DilSati 08-12-177

Satisfy My Thirsty Soul

For I am desperate for your presence


Linda Dillow

NavPress, 2007, 300 pp., ISBN 978-1-57683-390-2



Linda Dillow is the author of several books.  She and her husband lived in Europe and Asia for 17 years training Christian leaders.  She is a frequent speaker at women's conferences.  In this book, Dillow shares her lifelong discovery that longings for both intimacy and obedience can be met through the art and lifestyle of worship.  A twelve-week study guide is included. 


1.  My Thirsty Soul

"My desire to serve God was good, but my priorities were out of order.  God's Word clearly says that the first and most important thing is this: to love God with all our being (see Matthew 22:37-38).  This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second commandment is loving others, which includes ministry or works of service (see Matthew 22:39).  I had reversed these two commandments." (18)


"It's so important to be able to say, I am not primarily a worker for God; I am first and foremost a lover of God.  This is who I am.  'All of us need to be lovers who work rather than workers who love.'"  "When our priorities become turned around, and we place more emphasis on loving others than on loving God, we are headed for spiritual and physical exhaustion." (19) 


"Beholding is a way of becoming.  As we behold Christ, we are changed." (23)  "I prayed, God, I want to intimately know you, wherever it takes me, whatever the cost." (24)


C. S. Lewis "couldn't understand why God wanted to be the center of affection and attention.  But then Lewis understood that in the process of being worshipped… God communicates His presence to men.'" (25)  "Worship is the path to experiencing the presence of God, the way to face-to-face intimacy." (27)


"Worship is not just a specific act.  It is also a lifestyle…of bowing my life and living 'holy, holy, holy.'  Worship begins in holy expectancy and ends in holy obedience." (27)  "Worship is the lifestyle of a grateful heart." (28) 


2.  My Worship

"I think of worship as spirit-to-Spirit communication."  "Isaiah saw God high and lifted up, and Isaiah was undone.  Looking upward, he encountered the holiness of the Almighty, and this trembling prophet fell to his knees.  Whenever we see the holiness of God, we are forced to look at our lack of holiness. Looking inward, Isaiah was overcome by his own sinfulness. Graciously, God cleansed Isaiah's heart, and then he was able to look outward and respond to God's call to 'go.'" (37)


"A good definition of worship is: an active response to God that declares His worth." (38) 


Victor Hugo speaking of the godly bishop in Les Miserables, "He did not study God: he was dazzled by Him."  (41)


"In prayer we are occupied with our needs, in thanksgiving we are occupied with our blessings, but in worship we are totally occupied with God Himself." (45, quoting A. P. Gibb)


"Worship is our love responding to God's love." (46)


3.  My Soul Finds Stillness

Worship God with the ABCs of worship: (51)

Almighty, Amazing, Abba

Benevolent, Brilliant, Beautiful


We have difficulty finding stillness among the clamor.  Thomas Merton thought our leading spiritual disease is busyness.  Martha Kilpatrick wrote "Time is the treasure of life.  Time IS life.  Time is the willing sacrifice that you offer up to the worship of what you love.  Don’t tell me what you love.  Tell me where you spend your TIME and I'll tell YOU what you love." (55)


Our internal chaos is restlessness.  Our minds won't stop.  But "restfulness is a form of awareness, a way of being amid the noise of life."  (56)  "For me intimacy with God begins when I quiet my heart, stop, and know that He is God."  "My prayer is ever, Lord, take me deeper.  Take me deeper in what it means to worship you.  Take me deeper into your presence." (58) 


"Ask the Father to help you recognize the 'little solitudes' in your day…" (62)  Quiet your mind by writing distracting thoughts in a notebook, reading a psalm or other Scripture passage, or praying out loud.  Let go of external clamor by listening to quiet worship music through headphones.  (65) 


4.  Expanding My Worship Experience

Worship and prayer flow together.  Start and end with worship.  The Lord's Prayer has more words of worship than of request. (75) 


My knowledge of God limits my worship because I worship based on my understanding of Him.  (77)  Ask God to give you a picture of who He is.  "Whenever I have a 'Quiet Time' and whenever I pray, I imagine the Lord Jesus himself close beside me, and then I speak to him as if I saw him face to face." (83, quoting Hannah Hurnard)


5.  I Bow My Life

The Continental Divide of questions: Is your life 100 percent surrendered to God? (93) 


"Of course, the Lord delights when I tell Him that I love Him, but Jesus made it clear that if my words of love are authentic, I will live out my love by obeying His commands.  Obedience motivated by love differs greatly from obedience motivated by duty." (102)  "Obedience involves listening attentively with a heart of submission and then obeying God's Word and His voice." (103) 


6.  I Bow My Words

"All creation worships, but only God's special creation, man and woman, can worship with words." (112)  Language is a great privilege.  (113) 


"Just as we each have patterns of sinful behavior, we also have a pattern of sin in our words.  For some the pattern is sarcasm, for others criticism, for still others negativism.  For me it is speaking when I shouldn't." (116)


"Very often when I inquire of God, 'Should I say this?' His message to me is, 'I will fight for you while you keep silent' (Exodus 14:14)" "Because I want emotional relief, I plunge in and speak quickly--and I get in God's way." (117) 


7.  I Bow My Attitude

"Attitude is our mental and emotional response to the circumstances of life."  "I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude." (128, quoting Chuck Swindoll) 


"Jesus equates giving thanks with giving glory to God.  To Him, giving thanks is a BIG deal!" (133)


Some suggestions for cultivating a thankful attitude:

      Make a thankful list.

      Count your blessings

      Put up a reminder sign

      Wrap a gift and keep it by your bed as a reminder

      Ask God for "triggers" to be thankful


8.  I Bow My Work

"To work is to worship; to worship is to work."  "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17)" (147)  How do we see our work?


Three key questions: "How do I define success?  Do I see my work as significant?  Do I see some work as more sacred than other work?" (148)


9.  I Bow My Times of Waiting

The hardest waiting is waiting on God.  How long will it be?  How much anguish?  We never know.  (163)


"Ask any mother.  It is easier to do anything than to just sit and wait on God on behalf of your children."  "There is joy in being a lifegiver; it is a privilege.  It is also a liability, because by trying to prevent pain in the lives of those we love, we can become a stumbling stone and block God's higher purposes.  It is a difficult yet necessary lesson to learn.  While God often calls us to put in place general rules of protection, He does not call us to categorically prevent the ones we love from hurting.  It is not our place to keep the ones we love from hurting." (169)


"The Hebrew word for wait means to twist or stretch, and includes the idea of the tension of enduring.  It means to look forward with confident hope to that which is good and beneficial.  The connotation evokes two images: connection and tension." (170) 


10.  I Bow My Pain

"Certainly the last thing on your mind is that God's response when you delight Him is to lead you into a place of deep pain.  Yet this is exactly what happened to Jesus." (Mark 1:12)  "The way to God's presence often involves sorrow and suffering and time in a desert." (184)  "In my naïveté as a young believer, I thought abundant [life], meant no detours, no desert time, and no pain." (185)  "A major theme in the Bible is how to live in the midst of trials, pressures, and pain." (185) 


"We see two parts to God's comfort.  First, He comforts us, then we are able to comfort others." (187) 


Oswald Chambers says, "God does not keep a man immune from trouble; He says, 'I will be with him in trouble.'" (194) 


When in pain sing songs of praise, claim Scripture, weep before God, and persevere--don't give up.  (199-201)


11.  I Bow My Will

As opposed to a typical teenage attitude that is self-centered, independent and resistant, a trusting one is God-centered, dependent, and submissive.  (207)


"A 'Trusting One' humbly bows her will to God's will.  Bowing my will is so hard to do, yet I am convinced this is the deepest form of worship.  When I bow my will in worship, I put feet to my faith."  (207) 


True heart sacrifice involves identifying something precious to us, letting go of our control over it, embracing God's love in the process of release, and resting in the outcome, even if we never understand. (215) 


12.  Drawn Into His Presence

The secret longing of every heart is face-to-face intimacy.  The grand surprise is that worship ushers us into the presence of God.  "Hidden in worship is His presence." (227)  "Every secret choice you made to bow before your Father God, is a step toward intimacy with Him." (229)  "I have the privilege of fellowshipping with the Creator of the universe!"  (Revelation 3:20) (229) 


Worship is purposeful pursuit of Him.  "In a scheduled appointment, I take the initiative.  I am purposeful and intentional.  I come to meet with my loving Father.  In a surprise encounter, God comes to meet with me.  It's as if the roles are reversed.  As amazing as it sounds, God is purposeful in His pursuit of me!  He longs for intentional intimacy with me!"  (133)


Thomas Kelly, Frank Laubach, and Brother Lawrence wrote about living on two levels.  "There is a way of ordering our mental life on more than one level at once.  On one level we may be thinking, discussing, seeing, calculating, meeting all the demands of external affairs.  But deep within, behind the scenes, at a profounder level, we may also be in prayer and adoration, song and worship and a gentle receptiveness to divine breathings." (240, quoting Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion) 



 * * * * * *

Your comments and book recommendations are welcome.

To discontinue receiving book notes, hit Reply and put Discontinue in the text.