Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.
This verse from Psalm 73 is one of the most beloved of all the psalms. It expresses the psalmist's recognition of God’s unique value, as well as a passionate desire for God. Asaph, the author of Psalm 73, delights in God more than in anything on earth.
To be honest, I can’t always say that. There have been times in my life when I truly yearn for God more than for anything else. But my desires are generally mixed. I want God, and also what God provides: peace, health, significance, love. I’m not suggesting that it’s wrong to long for such things. Indeed, they are good gifts from the Lord. But I wish I could more frequently echo Asaph’s confession, “Lord, I desire you most of all!”
Where does such a passion for God come from? Yes, it surely reflects the truth about God as revealed in Scripture. The more we see God as he really is, the more we will yearn for him. But a fervent desire for God comes, not just from knowing about God in truth, but also from knowing him personally and intimately. The more we experience God as he is, the more we will long for his presence.
And how do we experience God? Through prayer. Through reflecting upon his Word. Through offering him worship and praise. Through the presence of his Spirit both in our hearts and in the fellowship of his people. Through serving him by caring for others. Through paying attention to the manifold but easily overlooked ways God makes himself known to us. And so many other ways.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How do you experience God’s presence in your life? What increases your desire for God? What competes with God for your ultimate desire?
PRAYER: O Lord, without hesitation I can answer the first question of this verse. I have no one else in heaven but you. No other god vies for my worship. You and you alone are God, the creator of heaven and earth. You alone are my Savior. You alone are my Lord.
There are times when I desire you more than anything else on earth. In these times I want to know you more deeply, to worship you more fully, to enjoy your presence more completely, and to serve you more faithfully. Yet often I find my desires are divided. I want you and other things as well. But the more I know you, the more I experience you, the more I desire you above all else.
Nothing else in all creation satisfies my soul the way you do. Thanks, dear Lord, for making yourself known to me. Amen.