O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
Psalm 63:1-4 NKJV
Created in the image of God, we arrive in this world with an inborn hunger for the transcendent, even for heaven. Something in us is born knowing. In such a time as this, when
the Western world finds itself in the horrors of a spiritual and moral freefall, many come out of this culture to our conferences trapped in the ugliest of sinful compulsions, having forgotten this inborn holy craving. And it is in the presence of the Holy One, the very coming into sacred space filled with true worship, that these dread bonds begin to break and fall away from them. The true self that yearns for the good, the beautiful, the true, and the noble then begins its heroic journey up and out of the false self, with its layers and layers of sordid behavior, and breaks through into God’s light with His pathway in sight. 
We exist for a single and awesome purpose: to enjoy the Holy One forever. Daily news reports grieve us with the consequences of the loss of knowledge of Him, but let us keep faith that returning to Him is the remedy for every horror. No matter how buried our longing for Him may be, our holy God never calls off the search party, for He wills to pull us from the rubble of generations of neglect and rebellion. We are yet responsible to consent to and participate in His rescue mission. The Father is calling through Jesus His Son to every man, woman, and child: “Come out, come out of the prison house and live!”
Father, we thank You for calling us to such a heroic journey. We praise You for Your holiness that is undiminished by our faithlessness. We thank You for continuing to seek us in Your faithfulness and mercy. Truly You are a loving God, not willing that any should be destroyed. Come Lord Jesus, come Spirit of the Living God, and increase in us knowledge of the Holy. Breathe on us that we might lift true worship to Your throne. Make our homes and churches places where bondage is broken and many are empowered to walk the radiant path, for the glory of Your name.
 Leanne Payne, Leanne Payne Newsletter (Advent 2007), p. 1-2.
Painting: Arkhip Kuindzhi, 1895, Sunrise [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the writings and ministry of Leanne Payne.