stuck in my own limited ways of thinking.
The book of Song of Songs has become my favorite because it changed knowing God from a thinking and understanding challenge to a love story between my Lord and me. There are many things about love that are completely baffling to me, but they really change me. For example: why did I lose my appetite when I began to date and love my wife (she wasn’t my wife then, just a long distance girlfriend)? For two weeks I had nearly no appetite for food!
Song of Songs 1.2 says: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his [word]! For your love is better than wine;
I need you to get into this story. Imagine the scene: a beautiful young woman gazing over the balcony of a palace room. You can here her saying: “all I want is to kiss him”. Then the movie director dramatically pans out and you can see that she’s not alone, her lover has quietly come into the room behind her. Is it a noise or his fragrance or just the feeling of being watched that grabs her attention and turns her around?
Now she changes her tone from wanting and waiting to excitement and anticipation. Her sentence continues: “for Your love is better than fine wine.” I’m captivated. What is better than fine wine? What is sweeter than honey? What is so delicious that I’d not eat a feast? Who is this that is so all consuming that even my taste buds are helpless?
This princess was once totally happy to enjoy all that the world had for her; but what happened to ruin her? J. Hudson Taylor in Union and Communion says: “Once she was contented in His absence – other society and other occupations sufficed her; but now it can never be so again.”
How about you? Have you tasted the words of Jesus and found yourself ruined for lesser words? Have you been happily enjoying the world when all of sudden, you caught a glimpse of Jesus? Are you like the princess or the Psalmist who have tasted Jesus and now you just keep looking around, trying to find Him again so you can get another taste?
This is what God wants to do in us. He wants to awaken us to His love. He wants to overwhelm us with his longing for us. He specializes in taking self centered, self focused jerks (my story) and turning them into hungering, whole hearted lovers (becoming my new story). He does this everyday, ruining perfectly contented people into lovers who cannot get enough of Him.
Imagine now with me, a community of people who are interested in increasing hunger in each other. They practice saying “Yes” to Jesus. This community has made its first priority to taste the goodness of the Lord. When they drink fine wine, they know that Jesus tastes better. When they taste sweet honey, they have something to describe how Jesus has changed their appetite. Even food causes them to hunger for Jesus.
How about you? Have you been in a community like this? Are you ready to have your appetite changed by Jesus? Even to want to want this is a prayer that the Lord has answered in my life. Jesus, I want to want you like this.
Trust me, he’s quite good at changing your perception of what tastes good and sweet.