God wants every thought and desire of our hearts. That is the effect of His coming down to us, and is very blessed. There is another thing, and even a better, that is, His lifting us up to Him where He is. When God meets our thoughts, wants, and feelings, it is His answering according to the measure of our need; in the other He surpasses all the desires of our hearts and minds. See it in Psalm 132 when certain blessings are asked, and each desire is surpassed. See verses 8 and 13; verse 9 answered in verse 16; verse 10 in verse 17. There is trial of faith: He suffers His people to hunger, etc., that they may know the value of being fed by Him as He will. There is personal relationship between the saint and God "mine and thine" in John 17 - which connects itself with what He is for us.
To Abram God said (Gen. 15), "I am thy shield," because he wanted protection, "thy exceeding great reward." It did not go beyond Abram's want - he wished an heir. This is different from his delighting in God. What God is bringing us to is to delight in Himself. See Abraham in Genesis 17:17: "I am the Almighty God." This is quite another thing. It was God's revelation of Himself to Abraham. True, all kinds of blessing are connected with it; but it is a higher thing, because it revealed God, and led him up to communion with Him, while the other threw him back on his own need and wishes.
It is a different thing to have the joy of the relationship, and to have the fruits of it. "O my God, early will I seek thee." There is activity of soul thus seeking God. The soul athirst for God seeks - there is diligence in seeking God for Himself - the mouth is open for everything. The Psalm does not speak of seeking for water; when a man is thirsty, he seeks for water; but here it is more thirsting for Him who gives the water.
The conscious relationship was founded. "O God, thou art my God." The more he enjoyed God, the more it was felt to be a dry and thirsty land - not dry because of the weariness of the way. What does it matter, the dry and thirsty land, if I have the living water in my soul? I do not think about the dryness then. It is not being at home yet either. It is the wilderness in Romans 8. If I know I am to be in the same glory with Christ, what will affect me here? What! people going to be with the Lord in glory; and yet the slightest thing can upset me now! I feel the wretchedness, because I have got the glory - I am not acquiring it, but seeking it because I have it. Think of a person who had seen heaven - knowing all the blessedness of it - going through such a world as this! That is what it was to Christ. What made Him feel it was the joy? "Because thy loving-kindness is better than life," this world is a wilderness.
92 "Thy loving-kindness is better than life"; but it brings death upon one. No matter: "In everything give thanks." What! in sorrow? Yes, to be sure, we have the key to the joy in having Himself. "Thy loving-kindness is better than life; therefore will I praise thee while I live." "My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness." What! in the desert? Yes, that is the very place, because God Himself is His portion. "My mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips." Now we often praise, when we are not very joyful (there is a certain pressure on the heart), and it is right to do it at all times; but here the heart is so full of the blessing that it is pressed out of him. We learn from Psalm 42 that the health of my countenance is the effect of the light of Thy countenance.
The heart is lifted up above the sorrow because occupied with God Himself.
In Psalm 63 the soul is in the state in which Psalm 42 ends. It is not an oppressed heart looking out for what would make him joyful, but rejoicing because the spring is there. "Therefore I will bless thee while I live."
There is help in God (see v. 7) for the difficulties of the way. It is not here the enjoyment of God Himself, but His protection. Do I look forward to my life to come? I defy any one to know anything but that His window is open. God, then, is the only certain thing. I have no certainty that there will be a to-morrow, but there is God. Because the heart is in heaven, we can rejoice in the thing itself we have got for all times. "Jehovah is my Shepherd: I shall not want." It is not, He has put me in certain circumstances, and I shall be happy there; but it is something to depend on, to know He is my Shepherd. Then there is earnestness of purpose in following after. (Verse 8.) So Paul: "I press toward the mark," following hard after Him in a "dry and thirsty land." Paul in prison was pressing on toward Christ, and rejoicing in the Lord; he had nothing else to rejoice in. In nothing too should we be terrified by adversaries, which is to them an evident token of perdition (v. 9, 10); as on the other hand Christ and they that are His alone shall be exalted for ever (v. 11).