Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
Psalm 73:25 (ESV)
We desire a lot of things this world has to offer; wealth, family, possessions and many such pleasures. The list of our desires could be quite long. Certainly Asaph, the writer of Psalms 73, had earthly desires. I believe what Asaph communicates in verse 25 is that all his earthly desires pale in comparison to his desire to have relationship and fellowship with God. And that all his earthly desires flow out of his desire for God. Furthermore, he so desires God that he would give up all earthly desires to experience the moment-by-moment presence of God.
None of our earthly desires, though they might make us feel good and give some sense of happiness, will ever satisfy the longings of our hearts. They are not meant to. Not even the desires that we consider blessings from God. These blessings are meant to point us to the one who satisfies. King David wrote, He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. (Psalm 145:19 ESV) God is the only one who can fill our desires or longings. He is the only one that is meant to. We were created for him (Revelations 4:11).
David wrote in Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (ESV) God is most glorified when he is the pinnacle of our desires. When we delight in him he gives us the desires of our heart, which are nothing more than his desires. When God is our desire we find the fullness of our joy and happiness in him. And when we find our joy and happiness in him he is glorified in us, which is the primary reason for his filling of our desires.
The scriptures are latent with calls for us to flee earthly desires. Paul wrote to the Roman believers, But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:14 ESV) To the Ephesians he wrote to put off the old self that is corrupt through deceitful desires (Ephesians 4:22). Those desires are from our former lives. We are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17).
John wrote that the desires of the flesh are from this world and not from God (1 John 2:16). In the letter to the Galatians Paul wrote that the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit and that if we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. In fact, he said that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:16, 17, 24).
The way to blessing and satisfaction is not the pleasing of our earthly desires. Jesus said, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6 ESV)
Until God becomes our chief desire we will only desire to please our flesh. However, God longs to be the desire of our hearts because he knows that only he can give us eternal satisfaction. God longs to have us drink from the river of his delights (Psalm 36:7-9).
Is God your chief desire? Is he the longing of your soul? Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness?
Scriptures for meditation:
Psalm 40:8, 65:4; 111:2